Habakkuk Chapter 1

Wrestling With God


Intro: Tonight starting a 6 wk series in the book of Habakkuk – Name means Wrestler – Hab. – was a man who WRESTLED W/ GOD !!!


When I was in High school I played sports – but one sport I wasn’t real interested in doing was wrestling

A) Just didn’t like the little suits they wore -


B) But there was one Wrestler – I really admired – Daniel Thomas – He wanted to be an Olympian

1)    Boy did he train hard – This guy had – Rock Solid Body – 0 % body fat –


C) He was always running –doing sit ups / lifting and training – worked harder than any one I know

1)    Yes there were many times I thought – I wish I had his body –


D) But I didn’t want to do the work


Since then  there have been times when I have looked at another believer – thought –

A)I wish that I had their walk – I wish I had their depth I wish that I knew the Lord – like them


B) But at the same time – I have wondered would I really have wanted to go thru what they have gone thru

1)    See – Most great men & women of God have had their Period of Wrestling w/ God

Jacob was a Wrestler – Hip – Jacob becomes Israel

A)Moses Wrestled w/ God’s will in the desert


B) David wrestled w/ God’s timing as a fugitive –

1) We go could on & on. – Men who wrestled w/ what God was doing in their lives – but came out the better for it


C) I think God likes the heart of the wrestler – the person who is willing to be real –

1)    The person who isn’t going to get comfortable – who isn’t going to settle for the Status quo


D) The Person who hungers for – God’s heart / God’s will / Who wants to Know – God what are you doing !!


E) Habakkuk was such an individual – This book gives us a Unique Dialogue between this man & God

1)    Not so much a Message to the People – but an interaction between a man & His God  


Hab 1:1-2

The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.

O LORD, how long shall I cry,

And You will not hear?

Even cry out to You,"Violence!"

And You will not save.





Habakkuk was writing during a time after the nation of Israel had experienced a Revival under the reign of KING JOSIAH

A) But the Revival is now only a distant memory – Immorality was rampant – current king was wicked


B) And Hab. Is Crying out to God – But he feels like his cries are falling on deaf ears

1)    In fact the 2nd time that he uses the word – cry in v.2 it is really the word Scream-


C) Lord how long will I cry & you don’t hear – How long will I scream you will not save


Have you ever felt that way – Prayers were not penetrating the ceiling –

A)Lord why aren’t you listening ? Yes we can feel that way – but the truth is He is the God who Hears


B) In fact – He hears everything – More than we want – Harsh words / Crabby attitude

1)    He hears it all !!!!!  / Most of all God hears when His People PRAY


C) Our Problem too often is we pray – but we don’t wait for the result – God you have 10 minutes / 2hrs

1)    God you have 3 days - …… I will do it myself


D) We don’t wait for God we get out ahead of God & fall right on our faces – Distraught


Perhaps Hab. had spent days or months preaching & calling the people to repentance / to no Avail

A)You who are parents have gone thru this – you talk to your kids – In one ear out the other


B) You find yourself exasperated – what am I going to do w/ this Child – I don’t know what to do!!!

1)    I am at the end of my Rope God says It is about time


C) First Youth Pastor –rough group – Peter – Holiness – Little impact

1)    I was wrestling w/ the Lord – I was wrestling w/ my Calling - Lord I can’t reach them – I CAN


D) See wrestling w/ the Lord can be a good thing – if it brings us to the end of ourselves

1)    Jacobs – need to become an Israel tonight


E) So Hab. Is here crying out to God

Hab 1:3-4

3 Why do You show me iniquity,

And cause me to see trouble?

For plundering and violence are before me;

There is strife, and contention arises.

4 Therefore the law is powerless,

And justice never goes forth.

For the wicked surround the righteous;

Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.


We could say the same thing – Our Justice system is in Shambles – Criminals have more rights than the people they have hurt

 19-year-old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and
medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a
Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was
someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal
his neighbor's hub caps.


Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a
house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He
was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter
the house because the door connecting the house and garage
locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation,
and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight
days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large
bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed  to the tune of $500,000.


Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the R.V. left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit, just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreation vehicles.



Or consider the fact that the average convicted killer in the US justice system will spend 22 yrs in the legal procedures costing tax payers 1.8 million dollars – before they are ever executed


A)Our justice system isn’t working – There aren’t enough jails for all the criminals

1)    Back out on the streets – which is one reason why the suicide rate for Police officers is 4 times that of the General public


B) The police are out manned / Out gunned / & trying to function in a system that doesn’t work – Frustrated


C) That is how Habakkuk felt – How long Lord – How Long ? Wait

1)    We could say the same thing – How Long Lord


D) Why does He wait ? 2 Peter 3 – Not willing that any should perish – but all come to repentance 

1) That is why He waits – that is why He allows things to get worse – He is waiting for more to repent


Well in v. 5 God answers Hab

"Look among the nations and watch --

Be utterly astounded!

For I will work a work in your days

Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 




God says to Hab . Don’t accuse me of not working – I am working behind the scenes – if you could see it it would blow your mind

A)That is God’s word to some of you tonight – You feel like He isn’t doing anything –


B) But if you could only see – what He is doing – How He is orchestrating things on your behalf

1)    You wouldn’t be able to contain yourself


C) What He is doing is different than you thought – but way better than you could ever imagine

1)    Sue vs. Denise


Jer 29:11- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.


Isa 55: 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD.

9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.


D) God would seek to remind us tonight – I am always working – never sleep – never rest –

1)    You may not understand what I am doing right now – but just watch & see


E) Well now the Lord is going to Let Hab. In on what He is doing a bit here   RD V.6-11

God says I am going to bring the Babylonians down to judge Israel – Now Hab is really Perplexed 

Now at this point Habakkuk is going to question the Lord’s decision based upon 3 arguments

A)1st v.12 & V. 13 – The Holiness of God { Read


 B)What Hab is saying here is Lord we might be bad – but they are worse – How can you use them to Judge us?


C) It doesn’t seem right in Character w/ your Holiness that you would use the Wicked to judge us


Habakkuk’s 2nd Argument is based upon the Helplessness of the People Rd v.14-15 

A)Hab’s pt. Judah could never survive an attack from the savage Babylonians.


B)To the Babylonians, life was cheap, and prisoners of war were expendable.

1) People were like fish to be hooked or sea creatures to be trapped.


C)How could God allow His weak people to be invaded by such a heartless and ruthless nation?


3RD Argument was based on the Haughtiness of the Babylonians   v.16-17

A)The prophet’s third approach was to point out the way the Babylonians lived and worshiped.

B) Their god was power  and they trusted in their mighty military machine (“their net,” )

1)    They were arrogant,  self Confident & Merciless


C)  so How could God honor them by giving them a victory over Judah?


What Hab. needed to remember – is that for 40 yrs the Prophet Jeremiah warned the people of Judah

A)And begged them to turn back to God, but they refused to listen. { THIS WOULD  GET  THEIR ATTENTION


Now Hab. doesn’t get an answer to those arguments here in Ch. 1 – He is just wrestling

A)So first Hab. is wrestling because He feels like God isn’t doing anything –


B) Then he is wrestling because of what God is going to do


D) I think the biggest challenge to our faith is in those times when – we don’t understand what God is doing

1) Early in the Ministry: Beach – Airplane / waves

    Trust me – Wait on me


Ch. 2 That is what Habakkuk does – he goes from wondering & wrestling to waiting & watching

A)Results in Vision & Direction – Look at next week


B) Tonight that is where we want to be – Lord Wait & watch – Cling to you – Hold fast to you – wait on you

1) realign my heart tonight w/ Yours – trusting you love me – Know what is best / Have the best