828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Christian Formation for Nov. 3 - Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4; The Prophet's Complaint and God's Reply

Nov 3, 2013 – 24 Pentecost
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
The Prophet’s Complaint
God’s Reply to the Prophet’s Complaint

Background: The Book of Habakkuk is an account of one of the Lesser Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and occupies a place in the Scroll of the Twelve. This book provides little direct historical or personal information about the prophet making the setting difficult to place. Many believe Habakkuk was a contemporary of Jeremiah and addresses the theological issue of theodicy (the presence of evil in God’s creation).

Theme: Chapter 1 levies the first complaint to God stemming from Israel’s perception that God has forgotten them. Chapter 2 provides the beginning of God’s response to the complaint lodged in Chapter 1. In this selection, Habakkuk is both protesting the apparent breakdown of order in the world and receiving God’s response to the human complaint.

Questions to Ponder:
* Read Habakkuk 1:1-2:5.
* While difficult to place in time, briefly describe the situation in the nation of Israel: what was the religious, social, and political nature when Habakkuk was writing?
* What do you believe happened to supposedly cause Israel to question God’s providence and the continuation of God’s preordained order?
* How does this book resemble other books conveying Israel’s lament?
* In Chapter 2:1, what do you think Habakkuk is watching for?
* What do you think God’s response to Habakkuk is trying to provide for Israel in their plight?
* What do you find as odd in God’s command in 2:2, specifically, “…make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.”? How is this different than other prophets in Habakkuk’s era?
* Why do you think God almost condemns the proud because “there spirit is not right with them” yet praises the “righteous” (without identifying who they are) simply for their faith?
* How do you understand the question of theodicy (the presence of evil in the world)?
* Why might God allow evil to be present?
* What are your feelings about God’s response to Habakkuk? Do you think God could have done more to describe the plan and order God was maintaining?
* What do you perceive as Habakkuk’s message to the Israelites?
* How is this book a story of hope for God’s people?
* What applications can we draw from this passage (of note, this passage may not stand alone in leading to an application)?

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