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Habakkuk’s Song

Key References: Habakkuk 3; Prophets and Kings, chap. 32, pp. 381-391; Our Beliefs, nos. 18, 10, 22

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“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” (Habakkuk 3:17, 18).

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God is our friend and companion in all circumstances.

You have always had questions. Why? Why? Why? Your parents may even have told you they didn’t want to hear the word “why” again. Habakkuk had questions too. When He asked God his questions, he found good reasons to trust Him.

Habakkuk the prophet was troubled. It seemed as if God was allowing the Babylonian enemies to conquer Judah. And they were more wicked than Judah was. Habakkuk couldn’t understand, so he asked God to explain what was happening.

God let Habakkuk know that things were going to get worse.

He was allowing the wicked nation of Babylon to rise in power and capture not only Judah, but Egypt and Assyria as well. But God would make sure that justice was done in the end.

Then God gave Habakkuk a glorious picture in a vision. And Habakkuk discovered a new picture of God—a God patient with his questions, a God who was his friend and companion in all circumstances. Moved by his new image of God, Habakkuk wrote:

“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” (Habakkuk 3:3, 4).

Habakkuk remembered the writings of Moses about the power and glory of God displayed on Mount Sinai, when the newly formed nation of Israel was beginning its journeys to the Promised Land. But he had also been shown Christ returning at the end of time for His people to take them out of all the pain, sorrow, and sin of this life on earth.

In the beautiful vision Habakkuk had seen a glorious sky. The most magnificent music of praise had filled his heart, as if it were coming from every direction at once. Christ appeared in the glory of the sunrise. Rays of light flashed from His hands, right from the places where the nails would hold Him to the cross one day.

Habakkuk continued to write:

“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” (verse 6).

Habakkuk understood now that when God was ready, no mighty nation would stand in His way as He delivered His people—the people who trusted Him and waited for Him to act for them. Habakkuk wrote again:

“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.” “You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.” “You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters” (verses 9-11, 13, 15).

Habakkuk now knew that troubled times were not over, but God was in control. He would take care of Babylon at the right time, and He would take care of the world’s sin problem at the right time. Habakkuk finished his song with words of trust for a God he now knew was worthy of that trust.

“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” (verses 18, 19).