Crisis of Faith (Habakkuk 1:1-2:20)
|Subject||How do you keep your faith when your expectations in God aren’t met?|
|Object||By taking steps to trust God despite how things appear|
|Big Idea||We keep our faith in God when he doesn’t meet our expectations by trusting him anyways.|
|Purpose||To learn how to trust in God when our expectations aren’t met|
Tomorrow I attend a funeral for somebody who died suddenly last week after being hit in her car six weeks ago. Last week I attended a funeral led by a pastor, whose wife phoned with a cancer diagnosis during the funeral reception.
Sometimes we think life will go a certain way because we follow God. We experience a crisis when our expectations aren’t met, which seems to happen to quite a few of us.
1. Sometimes we face a crisis of faith when God doesn’t meet our expectations (1:1-4; 2:1)
Background: had been warned of corruption for 150 years; death of a community is the plot of this book
When we receive word that someone we love will die; religious leadership fails us
This is a book to guide Israel to faith when things are falling apart (Babylonian conquest)
2. God doesn’t always resolve our crisis (1:5-11, 12-2:1)
Answer (shock) and second complaint: How can God use wicked Babylon to punish people who are more righteous?
We don’t know if Habakkuk survived, but we know he responded faithfully to this crisis
3. He does tell us how we can preserve our faith in this crisis, and not give up (2:2-20)
Trust God’s timeline (2:2-3) – it may linger but it will come (586 – 19 years after Habakkuk’s prophecy, the Babylonian conquest; 539 – 66 years after, fall of Babylon; Needed a larger and slower worldview – Allow for God’s slow-moving justice)
Trust God’s Word and live by it, even when the evidence is stacked against it (2:4b) – When in exile 600 miles from home and without a temple, waiting for 70 years; Not faith as in belief; continue to live faithfully; The righteous will believe what God says and live by trust in His Word
Speak against the source of the suffering (2:4a, 6-20); 2:6-20 is an exposition of 2:4a
Where he ends up eventually: 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the penand no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
Those who want to live in right relationship with God and his people will live by their trust in the promises of God.