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Habakkuk - Living by Faith in Difficult Times - Bible Study Guide

“Living by Faith in Difficult Times” – 3 Studies

How do we continue to trust in God when life is hard, and we see evil all around us, even while we try and do what we know is right?  God’s prophet Habakkuk wrestled with many of the same questions we do today as he waited and looked forward to the salvation God had promised.

Sample questions from Study 1.
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1.      What sort of situation makes you want to cry out, “That’s not fair!”?

2.     If you were God, where in your local community or the world would you intervene to stop violence and injustice right now?

3.     What events have you witnessed or experienced that have caused you, however briefly, to wonder how God can possibly be in control?

Read through the book of Habakkuk

4.     What seems to be the nature of Habakkuk’s complaint against God?

5.     How is this book different to other prophetic books in the Old Testament that you have read or with which you are familiar?

6.     Which sections of Habakkuk’s book fall into each of the categories below?

   – Complaint

   – Petition

   – Divine Perspective

Some Historical Background

Israel was divided into 2 kingdoms during the reign of Rehoboam (circa 931 BC). The northern kingdom, which kept the name Israel, was wiped out by the Assyrians in around 722 BC. By the time of Habakkuk’s writing, Babylon is growing in power and threatening to destroy Judah, the southern kingdom, with its capital, Jerusalem.

Habakkuk probably lived before, during and after the reign of King Josiah. Josiah instigated reforms to return the nation to obedience and faithfulness to God, but the kings both before and after him generally led the nation into immorality and idolatry.

It is likely that Habakkuk lived to see the ultimate fulfilment of his prophecy, the Babylonian inva­sions of Judah, climaxing in 586 BC.

Re-read Habakkuk 1:1 – 2:1

7.     Habakkuk is lamenting, not only the presence of evil and wickedness, but that, as it turns out, this wickedness is among God’s own people Judah.

How does he describe the situation?

8.     What is God’s answer to Habakkuk in verses 5 – 11?

9.     What is it about God’s plan that Habakkuk struggles to come to terms with?

10.   Despite his difficulty in accepting God’s plan to bring judgment, what is Habakkuk still convinced of in regard to God’s character and action?

11.    What seeds of hope can you find in Habakkuk’s complaints and God’s answers?

12.   The cross of Jesus is the ultimate example of God using the actions evil people to achieve his own ends.  And like Habakkuk’s experience, some people find God’s work there offensive.

What do people find offensive about the judgment of sin in the cross of Christ?

13.   Do you think humans have a right to question the way that God punishes sin or provides atonement for it?

14.   What do we as Christians know about God’s character (ie holiness, etc.) that Habak­kuk did not?

15.   How does understanding God’s response to Habakkuk’s complaint help us as we see and experience aspects of life that seem unfair or unjust to us?

Read Acts 13:13 – 41

16.   The climax of Paul’s speech in Pisidian Antioch is a quote from Habakkuk 1:5. What are the things done “in your days that you would never believe” (verse 41)?

17.   What are the situations facing our church, local community, or the world, in which we need to remember that God is sovereign?

18.   Can you think of a time when God didn’t seem to be answering your prayers, only to discover much later that God was already working towards his answer at the time you were praying?

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