The Proper Approach
Recently, I have been spending a fair amount of time critiquing the deconstruction movement (see here, here, and here). While I firmly believe that deconstruction promotes far more than merely asking questions, I do also see that one thought many will probably have is to comprehend how we as believers seek to understand truth coming to God with sincere questions? How do we accurately obtain more knowledge around deep worldview questions? What is the right way for us to come to God with questions surrounding the evil and wickedness of the world we see in our midst?
While I stand against the movement known as “deconstruction” I am very much in favor of having a robustly biblical worldview as our foundation. I would firmly assert that since “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3)” are hidden in Christ, we should explore the richness of His wisdom in every area. Therefore, we should think deeply about basic worldview questions like the existence of evil, the telos or purpose of humanity, the way we should steward creation, and countless other pivotal concepts. As Christians, it is right for us to think deeply, to ask good questions, and to know that we can run to God in whom true wisdom is found. The book of Habakkuk provides a valuable lesson for believers when it comes to correctly asking deep questions of God.
Habakkuk’s Willingness To See The Truth of His Situation
Habakkuk is one of the minor prophets in the Old Testament, which is scarcely discussed today, but obviously profoundly beneficial as a part of inspired Scripture. The prophet opens by discussing the wickedness of the people of God who have rebelled and are living in sin. He sees iniquity and the reality that justice is not going forth, in Habakkuk 1:4, the prophet says:
“So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.” -Habakkuk 1:4
Habakkuk comprehends that the people are rebelling against God’s law, and justice is not going out, for the wicked are merely doing what is right in their own eyes. Fundamentally, we can see that truth in many ways in our own society. You can see the rejection of justice in that unborn children are brutally murdered. It is evident in Puttin invading the Ukraine like a tyrannical madman. We see these situations where justice is not being executed, and like Habakkuk, we have questions.
The prophet listed some of his initial questions in chapter 1 verses 2-3, which state:
“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.” -Habakkuk 1:2-3
What we see in Habakkuk is a willingness to see evil around him, be appalled by it, and come to God for answers. This foundation leads us to a pivotal point which is that we as Christians should not be afraid to take the toughest questions to God. Whenever we look through the lens of Scripture into the world, we see many evil atrocities being performed. It is right for us to think deeply about those issues, seeing the reality of evil, while looking to the perfect God for answers. However, what is the attitude and demeanor our hearts should exhibit while we are asking?
Habakkuk’s Trusting Confidence
The Lord responded to Habakkuk, asserting He would bring judgment upon the people by raising up the Chaldeans (Habakkuk 1:6-11). Habakkuk understood the Chaldeans were even more wicked than God’s own people, prompting further questions, to which God would eventually respond that He would also judge the Chaldeans for their evil and wickedness (Habakkuk 2:6-20). When asking God questions about using the Chaldeans, Habakkuk comes to Him with an attitude of absolute trust in His character and recognition of His sovereignty. We read about this reality in Habakkuk 2:12, which says:
“Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.”
This attitude is the one we should seek to pattern ourselves after as believers when seeking answers to incredibly deep and profound questions. Habakkuk even demonstrated patience waiting upon God to reveal the answers at His appointed time (Habakkuk 2:1). Ultimately, he understood it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10). Therefore, a Christian should seek to bring their questions to God in a way which honors Him, knowing He is the source of truth, in fact Christ is the truth (John 14:6). Our heart should be one of humble recognition knowing that He is sovereign and will reveal Himself to us in the Scripture by the power of His Spirit. We do not seek answers to our questions with a heart full of pride, attempting to see if God somehow meets our standards. Rather, we submit ourselves to God, bowing before Him as the Sovereign King.
From the book of Habakkuk, we see the heart of a humble believer coming to God for wisdom, knowledge, and truth. It is good for us to ask questions, Habakkuk is certainly never rebuked for doing so. Yet, we do not seek to raise ourselves up as the ultimate standard and sufficient source of wisdom, instead, we depend upon God from whom truth flows like a mighty river. We seek to reform our thinking by the truth of His Word. Every question has its answer at the throne of God. Even while we will not have the depths of knowledge in this life as we will in the next, we trust in the One who sovereignly governs all things by the counsel of His will. It is not in the flesh of sinful humanity that the depths of wisdom are found, but in God Himself. Therefore, a robustly deep worldview is founded in His Word.
For those seeking answers to tough questions, my counsel is to learn from the example of Habakkuk. Run to God, who is the source of sufficient wisdom revealing Himself to us through His Word. Seek to study the Scripture diligently that you might know the truth. Know that God is sovereign, trust in that fact relying not on mere cultural opinions, but in the depths of knowledge found in the sovereign God. In Habakkuk, we find the truth that the deep answers to pivotal questions are found in God, may we pursue Him to know Him that we might live for the glory of His name!