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Habakkuk 1:12-2:1

Talks for Growing Christians

Habakkuk's Second Question About Evil

Habakkuk 1:21-2:1

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Lesson Number 2

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God’s purity is not affected by the evil He allows.
  2. God’s providence is not affected by the evil He uses.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s wait on our watchtower.

Questions

  1. What is the parallel between Habakkuk’s concern and Asaph’s concern in Psalm 73.
  2. What had happened to the nation of Judah during the reign of King Josiah?
  3. How soon after this revival did Habakkuk prophesy? What were the conditions then?
  4. The Lord was allowing the pagan nation of Babylon to rise up and conquer Judah. Give a brief history of the warfare of Babylon.
  5. What was Habakkuk’s second question to God?
  6. What did Habakkuk do after he asked this question?

Answers

  1. Both Habakkuk and Asaph looked around them and wondered why God allowed the wicked to prosper and evil to apparently to go unjudged.
  2. There was a great revival in the nation of Judah around 621 B.C. (See 2 Kings 23).
  3. About fifteen years later. The revival was short-lived and the people soon returned to their evil ways. Habakkuk looked around and saw violence and moral corruption. The wicked were prospering and the righteous were suffering.
  4. Babylon had overthrown Nineveh, the capitol of the Assyrian Empire in 612 B.C. It went on to defeat Egypt in 605 B.C. Next, Babylon would move toward Jerusalem.
  5. He asked God, who was righteous and holy, how He could let the evil nation of Babylon punish His own people, Judah.
  6. He waited patiently for God’s answer. See Habakkuk 2:1.

Discuss/Consider

  1. God allows evil or it wouldn’t exist, but it does not affect God’s purity and holiness. See 1 John 1:5. How can you explain this? Review God’s plan of free will for both angelic and human beings. Review the use of free will in your own life. Does your free will impinge on God’s moral perfection?
  2. God used the Babylonians as a tool to discipline and correct His own people. But Habakkuk knew on the basis of God’s promises that Judah would not be annihilated. God’s providence is not affected by the evil He uses. Consider the example of Joseph in Genesis 50:20. Consider another example that came out of the evil of the Nazi Holocaust – the nation of Israel was reborn after almost 2,000 years. God’s providence is not affected by the evil He uses. This is true in nations and in our lives today. Believe Romans 8:28. Believe that God’s providence is working in your life.

Challenge

  1. Standing on a watchtower gives the big picture, an overall view of the surroundings. Habakkuk stood on his watchtower to wait and see what God would do concerning the evil around him. Habakkuk was not bitter, skeptical or critical. Are you willing to wait on your watchtower for God’s answers?

Key Verses

  • “Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die.” Habakkuk 1:12
  • “I will stand my watch…and watch to see what He will say to me.” Habakkuk 2:1

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