In Wrath Remember Mercy: The Faithful Prayer of a Righteous Sufferer

Brian Mahon - 4/21/2024


Call to worship: Psalm 77:1-13

Text: Habakkuk 3:1-16


Living by faith, the righteous prophet responds to God's Word with humble and hopeful prayer. God's purposes cannot be thwarted and though it includes the suffering of His own, His own will take heart and grant God to do whatever is most fitting to His glory. Though it involve a cross, faith pleads for a revival of God's work, 'in wrath remember mercy.' God shows up responsively. By faith, Habakkuk sees the Lord. He's granted to see the promise of Genesis 3:15 upheld and reaffirmed in his own day and situation. As promised, as in the Exodus, God will save His people through the judgment of His enemies. What they devised for their victory, God's designed for their downfall and the deliverance of all who believe. Seeing this, the prophet finds himself in a personal Gethsemane. He quakes, but doesn't falter. Living by faith, he resolves to wait patiently for the promised mercy of God. Like another, Habakkuk will bear his cross for the joy set before him.

Sermon Outline:

  1. The prayer of faith under trial. (3:1-2)
  2. The promise(s) for faith under trial. (3:3-15)
  3. The perseverance of faith under trial. (3:16)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Habakkuk 3:1-16.
  2. According to 3:1, with what does Habakkuk respond to God's Word in 2:2-20? What has the Lord revealed to Habakkuk? What are we taught by the fact that the prophet's response to God's wisdom is a prayer?
  3. In sum, what has Habakkuk 'heard'? What does the sufficiency of hearing about God teach us about the practicality of theology for seasons of suffering? What's unavoidably attached to the Person of the triune God (3:2b)? What's Habakkuk's prayer request? In view of what the Lord has revealed, what will 'revival' include for the righteous? So long as God remembers mercy, are we willing to suffer for righteousness so long as God's plan of salvation goes forward?
  4. In 3:3-15, Habakkuk reveals the vision surrounding God's presence and revelation. Who came to Habakkuk? Consider how Habakkuk describes Him. A scene of global judgment follows. What's revealed in judgment (3:6e)? Do you discern any other biblical accounts of redemption in 3:7-15? If so, which ones? (Hint: I see at least three direct allusions to prior OT events.) How does salvation past give confidence for salvation present and future (Phil 1:6)?
  5. Upon salvation promised, how does Habakkuk close (for now)? What will a righteous person do with 'the Gethsemanes' they're given to bear? What does it look like to live by faith knowing crosses are coming? What role does 'the joy set before us' play in our endurance of the trials attending faithfulness? Or what's the relationship between prayer, promise, and perseverance?
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