Lament and Wonder (Habakkuk 1:1-11)
Habakkuk asks God “How Long?” and “Why?” What is going on in Habakkuk’s world? What does he see in his society that troubles him?
From Habakkuk’s perspective, what does it seem like God’s reaction is to all this? (See also Psalms 10:1; 22:1-2; 44:23-24; 74:1; 88:14)
When in your own life has God felt distant and disinterested? How do you respond in those times? Do you feel the freedom to talk to God the way Habakkuk does here?
Why is lament important to the Christian life? How does lamenting strengthen our faith?
How does God answer Habakkuk’s initial complaint (1:5-11)? How do you think Habakkuk will respond to God’s answer?
Questions for Preschool
Q: Who is in control of everything?
A: God is in control of everything. Nothing happens that God does not know about.
Q: Why does God allow bad things to happen?
A: When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden, sin entered the world. The sin in the hearts of people makes them do bad things. God allows this for a time, but one day He will make all things right again and His children will not have to worry about bad things happening because they will all be a part of His perfect kingdom that is without sin.
Q: What is hope? What hope do followers of Jesus have?
A: Hope is trusting in God’s promises, and waiting for Him to do what He says He will do. Those who believe in and follow Jesus have hope for eternal life - that we will be forever in heaven with God where there will be no more death, sad things, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).
Questions for Elementary
Q: Can we share our true thoughts and feelings with God? Why or why not?
A: God wants us to be honest with him about how we are feeling (1 Peter 5:7). He wants us to bring our burdens to Him, and guess what….whether we admit what we are thinking to Him or not, He already knows! So share with God how you are truly feeling, even if you are angry or upset, and let Him comfort you with the peace that He gives to those who believe and trust in Him.
Q: Does God always hear our prayers? How do you know?
A: The first few verses in Habakkuk accuse God of not listening, but we know that God always hears the prayers of His children. It may seem like He is not listening or has abandoned us, but the reality is we can’t always understand what God is doing. He is always working, even if it seems like He is not. If you have put your faith in Christ for your salvation, you can trust that He always hears you when you cry out to Him (1 Peter 3:12).
Q: Many things about our world seem unfair, cruel, frightening, and uncertain. Why does God allow bad things to happen? Will it always be this way?
A: Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the garden and sin entered the world, we have lived in a fallen world. As long as sin is a part of this world, bad things will happen. But the good news is that God sent a redeemer, Jesus Christ, to save us from the sin of this world. One day, there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4) for those who believe and trust in Jesus.
Questions for Teens
Think of a time in your life where you longed for God to intervene in some way, yet it felt as if God was far off and distant. How did you handle God’s seeming silence?
In Habakkuk 1, God seems distant from Israel’s struggles. What did you learn from the way Habakkuk cried out to God during this time?
What is true about God that makes him trustworthy during uncertain times and circumstances?