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Waiting and the Faithfulness of God
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
1 The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.
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?
3 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.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
2 I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
The Lord’s Answer
2 Then the Lord replied:
“Write down the revelation
and make it plain on tablets
so that a herald may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.
4 “See, the enemy is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
The prophet’s place: “Why do you make me look at injustice?
…there is strife, and conflict abounds.”
The prophet’s lament: “How Long, O LORD?”
(Psalm 13:1-2, Psalm 35:17, Psalm 89:46, Job 7:18-19)
God’s response: “Though it linger, wait for it.”
Our response: “but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness”
Habakkuk 3: 17-19:
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
How are you listening for God’s call in the midst of the waiting?
How do you live by faith in the midst of the mess?
Small Group Questions
CONNECT WITH GOD (choose the practice of listening or the practice of justice below)
Rhythms of Justice and Mercy (5-7 minutes)
Read: “Perhaps the rhythm that I find most challenging and most important, however, is God’s heartbeat for justice and mercy. It doesn’t come naturally to me. God’s love for people who have been marginalized, discarded, and taken advantage of reverberates throughout the Bible…” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Psalm 146:7-8, Jeremiah 22:15-16, Matthew 25). https://www.crcna.org/FaithPracticesProject/justice-and-mercy/rhythms-justice-and-mercy
Reflect in writing or in prayerful contemplation: What does this quote stir in you? Has God’s priority for justice and mercy become a daily rhythm in your life? In what ways might you shift your mindset and rhythms to allow the practice of justice to become a priority in your life?
Listening to God (5-7 minutes)
Alone: In a posture of stillness and openness, come to God with the intention to listen. Pray: “Lord, I am here. Quiet the noises and voices around me. Teach me to listen for You.”
Journal: While you pray: listen and wait. Then, jot down any themes of images that come to your mind. Listening well also means listening with others and so you are encouraged to find a partner to share your experience.
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
Alone: For deeper context: read Habakkuk chapters 1 through 3.
As a group: Read Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4. After you read, reflect together on the passage, drawing connections to the whole book as well as Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4. You might consider the following questions as a jumping off point:
- Do you wrestle with God about why injustice or suffering happens in the world? In your own life?
- What words or phrases had the most impact on you?
CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Read the passages and review the sermon outline. Then select the best questions or customize the questions for your group.)
- If you haven’t already: Read Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
- Read the main points from the sermon outline.
- What do these verses tell us about the relationship between the prophet Habakkuk and God?
- How would you summarize the lament(s) and complaint(s) of Habakkuk?
- How do you connect to the lament of the prophet in these passages?
- What is God’s reply to Habakkuk?
- What does it look like for the righteous person to “live by his faithfulness” (2:4)?
- When expanding the reading to include all three chapters of Habakkuk, what changes or shifts happen in your understanding of the passage and the interaction between the prophet and God?
CONNECT WITH GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (select one prompt/question for discussion)
- Consider together the injustices in our local and global communities today. Name them. Leave room to wrestle together about the justice and mercy of God and the injustice of the world.
- As Christians, how might we more faithfully seek to live as people of hope in our communities when things seem so messy, unjust, divided, and hopeless?
In smaller groups (pairs or trios), spend time in lament and listening. Turn towards the injustices in the world and name them before God. Practice honesty in your prayers. Practice waiting in silence and stillness as you look to God for the reply.