Questions and Answers

Text: Hab 2:14 (KJV) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk was a prophet about whom very little is known.
He is believed to have been a contemporary of Jeremiah, and to have ministered during the reign of Jehoiakim, the wicked son of Josiah. It was during his lifetime that Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian hordes carried Judah into captivity.
His name means "embracer." As we shall see from our study of his writings, it is an appropriate name for one who loved God as he did.
The book of Habakkuk is entirely a dialog between the prophet and his God. It begins with Habakkuk openly questioning God and His dealings with man. It ends with Habakkuk humbly praising God and reaffirming his faith in Him.

I. The Prophet's Question (Read 1:1-4)

A. QUESTION - What was Habakkuk's problem/question?
(Answer - He wanted to know why God was allowing increasing evil to go unpunished in Judah.)
B. QUESTION - How contemporary is this question?
C. QUESTION - Habakkuk questioned God? Is this a right or wrong thing to do?
D. QUESTION - Have you ever questioned God? About what? (if they are willing to share)
E. QUESTION - Who else in the Bible questioned God?
ANSWER - Abraham ("Wilt thou destroy the righteous with the wicked?")
F. QUESTION - How did God respond to those who dared to question Him?

II. God's Answer (Read 1:5-11)

QUESTION - What was God's answer to Habakkuk's question?
(Answer - Chaldeans)
QUESTION - How contemporary is this answer?
(i.e. If Habakkuk's question was so contemporary, how do we apply the answer he received to our situation today?)

III. The Prophet's Second Question (Read 1:12-2:1)

QUESTION - What was Habakkuk's second question?
(Answer - How can a holy God justify using wicked Babylonians, a people even more wicked than the Israelites, to punish the Israelites?)
QUESTION - Do God's ways sometimes seem unjust or wrong? Give some examples.
QUESTION - What do we learn about Habakkuk's theology from verse 12? What did Habakkuk believe?
The people of God will never be destroyed!
Psa 94:14 (KJV) For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
READ Romans 8:1; 38-39
God chastens His children when they need it.
Psa 118:18 (KJV) The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.
Mal 3:6 (KJV) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Heb 12:6 (KJV) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
QUESTION - What do we learn about Habakkuk's devotional life from verse 2:1? (And how do we apply his principles to our devotional lives?)

IV. God's Answer (Read 2:2-20)

QUESTION - What was God's answer?
A. Whether you understand God's purpose or not, it will nevertheless occur (vs. 3).
1 Ki 8:56 (KJV) Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.
Psa 111:7 (KJV) The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
Ezek 12:25 (KJV) For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.
Mat 5:18 (KJV) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
QUESTION - Put your self in Habakkuk's place. Should this thought have brought him comfort? Does it bring you comfort?
B. All people of faith will live, all people without faith will not (vs. 4).
(Note - this verse quoted in Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38.)
QUESTION - The root of Habakkuk's question was doubt about God's justice. According to this verse, is God unjust?
C. Tremendous judgment awaits Babylon, also. (vss. 5-19)
(5 woes pronounced)
D. Eventually, everything will be made right! (vs. 14)
QUESTION - How do you suppose this made Habakkuk feel? How does it make you feel?
E. It is our place to be quiet, and watch God work (whether or not we understand His ways.) (vs. 20)
("keep silence" = lit. "hush")

V. The Prophet's Response (Read 3:1-19)

QUESTION - What was his response?
A. A song of praise (vss. 3:1-16)
1. Praise for the person of God. (vss. 3:1-3)
QUESTION - Do we ever sing praises for the person of God?
ILLUS. Song - "Lord I praise you because of Who you are..."
2. Praise for the power of God. (vss. 3:4-7)
QUESTION - Do we ever sing praises for the power of God?
ILLUS. Song - "He has done great things..."
3. Praise for the purpose of God. (vss. 3:8-16)
QUESTION - Do we ever sing praises for the purpose of God?
ILLUS. Song - "Where He leads I'll follow..."
B. An affirmation of faith (vss. 3:17-19)
1. No matter our understanding, we should trust God.
Prov 3:5-6 (KJV) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
2. No matter what God does, we should trust God.

God's ways are not always understandable.
Nonetheless, God's ways are sure, and they will come to pass.
God's ways are not always understandable.
Nonetheless, His ways are always right.
God's ways are not always understandable.
Nonetheless, we have reason to trust Him anyway.
Hab 2:14 (KJV) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright 1996 William E. Johnson.