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Family Group Night | March 3, 2024

WHEN AVENGING ARMIES LAUGH

 

Read it


Habakkuk 1:9-11


“They all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand. They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them. Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—guilty people, whose own strength is their god.” (Habakkuk 1:9-11)

 

Discover It


Researchers have found that a majority of laughter is not because of humor. Some laughter is “social laughter” to signal agreement in a group of people. There is ironic laughter when something unexpected happens (like when the boy David turned the tables on the giant Goliath). There is also a scornful laughter like in a western movie where a criminal in a small town is arrested and townspeople laugh as he is arrested. But in Habakkuk 1 we are reminded that there is a laughter that strikes fear down to the very core of our being. The laughter of horror. Laughter is a common sound in horror movies. It signifies someone who is so familiar with murder and mayhem that they can laugh with pleasure while hurting someone. And in our scripture for today the Babylonians, cruel, heartless, and sadistic, are now seen as laughing as they take over the nation of Judah. And this is the fate of our nation unless we repent.

 


Ask It


1. Why did God allow the Babylonians to invade and oppress the nation of Judah? (Hint: Earlier in this chapter, read Habakkuk’s prayer of lament in verse 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.)

 

2. In verse 9-11, how is Habakkuk’s description of the invading Babylonians designed to strike fear into the hearts of citizens of Judah? List some of the words he uses to describe the advancing army.

 

3. What can we in our nation do to avoid being defeated and oppressed by our violence, injustice, and depravity? (Hint: Read 2 Chronicles 7:14 where God says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”)

 

Live It


1. Humble Yourself! “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” (James 4:10)

 

2. Pray! “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

 

3. Seek God’s Face! “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

 

4. Turn from Sin! “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”

 

Pray It


God our Father, we are at our wits end. Our nation has largely turned from you. Please help us to repent and turn to you before it is everlasting too late. Revive our land we pray, and let that revival begin in my heart as I return to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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