Updated: Aug 11, 2020
August 9, 2020
Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Little information is known about Habakkuk in the Bible. It is a book of just three chapters. Verse one of chapter one provides the only personal identifying information about Habakkuk- It is known that he was a prophet- Habakkuk 1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. It is known that Habakkuk had a burden for all of the evil and perceived injustices that he actually witnessed going on around him, as well as for what he envisioned. Habakkuk was passionate about seeing justice for the righteous as the wicked oppressed them and appeared to get away with it. It is known that this wickedness and perceived injustice caused Habakkuk much distress.
It is surmised that Habakkuk felt he had been praying for quite some time without being heard and without action from God. In fact, chapter one is about Habakkuk questioning God about the injustices of the wicked upon the righteous- Habakkuk 1:2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear! Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save! How long Lord…? Habakkuk 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest Thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest Thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
Chapter two reveals God’s answer and rebuke to Habakkuk. God begins by speaking about the contrast between the proud and the just. Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul, which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
God made it clear to Habakkuk that He has not been sitting idle, nor is He blind or deaf to the plight of the righteous by the wicked. God mentions five woes/afflictions upon the unrighteous:
1. Woe unto the greedy.
2. Woe unto the covetousness and him that brings shame to his house.
3. Woe unto those who build success by bloodshed and wickedness, to those who sinfully gain by destroying others
4. Woe unto the deceitful who deceives others so that they can advantage of the vulnerable.
5. Woe unto the one who worships graven images, idols made by man’s hands. In fact, God refers to the idols as dumb idols and dumb stones because they have no life. They can't hear, speak, or feel.
God makes it clear to Habakkuk that He, GOD is REAL and in His holy temple. God hears every word; He sees every action. He feels every pain. Let all the earth reverence Him because He is God.
Chapter three is Habakkuk’s prayer to God from the vision that God has given to him. Habakkuk starts off chapter three with making known His reverence for God- He heard God’s speech and was afraid. He understood the powerful wrath of the Lord and asked God to remember His mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 O Lord, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk speaks of God’s glory that covers the heavens and the divine majesty of GOD. Habakkuk 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: Who can do that but God! Habakkuk 3:10 The mountains saw Thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and the moon stood still in reverence to God.
Habakkuk also speaks of God’s devastation upon the wicked. God trampled the wicked. God avenged His anointed. God struck the wicked down.
Having received the vision from the Lord of God’s majestic power and justice upon the wicked, Habakkuk reveals his complete trust in God regardless of the situation. Habakkuk 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Not only will Habakkuk completely trust God, but he will rejoice in the Lord and have joy despite his circumstances.
I sure can relate to what it means to rejoice, to celebrate, even when I’ve experienced pain. Can you? I can remember some of the happiest occasions in my life, in which I rejoiced even in the midst of pain, the birth of my daughter and the birth of my son being among the first. Although some aspects of the labor and delivery were painful, I was still able to rejoice, because the pain didn’t even compare to that precious bundle of joy staring up at me with the cutest eyes, nose, mouth, face, ears, hands, fingers, toes...( I could go on and on) that I had ever seen! And that first yawn, who ever thought a yawn could bring so much bliss and so many wonderful emotions!
I rejoiced on my children’s first birthday and their first day of kindergarten. You can probably relate if you have children and got them all dressed up in their cute little clothes or uniform, with their character back packs and lunch boxes, and sent them off to the first day, of the first year of their formal education. You may have cried because of the transition, but you rejoiced because you realized your baby reached a milestone- your baby is in kindergarten! And let’s be real, for the little shall we say high-spirited children, you cried tears of joy because you were going to get a little break for a few hours!
Some of you can relate to rejoicing as athletes. You experienced physical and even mental pain that went into preparing for and competing in an event. But that didn’t in any way or shape compare to the victory of defeat that you felt as you celebrated the team’s win!
What about rejoicing as you graduated from high school, undergad, your masters or, doctorate program, law school, medical school? Remember all those papers you had to write, assignments that you had to complete, all while you still had a life and other responsibilities, including for some of you, working and /or raising a family? Oh my goodness, after 6 years of being in my doctorate program, I can surely relate! I had many sleepless nights and cried lots of tears. But the joy that I felt on that day when I walked across that stage and received my degree- words cannot describe. I was in a state of euphoria.
There are so many occasions in my life where I rejoiced in the midst of, and despite my pain. There are so many occasions in my life where I rejoiced in the midst of, and despite my lack- because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God would provide and meet all of my needs.
Habakkuk was in pain. He was in pain because of the wickedness and destruction that was going on around him and that was to come. He was in distress because of the lack that he witnessed and envisioned- lack of harmony, lack of peace, lack of righteousness, and what he perceived as a lack of justice with the wicked continuing on in their wickedness.
But like Habakkuk, all it took was a word from the Lord for me to realize that God sees, God, hears, and God knows. And like Habakkuk, I have come to realize that God is the God of Salvation. God delivers the righteous from the hand of the wicked. God delivers justice for the righteous. God provides for every one of my needs in times of lack. I just have to exercise my faith.
Whether you’re experiencing pain and distress from the injustice going on in the world right now with racism, the destruction seen in the world from the acts of the wicked, destruction in your home, or pain and distress from someone or people who has or have hurt you and just seems to keep getting away with their wickedness- God sees, God hears, and God knows. And whatever you’re lacking, whether it’s with your finances, your health, in your relationship - God sees, God hears, and God knows. You can rejoice in the midst of your pain and lack knowing that God will never forsake the righteous. He is the God of your salvation.
Dear Father God,
Thank You for Your word that gives me hope and comfort amid these distressing and painful times. Just one word from You Lord is all that I need to rejoice. I rejoice in You Lord despite the pain, despite the destruction around me, despite the lack that I am experiencing. I rejoice and have complete faith in You Lord, the God of my salvation, to work out every detail. I know that You will meet every single one of my needs. I know that You are a God of justice and that You will execute judgment against the wicked in Your time. I know that I serve the REAL GOD in You Lord and I Thank You. I know that You hear me, You see me, and You feel every single thing that I feel. Thank You Lord for loving me with a love that I have never known. Thank You for never forsaking me. Show me where I am lacking in my spirit Lord as I commit to an even deeper relationship with You, and fill the empty places so that I may serve You with my whole heart, mind, body, and soul.
In Jesus name I pray,