Sermon Summary: "A Prophet for a Prolonged Pandemic"
In the book of Habakkuk, the prophet cries out to God; lamenting the nation’s apostasy and that the wicked were afflicting the righteous. Far from sitting idly by, God informs Habakkuk that He is aware and is using the Babylonias to punish Israel. The Lord assures him that the righteous will continue to live by faith, and the Babylonians will surely be judged for their own wickedness. Habakkuk responds humbly by: 1) expressing trust in God’s justice and mercy, 2) patiently waiting for His timing, and 3) rejoicing in God rather than in the prosperity that the Babylonians would soon destroy. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, CJ encourages us to respond to future uncertainty and difficulty like Habakkuk. We should lift our eyes from our suffering to our salvation and take our joy from Jesus’ substitutionary work on the cross for our sins!
1. How has CJ’s sermon on Habakkuk 3 influenced how you think about God’s promises and activity in times of suffering?
2. Consider Ferguson’s summary of Flavel’s The Mystery of Providence:
- God is in control of the universe.
- God is working out his perfect purposes.
- God is not my servant.
- God’s ways are far more mysterious and wonderful than I can understand.
- God is good-all the time; I can trust him-all of the time.
- God’s timetable is not the same as mine.
Which of these truths challenges your current attitude toward the pandemic and encourages you to freshly rest in the character of our God? What scriptures can you take with you to strengthen you in this area of belief?
3. Habakkuk said “Though the fig tree should not blossom…yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” What is your list of “thoughs”?
4. CJ noted Habakkuk is not unaware of suffering, unaffected by suffering, indifferent to those who suffer but he has turned his attention most importantly to the God who saves him from judgment. In this peculiarly difficult time, what might you do to help your brothers and sisters maintain a greater awareness of God’s salvation than of their present or anticipated suffering?