Tag Archives: Habakkuk

Yet I Will Rejoice – Habakkuk 3:17-19

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. GOD, the Lord, is my strength (Habakkuk 3:17-19).

This passage, and the book of Habakkuk in general, has at times been both my most favorite and least favorite in the whole Bible. We can all relate to the cry of Habakkuk at the beginning of this book:

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? (Habakkuk 1:2).

Unfortunately, the Lord’s answer to Habakkuk was not very satisfying. God only told Habakkuk things would be getting worse, not better. I was reminded of this passage last night when I learned that a dear friend was diagnosed with cancer. Why Lord?

Not many of us today have vineyards or stalls for our livestock. However, we all have the things of this world that are important to us and even dear to us. Our jobs, our homes, our health, our friends, and our families. If those were to be taken from us, then what?

Habakkuk realized that even if everything else was taken from him, the Lord God would remain. And that was enough. Enough not only to survive, but enough to rejoice. Rejoice in Him. Rejoice in our God who is also our Savior. Rejoice in His promises. Rejoice that we are merely pilgrims passing through this sinful land on our way to the homes that Jesus has prepared for us.

I have to admit that I do not feel like rejoicing much today. However, just like the Apostle Peter responded when times got tough and many other disciples were turning away,

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68).

I can look to the world and there are no answers. I can look to myself and there are no answers. I can look to Jesus and there are promises of eternal life. To whom else could we go? No one else. Because “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

So, in the end, I can only look to Jesus and that empty cross and, with Habakkuk, take joy in the God of my salvation.

 

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The wicked surround the righteous – Habakkuk 1:2-4

O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?  Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted (Habakkuk 1:2-4).

The book of Habakkuk is a personal favorite although its message also terrifies me, just as it did the prophet Habakkuk:

I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones; my legs tremble beneath me. Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us (Habakkuk 3:16).

I see the forces of evil growing in strength within our nation and world. I see them uniting against Christians and can only wonder if this is the coming judgment of the sovereign God. Certainly it would not be the first time God has used the wicked for his divine purposes. Ultimately, my inability to clearly see God’s purpose in allowing this growing wickedness leaves me wholly dependent upon the God of my salvation:

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 (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

Like the prophet Habakkuk and the apostles under Jesus, there is nowhere else to turn even if we are uncomfortable with the message:

So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:67-69).

Sometimes, when our faith is weak, it can be hard to trust. But then, we remember that there is only one God and one Lord Jesus Christ. To whom else could we go?

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