A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed— but he marches on forever.
I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish. Were you angry with the rivers, Lord? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode your horses and your chariots to victory? You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers; the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high.
Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations.
You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding. You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
We’re now in the last chapter of this short little book, and as I read it, it made me think just now that it’s almost like a very short version of the book of Job. The book of Habakkuk started with Habakkuk’s lament and questions, the 2nd chapter we have God’s response, and in this, we have the prophet’s observation of God’s mightiness, and accepting things as they will be- because he knows the Lord is good. I can see Job’s declaration, “I know my redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand on the earth” and compare it to Habakkuk’s saying Though…this and this and this are going to happen, the Sovereign Lord is my strength…
Both statements show strong faith and trust that no matter what, God is in control, is sovereign over all things, and He is Who strengthens us through. And He will deliver His own in the end.
Habakkuk admittedly had to have been shaken at the Lord’s answer and revelation of what was to come, “I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.” And yet the prophet still finds a way to rejoice at the majesty and awesomeness of God.
We can actually find this attitude in many people in different places in Scripture, from David and the Psalms to Paul writing his last letters of encouragement before he is put to death. Those who fear the Lord, that is, are in awe of and reverent of His complete perfect Holiness, can trust in Him through all things, even knowing calamities and judgments are coming. That takes a lot of faith and trust, and while I have faith and have learned to trust Him more and more every day, it’s still frightening to know things are getting to the point of no return and will be getting harder and harder for believers. I know many true believers are feeling uncomfortable at least in this brave new world we’re being brought into by the elites of this world- but we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet as the saying goes. Persecution has been ratcheted up all over the world in the past couple of decades, and it’s not going to stop. At least once upon a time ago, people were aware and had some compassion for the persecuted. But what about the past decade or so. One has to wonder at the silence of the humanitarian types and media.
And yet, as scary as things are going to be, though there will be no… life as we knew it, no return to the glory days of our parent’s or grandparent’s generations, we still have hope. But we also have something so much bigger. We have the Holy Spirit, who worked in the lives of those like David, Paul, Habakkuk, and are comforted, and given the words to speak. I’m convinced as I have read of some of the martyrs, and seen photos of some in recent times, that the Holy Spirit gives them peace through every horrible thing done, and will do the same for us should we have to walk through those things.
Habakkuk is such a short little book, but it’s an amazing one when we meditate on the conversation between man and our God. What is man that God is mindful of him?
The same God described here, and in Job, Glory, splendor and power, creator who put the stars in their places, who shook the earth, covered it, formed it and moves mountains is the same God who took the time to visit with Job to remind him, yet blessed him. Who took the time to answer Habakkuk’s questions and tell him of things to come. Is the same God who says, be still and know. He is God with Us, Emmanuel who bore the sins of us all so we could be reconciled to Him and spend eternity with Him.
The same God we question “Why?!” when we experience hardship, suffering, persecution and death is the same God who says, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The same God who allowed the Israelites to be taken captive by a barbaric and brutal regime, to be ruled under tyrants, persecuted and sent to concentration camps is the same One who promises “I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 39:25-29
And He is the same God who promises, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” Revelation 21:6,7
Even with the uncertainties of the time we live in, we can still shout, Amen on all that!! Our God is an awesome God!
Have a blessed day all.