Study The Book of Habakkuk
“Why does God seem to allow people to get away with wrongdoing?” “How long will the cries of the oppressed go unanswered?” “How can God be just and in control of the world and yet allow evil rulers to rise to power?”
Questions like these can sometimes feel off-limits for Christians. By asking them, we may feel as if we’re accusing God or not trusting him. But questions like “Why?” and “How long?” are part of the Bible’s vocabulary. These complaints (or “laments”) are found throughout the Bible and reflect the attempts of God’s people to process their pain with God.
The questions above come from the prophet Habakkuk. Living in the corrupt final days of the southern kingdom of Judah, Habakkuk asked why God allowed social injustices to go unpunished. And God’s answer – that Judah would be punished by Babylon – raised more questions than answers! Nevertheless, the book ends with Habakkuk’s commitment to trust God. His journey, told in three chapters, gives us a beautiful picture of what it looks like for our faith to flourish even as our surrounding circumstances deteriorate.
HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR STUDYING HABAKKUK
The Bible Project: Habakkuk - This brief video is an excellent introduction to the book of Habakkuk.
Habakkuk's Place in the Grand Story - "This man named Habakkuk held the extraordinary role of prophet of God, but he was ordinary in the way he, like many of the rest of us, look out at the injustice in the world and wonder when God will set things right."
Responding with Lament - This brief exercise introduces readers to the biblical concept of lament, its place in the Christian life, and how we can personally incorporate it into our own lives.