Oct 30 – 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:
* Please read Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4. In addition, please read 1:5-17 and 2:5 for context.
* Describe the setting for this passage: when it was written, who was leading the country, what the social status is, what the religious culture of the nation is, etc.
* How does this text compare to other prophetic book that convey an oracle/vision text?
* When do you think this text was written? What indicators from the text support your belief?
* How would you classify the motif/nature of this text (e.g. dialogue, vision, diatribe, etc.)?
* In your own words, describe the story within the text. Try to identify who is speaking, what they are trying to convey to the others in the text, what the speaker is trying to relate to the readers etc.
* What is the general nature of Habakkuk’s complaint against God in the text?
* Do you think Habakkuk expects God to respond to him in his complaint? Why or why not?
* What response do you think would be appropriate for God to give to Habakkuk and the people of Israel?
* What does the description of the text in verse 2:2 elicit for you?
* What do you think God is offering as a vision for the future in verse 2:3?
* In verse 2:4, the speaker compares the proud and the righteous. What comparison does the speaker offer regarding these two types of people?
* Do you think Habakkuk is offering the vision that God has preordained the fate of Israel?
* What is the message for us as we reflect on the life that we live in 21st century Suffolk?
* What is the message of hope we can convey in this text?