His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise.4 His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden.5 Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet.6 He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; The curtains of the land of Midian trembled.8 O LORD, were You displeased with the rivers, Was Your anger against the rivers, Was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation?9 Your bow was made quite ready; Oaths were sworn over Your arrows. Selah
You divided the earth with rivers.10 The mountains saw You and trembled; The overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, And lifted its hands on high.11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your glittering spear.12 You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger.13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah
14 You thrust through with his own arrows The head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.15 You walked through the sea with Your horses, Through the heap of great waters.
16 When I heard, my body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entered my bones; And I trembled in myself, That I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops.17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls--18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.19 The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills. To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.
Hope A Vision Of Divine Judgement
The third and final chapter of the book of Habakkuk, while a prayer is also called a psalm. It has the characteristics of a psalm. Instructions are given in the heading as to the way it is to be sung (,The meaning of the word is so uncertain that the safest course is to transliterate it. The Latin Vulgate renders it pro ignorantiis, "for sins done in ignorance." There is no suggestion in the prophecy that either the sins of Judah or those of the Chaldeans could be thought of as being committed in ignorance. Probably the word indicates the type of music or the tempo in which the psalm may be sung when used in worship. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary), and the subscription tells what instruments are to accompany the singing. Also, Selah, which marks periodical pauses, or perhaps changes of tempo, appears three times.
This prayer/psalm ends the prophetic book Habakkuk. The first two chapters, of which, is a dialogue between Hanukkah and God, in which the prophet not only complains of evil, but even challenges Him as to how He, can tolerate such evil. He is surprised to learn that the Chaldeans are God's choice to punish Judah
Habakkuk’s prophecy starts with with Habakkuk crying out to God for an answer to why His chosen people are allowed to suffer in their captivity.
Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NLT)2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save.3 Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.4 The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.
The Lord gives His answer to Habakkuk, essentially stating, “You wouldn’t believe it if I told you”
Habakkuk 1:5-11 (NLT)5 The LORD replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.6 I am raising up the Babylonians, a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands.7 They are notorious for their cruelty and do whatever they like.8 Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey.9 “On they come, all bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind, sweeping captives ahead of them like sand.10 They scoff at kings and princes and scorn all their fortresses. They simply pile ramps of earth against their walls and capture them!11 They sweep past like the wind and are gone. But they are deeply guilty, for their own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk then follows up by saying, “Ok, you are God, but still tell me more about why this is happening”
Habakkuk 1:17-2:1 (NLT)17 Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests? 1 I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint.
God answers him again with more information ending by belling the earth to be silent before Him.
Habakkuk 2:2, 20 (NLT)2 Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.20 But the LORD is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.”
*See Get To Know The Prophets Of The Bible - Habakkuk
The book of Habakkuk and this psalm/prayer ends with his prayer.
Habakkuk 3:19 (NLT2)19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)
When you read the entire book and consider what this prophet knew he and Judah, was already facing, his sheer hope is stunning.
Habakkuk 3:17 (NLT) Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
Even though it’s going to get worse before it gets better,
Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT) “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
God’s word will be true.
The application of Habakkuk’s to us today is that it’s okay to question what God is doing. It’s not always evident what’s going on especially when we have suffered for long periods of time, and those who show no love for God appear to prosper. Habakkuk wrestled with questions, embraced reality, trusted anyways, and found his hope in God.
Habakkuk affirms that God is sovereign, omnipotent and in control. We need to stay focused on Him:
Habakkuk 3:19 (NLT)19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.