SERIES: A Conversation with God
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR WEEK OF JULY 1–7, 2020
AIM: When students finish studying this lesson, they should know that prayers of lament can lead us to praising The LORD!
- A lament prayer is a prayer of pain that leads to praise.
- Lament – a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.
- Over 1/3 of the Psalms are laments
- The book of Lamentations is filled with lament.
- Habakkuk is filled with lament.
- Chapters 1 and 2 contain prayers of pain
- Chapter 3 is filled with praise
- Again, prayers of lament can lead us to praise The LORD!
I. When Pain Keeps You From Praising. . .
Habakkuk 1:2-3 (NIV)
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.
- Declare your question
- When tragedy leaves you teetering, it is not unspiritual to declare your questions to God.
- He is big enough to hand your cries and your concerns.
- He is able to handle your fears and frustrations.
- The root word of question is the word “quest”. If you’re on a quest to understand, and serious about seeking answers, then don’t hesitate to declare your doubts
Mark 9:24 (NIV) – Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Habakkuk 1:13 (NIV) – Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
- Describe your complaints
- Be specific. . .
- God, why do you seem so far away?
- God, why did I lose my job?
- LORD, why did you take away my love one? Why did they have to die? Couldn’t you have done something about this?
- Why don’t you stop the covid-19 virus?
- Why do you allow the rich to keep getting and the poor keep getting poor?
- LORD, I have been witnessing to this person for a long time, why don’t you hear my prayer and give me the right words to prick their heart?
- LORD, why can’t I find a spouse?
Habakkuk 2:1, 4 (NIV)
1 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.
4 . . .but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness
- Deepen your commitment
Job 14:14 (KJV) – . . .all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Job 35:14 (GNT) – Job, you say you can’t see God; but wait patiently—your case is before him.
Psalm 27:13-14 (KJV) – 13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
II. Moving From Pain to Praise!
Habakkuk 3:2-4 (GNT)
2 O Lord, I have heard of what you have done, and I am filled with awe.
Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do. Be merciful, even when you are angry.
3 God is coming again from Edom; the holy God is coming from the hills of Paran. His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise.
4 He comes with the brightness of lightning; light flashes from his hand, there where his power is hidden.
When filled with grief. . .
- Gaze on the glory of God
- Learn He is majestic and merciful
- Learn He is powerful and personal
- He can chose to do something about our grief if it’s in accordance with His plan and purpose for our life.
Psalm 51:1-3 (KJV) – 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
Romans 8:28 (KJV) – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Habakkuk 3:5-15 (GNT)
5 He sends disease before him and commands death to follow him.
6 When he stops, the earth shakes; at his glance the nations tremble. The eternal mountains are shattered; the everlasting hills sink down, the hills where he walked in ancient times.
7 I saw the people of Cushan afraid and the people of Midian tremble.
8 Was it the rivers that made you angry, Lord? Was it the sea that made you furious? You rode upon the clouds; the storm cloud was your chariot, as you brought victory to your people.
9 You got ready to use your bow, ready to shoot your arrows. Your lightning split open the earth.
10 When the mountains saw you, they trembled; water poured down from the skies. The waters under the earth roared, and their waves rose high.
11 At the flash of your speeding arrows and the gleam of your shining spear, the sun and the moon stood still.
12 You marched across the earth in anger; in fury you trampled the nations.
13 You went out to save your people, to save your chosen king. You struck down the leader of the wicked and completely destroyed his followers.
14 Your arrows pierced the commander of his army when it came like a storm to scatter us, gloating like those who secretly oppress the poor.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
God is. . .
God is. . .
Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) – Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Habakkuk 3:16 (GNT)
I hear all this, and I tremble; my lips quiver with fear. My body goes limp, and my feet stumble beneath me. I will quietly wait for the time to come when God will punish those who attack us.
Psalm 130:5 (KJV) – I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Habakkuk 3:17 (GNT)
Even though the fig trees have no fruit and no grapes grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no grain, even though the sheep all die and the cattle stalls are empty,
- The Dark Period (v. 17)
- No fruit on the vines
- The field yield no food
- The flock be cut off from the fold
- No herd in the stall
- What God has done in the past, He will do in the present and He will be faithful in the future!
Psalm 103:2 (KJV) – Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (GNT) – 18 I will still be joyful and glad, because the Lord God is my savior. 19 The Sovereign Lord gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer and keeps me safe on the mountains.
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (ESV) – 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.
- The Christian has joy – I will still be joyful
- This joy is in the LORD
- This joy implies knowledge.
- You cannot rejoice in the LORD unless you know Him.
- If you knew Him you would love Him.
- If you love Him you will rejoice in Him.
- This joy is the joy of salvation – because the LORD God is my savior.
- This is the joy of anticipation – He will make my feet like hind’s feet
- This joy is independent of earthly possessions – although the fig tree shall not blossom. . .”
- The Discourse is Personal (v. 18-19)
- Verse 18 – (I will rejoice, I will joy, my salvation)
- Verse 19 – (my strength, my feet, make me to walk, mine high places)
- The Deliverance Predicted (v. 19)
- This is YET faith!
- YET faith is a declaration that we are willing to ride or die with God!
- It means that no matter what people think, say or do, we are sticking with God!
- It means that we may never be able to explain things but we will TRUST Him!
- It is saying I believe God is able!
- It us trusting God in spite of circumstances that suggest that He has abandoned us!
- YET – Yes Even Then!!
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Thank God for the things that He has done that help build our faith.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Encourage others that may be going through some difficulty that trusting in God should be their main existence.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Share with others what God will do and is able to do based on what he has done to save us all.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Our consistent and persistent giving allows others to experience the power of God to the fullest extent.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Despite your circumstances, trust God no matter what.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: This is the Pits
SERIES: PIT People
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: Jeremiah 38:6; Isaiah 42:22; Psalm 69:2; Ephesians 1:18; Genesis 37:22-24; Luke 15:14-16; Psalm 38:4-17; Psalm 94:18-19; 2 Samuel 15:1-6; 2 Samuel 18:9; Galatians 6:7; Psalm 19:13