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Habakkuk 3 – The psalm of Habakkuk

Habakkuk’s response to what the LORD taught him is praise and worship – he writes a psalm. He speaks of his awe in God’s works. He asks God to work his ways in the present and for that work that intermingles wrath and mercy (Is that not the kind of work that is the Cross!).

Habakkuk, like Micah and Nahum before him, describes the awesomeness of God’s coming. God’s coming causes the sun, moon, and stars to be covered. The light of his glory fills all things. Pestilence goes before him as a herald of his coming and plague follows behind as a servant ready to do his bidding. He measures the earth and shakes the nations – in other words he takes possession of the earth. Mountains are scattered before him and hills melt under him.

God comes as a mighty warrior with horses and chariots riding over the waters and commanding them to do his bidding. God shoots at the heavens with his bow and arrows. The land writhes, groans and raises hands to protect itself from the one who marches in fury.

All of this is to show the Habakkuk understands the majesty of the sovereign God who is righteous in all his ways as he judges the wicked – and this God is worthy of praising with a psalm.

So, what is the answer to Habakkuk’s original question: “how long?” Habakkuk is not given an answer as to how long, but he has been assured of God’s righteousness. His insides, lips and legs tremble before this God. He knows it will be some time but he has decided (3:16) that he will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us which will means the salvation of the righteous in Israel. He will live by faith in the faithfulness of the LORD.

What does that look like? The final three verses illustrate:

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Take a moment to reflect on that and then: GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.