The suffering of the righteous at the hand of the unrighteous may be used to indite God only if God promised that such things would never happen. However, not only does God never promise that unjust suffering would never happen: He prophecies its coming and He uses it for good. Habakkuk asks God a series of pointed questions; questions that are markedly similar to those on the hearts of many students today. Students may see suffering and injustice in the world and ask why our good God allows such unfairness. Show your students the same thing that Habakkuk learned. Show them that this question is based on the faulty presupposition that God works in pleasant ways only. Habakkuk, after asking difficult questions and receiving even more difficult answers, arrives by the Holy Spirit at a statement that resonates from this tiny Old Testament book all the way through the New Testament: the righteous will live by faith.
- In Romans 1:16-17, Paul sets the example for unashamed faith.
- In Galatians 3:11, he shows how it is faith that justifies us before God and not the law.
- Hebrews 10:38 throws down the gauntlet for those who would draw back rather than live by faith.
In 2007, Rick Ezell wrote an article for Lifeway that is helpful in developing a biblical approach to this classic question known as theodicy. We are praying for you and your students as you introduce them to this Scripture. We pray for those students who see their own reflections in Habakkuk himself as they cry out to God from the midst of pain; that they would better understand faith as a result of this session.