GETTING A PERSPECTIVE
Heavenly Father, there are many things about life that I do not understand. But today I trust You and the lordship of your Son
Read Habakkuk 3
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.[a]
2 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.
3 God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.[b]
His glory covered the heavens
and his praise filled the earth.
4 His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.
5 Plague went before him;
pestilence followed his steps.
6 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.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
8 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?
9 You uncovered your bow,
you called for many arrows.
You split the earth with rivers;
10 the mountains saw you and writhed.
Torrents of water swept by;
the deep roared
and lifted its waves on high.
11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
at the glint of your flying arrows,
at the lightning of your flashing spear.
12 In wrath you strode through the earth
and in anger you threshed the nations.
13 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.
14 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.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
churning the great waters.
16 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.
17 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,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectTake a step back from all the things pressing in on you. Breathe. Remember who God is and what He has been to you.
This final chapter is different from the rest of the book. In terms of style it takes the form of a poem and its tone is markedly unlike the first two chapters. Complaint has given way to a meditation on God’s sovereign power revealed in the mighty events of the Exodus and His authority over creation. Instead of reacting to contemporary events and the prophetic insights given to him, Habakkuk takes a step backwards. He pauses, takes a breath and begins his poem with a sense of perspective.
He reminds himself and his listeners of God’s cosmic reputation and His merciful character. The change of tone and pace is so striking that it’s as though time has elapsed between the period of complaining and this outburst of reverence and awe. I’m reminded of a conversation I had two decades ago when faced with a frightening and painful family situation. As I poured out my heart to an older Christian, he said to me: ‘Gethin, rehearse the faithfulness of God. In the same way God has been faithful to you in the past, so too will He be in the future.’
Whatever we’re facing at present, let’s rehearse the faithfulness of God. Remember specific times when He has sustained and delivered us. And give thanks (18).
‘LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day… in wrath remember mercy’ (2).