SERIES: A Conversation with God
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JUNE 17 – 21, 2020
Aim: After studying the book of Habakkuk, students should know (1) they are watchmen on the wall; (2) they should respond in faith when they don’t understand what God is doing; (3) know how to wait for God’s answer and (4) know that there is a time for them to shut up and be still.
1 Samuel 3:10 (AMPC)
And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.
Habakkuk 2 provides practical help for times when our foundations are shaken. When we receive bad news that someone we love is dying, that peace and security are quickly moving toward war and destruction, or that our government is more intent on killing us instead of protecting us, our personal world can be shaken to the core!
Habakkuk 2:1-5 (MSG)
1 What’s God going to say to my questions? I’m braced for the worst. I’ll climb to the lookout tower and scan the horizon. I’ll wait to see what God says, how he’ll answer my complaint.
2 And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
3 This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.
4 “Look at that man, bloated by self-importance— full of himself but soul-empty. But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive.
5 “Note well: Money deceives. The arrogant rich don’t last. They are more hungry for wealth than the grave is for cadavers. Like death, they always want more, but the ‘more’ they get is dead bodies. They are cemeteries filled with dead nations, graveyards filled with corpses.
- responsible for warning the people of coming danger and judgment.
- responsible for announcing the morning, the dawn of a new day
- the watchman would be the first to see the danger coming and would be the first to be in danger’s path.
- He was well aware of what was on the horizon at the dawning of the new day, The Judgment Day of the Lord.
Isaiah 21:11-12 (MSG) – 11 A Message concerning Edom: A voice calls to me from the Seir mountains in Edom, “Night watchman! How long till daybreak? How long will this night last?” 12 The night watchman calls back, “Morning’s coming, But for now it’s still night. If you ask me again, I’ll give the same answer.”
Isaiah 21:11-12 (Gen-Nel-V) – 11 A Message concerning America: A voice calls to me from Capitol Hill in Washington, from all around America, “People of God/Church! How long till daybreak? How long will this night last?” 12 The People of God/Church calls back, “Morning’s coming, But for now it’s still night. If you ask me again, I’ll give the same answer.”
Ezekiel 3:17 (KJ21) – “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore hear the word out of My mouth, and give them warning from Me.
Ezekiel 33:6 (KJ21) – But if the watchman see the sword come and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, if the sword come and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.’
Ezekiel 33:2-3 (KJ21) – 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people and say unto them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man from their borders and set him as their watchman, and 3 if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet and warn the people
Principal Help 1:
1) The first practical help that the prophet models is to seek God (2:1) The lamenting prophet goes up onto the city wall ramparts to look for the coming of good news.
2) He intentionally seeks a word from The LORD that will sustain him and the people.
3) Scripture gives us the freedom to grieve when we experience severe loss. But it sends us up onto the heights to look for the word of victory from the LORD.
Matthew 4:4 (NIV) – Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (KJV) – But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
- Being readiness for service or for some future appointment or event.
- Wild animals and the wicked lie in wait to ambush the unsuspecting
- Servants wait on their masters
- Believers and the whole creation wait for their renewal by God.
- Waiting for God’s instructions – Numbers 9:8; Psalms 106:13
- Waiting for God’s promise – Heb. 6:15
- Waiting for God’s Kingdom – Luke 2:5; Mark 15:43
- Waiting for vindication for God – Hab. 3:16; Psalms 119:84
- For Jesus Christ’s return – James 5:7-8
- Believers and creation wait for renewal – Romans 8:19-21, 23
- Waiting for God to answer prayer is one of the most difficult tasks Christians face.
- The saints of the Bible often waited for God, agonizing over their circumstances in the meantime.
- We should wait for God with confidence, knowing He will answer in the end.
- Habakkuk wasn’t the only one waiting. God had been waiting, too, for His people’s repentance.
- When it looks to us like God fails to bring justice, He might instead be mercifully waiting for sinners to come to repentance.
Psalm 27:14 (KJV) – Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 130:5-6 (KJV) – 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. 6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
Principal Help 2:
1) The second practical help is to wait on God! Habakkuk waits for the revelation and the revelation he is told to wait on is Yahweh’s action (2:1, 3b).
2) Waiting on Yahweh is a necessary practice for those who want to hear and see His word of deliverance. . .
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NKJV) – 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
- Tell it
Principal Help 3:
1) The third practical help is to make the message plain so the people can understand it. God reveals Himself most clearly through the written Word.
2) GOD’s message through Habakkuk does not promise a quick and false solution to their suffering. He wants them to understand the reality of their future.
3) He does not lie about the pain that must be endured. The message of GOD’s deliverance is plain and truthful.
4) It does not promise a quick solution to personal or national loss, but it does not leave the people without hope.
5) The plain truth is that He is with them in their suffering and dying and will deliver them in time. The message can be trusted; the righteous will live by faith in it.
Habakkuk 2:20 (NCV) – The Lord is in his Holy Temple; all the earth should be silent in his presence.”
1 Kings 19:10-13 (HCSB) – 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of Hosts, but the Israelites have abandoned Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are looking for me to take my life.” 11 Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.” At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Shut Up and Be Still
How can we expect God to speak to us, when we can’t be quiet and list to Him? In order to hear from the Lord, we must. . .
- Realize what godly silence is – we must listen like God does, we must. . .
- Be respectful
- Be willing to listen without. . .
- But Learning
- Realize who God is. . .God is
- Realize where God is. . .He is in
- The Holy Temple –
- The Church
- The Believer
1 Corinthians 6:19 (GNT) – Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God;
Psalm 11:4 (GNT) – The Lord is in his holy temple; he has his throne in heaven. He watches people everywhere and knows what they are doing.
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Thank God for the ability to discuss things with our Guide and praise Him for the answers we may get along the way.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Encourage faithfulness at all times.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Show humble respect for the price paid by Christ’s death on the cross.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Giving allows the message of the Gospel to be spread to those in need of hearing it.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: While waiting on God to move, please make yourself available to be used by Him.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Mr. Big Stuff, Who Do You Think You Are?
SERIES: A Conversation with God
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: Habakkuk 2:1-18; John 16:33; Isaiah 48:11; Isaiah 43:1-3; Romans 1:18; Romans 8:19-22; Exodus 20:1-14; Isaiah 6:1-3; Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 4:1-3