Blogging with Habakkuk (3) – Habakkuk’s Three Big Questions

(Part 3 in a series of posts on Habakkuk.)

The prophet Habakkuk had three big questions about God. If we are honest, we will admit that we sometimes have the same three questions about God ourselves. The three questions are:

  1. Does God care?
  2. Is God fair?
  3. Is God there?

Do you ever feel that way about God? Habakkuk did. That’s the way things looked to him before he went to God with his doubts and his confusion.

Let me give you a quick summary of the three sections in the book as organized around these three questions:

1) Does God care? (Habakkuk 1:1-11)

The first section is found in chapter 1, verses 1-11. This sections deals with Habakkuk’s first question. Habakkuk is upset about all the violence and the injustice he sees in Judah. And in the midst of all the wickedness, he asks God a question: “God, why aren’t you doing anything about this? Don’t you notice when the wicked abuse their power? Don’t you see what is going on among your people? God, don’t you care?”

God answers Habakkuk by saying that, yes he does notice, and yes he does care, and yes he is going to do something about it. He is going to send the Babylonians to judge his people.

2) Is God fair? (Habakkuk 1:12 – 2:20)

Well, that may have answered Habakkuk’s first question, but rather than help, it threw Habakkuk into a whole new state of crisis. That brings us to the next section of the book, which runs from 1:12 – 2:20. Habakkuk questions God again: “The Babylonians, God? The Babylonians? How can you use the Babylonians to judge your people? Why, they are even worse than the people of Judah! How can you use a more wicked nation to judge a less wicked nation? God, that is not fair!”

God answers Habakkuk a second time, explaining that the Babylonians will also be judged for their sin, but all in God’s timing. Meanwhile the righteous will live by faith, trusting God to act justly in his own time.

3) Is God there? (Habakkuk 3:1-19)

That leads us to the third and final section of Habakkuk in chapter 3:1-19. Chapter 3 records a prayer from Habakkuk to God. The implied question behind this prayer is, you guessed it, “Is God there?”

But this time instead of asking God the question directly, Habakkuk answers it himself, as he reflects on God’s works and wonders for Israel over the centuries. And in this time of prayer and reflection, Habakkuk finally comes to a place of hope and confidence in God that allows him to praise God with rejoicing even as he anticipates the most difficult of circumstances. So you see, the book of Habakkuk traces this journey from doubt to faith, from despair to joy, from confusion to confidence.

Perhaps you struggle with some of the same questions as Habakkuk. Perhaps you sometimes feel that God does not care, that God is not fair, that God is not there. Perhaps you feel that way right now. Let me encourage you to do what Habakkuk did. Take your questions to God in prayer, be honest and respectful before him, and allow God to take you on the same journey as he did Habakkuk.

If you are struggling with doubt, despair or confusion today, I pray that through this study of Habakkuk, God will bring you also to a place of faith, confidence and joy. Because that’s what the book of Habakkuk is all about – the journey from doubt to faith.

(Looking ahead: Next time we will jump into the first chapter of Habakkuk beginning with verse one.)

Here are the links to the whole Blogging with Habakkuk series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Blogging with Habakkuk (1) at Ray Fowler .org

Leave a Reply