Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trusting God’s Goodness (Habakkuk)

Read through Habakkuk together, stopping occasionally to discuss the following questions and other questions of your own.

Intercessory Prayer (Habakkuk 1:2)

How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?”

When you come to God in prayer on behalf of someone else (intercessory prayer) what types of requests do you bring?
Do you tend to pray for the same kinds of things each time or are there a variety of requests on your list?
What kinds of people tend to be the focus of your prayers?

Challenging God (Habakkuk 1:3,4)

Why do you make me look at injustice? 
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralysed, and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

When you pray, do you ever bring accusations to God about Him or challenge the nature of His character?
Why would someone pray like this?
What type of person is able or willing to confront God in this way?
What does challenging God accomplish?

God’s Answer (Habakkuk 1:5-11)

I am raising up the Babylonians,
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
Habakkuk 1:6

How would it make you feel to be told your enemies were succeeding because God was helping them thrive in their rebellious ways?
Why would God do this?
What positives could you take from this answer from God?
Are there ways that it is empowering to know that God is helping your enemies?

Clarifying things (Habakkuk 1:12-17)

You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net.
Habakkuk 1:14,15a

Have you ever reminded God of His glory? His nature? His Judgement? His purity? His Goodness?
What about explaining things to God, as if He is unaware of the current situation?
What does this type of prayer do for us? What does it do for God? Why is it important?
When things are happening which are directly in contradiction to the character of God, why is it important for us to pray boldly? What will it change?

God’s long-suffering plan (Habakkuk 2:2-20)

‘See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright –
    but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness. ...
The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.
Habakkuk 2:4,20

Is it easy to comprehend the long-range nature of God’s plan?
Why do we always seen an immediate change in the world around us?
Why is God willing to wait a generation or two for the change to come?
How does our character each day make a difference in the longterm?
What is God looking for in the character of His people?

A Song of Praise (Habakkuk 3)

Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2

How is this song about creation and re-creation?
What does it demonstrate about the nature of God?
What does this song teach about the nature and power of God?
What kind of tune do you think suits this song?

What does this song teach?
What would this song accomplish when sung by God’s people?
When would it be sung? When would it be most effective?
When do you most need a song like this?

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