Happy Friday! Reflect on the book of Habakkuk. Invite the Spirit to speak to you through the Word of God.
We began the week with an outline of Habakkuk:
- Habakkuk 1:1–11 God says, “Watch”
- Habakkuk 1:12–2:5. God says, “Wait”
- Habakkuk 2:6–20 God warns
- Habakkuk 3:1–19 Our response is worship
After studying Habakkuk, how would you explain the need for us to watch, wait, be warned, and worship?
In light of what is going on in your life and in our world, what is your biggest takeaway from Habakkuk? How has this book given you hope and perspective in your current circumstances?
The following comes from Chapter 4 of Bruce’s book, When God Makes No Sense.
When the fig tree does not bud,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
when the olive trees do not produce,
and the fields yield no crops;
when the sheep disappear from the pen,
and there are no cattle in the stalls,
I will rejoice because of the Lord;
I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!
The sovereign Lord is my source of strength.
He gives me the agility of a deer;
he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.
The poetic imagery of a deer pictures strength, surefootedness, beauty and speed, bounding over rugged terrain with joy. The Lord gives us strength to bound over rugged terrain like a deer. The person of faith in God’s strength can rejoice in the Lord who delivers us and enables us to negotiate the rugged terrain of life. The apostle Paul and his co-worker, Silas, sitting in a dark, stinking, nasty Roman prison cell, sang joyful praises to God (Acts 16:25).
This is a supernatural reality available to God’s children by the power of his Spirit. Remember your questions and frustrations, your issues with God. Even though your circumstances do not change, when the Almighty, warrior-Savior God is your strength, you can joyfully handle life’s worst trials and tragedies. Habakkuk started in the pits but he ended on the mountaintops, even though his circumstances had not changed at all.
While God does not usually answer our questions because we would not understand the answers, he does satisfy our souls. He is with us and gives us all we need for today while assuring us that he is coming to judge the world and rescue his people. While our circumstances often do not change, chapter 3 teaches us that we can rejoice in the All-Powerful Lord God who will judge the ungodly and deliver his people, and who gives strength today no matter how difficult life becomes.
A book beginning with complaint and distress ends in joy. Habakkuk laid down his own preferences and perspectives for God himself. The anxious prophet became the adoring prophet. Habakkuk turned from grumbling to glorifying. He stopped moaning over his problems and began singing God’s praise. His confusion melted into confidence. How has God changed you in the course of studying Habakkuk?
In this confusing time between the resurrection and the return, where evil still runs rampant and terrible suffering happens, we rejoice in the Lord who delivers us, who is our strength and enables us to negotiate the rugged terrain. God tells us that the righteous will live by faith and faithfulness while the ungodly will reap what they sow. God will make all things right.
Until that time, we faithfully wait for the Lord to come. We rejoice in the Lord. It is the Lord Almighty, not Babylon, who rules the earth. God will flood the earth with his brilliant glory. God is not primarily committed to our prosperity on this earth. He is interested in our faithfulness to him.
Habakkuk shows us that we can run to God with our most difficult questions. In a shaking world, we can rely on God’s unshakeable character. The ultimate answer to our cry of “Why?!” is the everlasting “Who?!” When our lives are shaking like a leaf in the storm, we trust in the One who is unshakeable.
How have you identified with Habakkuk over the course of our study of this book?
What could be “rugged terrain” for you today, perhaps something analogous to what Habakkuk describes in verse 17? In the face of your difficult circumstances, how could you rejoice in the Lord and bound like a deer?
In reflecting on your study of Habakkuk, how will you move to action? How do you believe God wants to transform you through this text?
The complete text of When God Makes No Sense: A Fresh Look at Habakkuk is available on Amazon. Bruce will donate all profits from the sale of his book this month to Christ Fellowship’s Love Fund to help those in need.