God's Power, The Prophets

Habakkuk – Part 2 of 2

Faith with Contentment

Habakkuk 3:18 – Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

Through the vision that the Lord revealed to Habakkuk, it was clear that although the Babylonians were the conduit of God’s judgement on Judah, they would also face God’s judgement at a later time. Like the Assyrians they were a wicked and barbaric people with absolutely no regard for justice in any shape or form. Injustice can never win against a holy and just God and in chapter two we see the things he finds abhorrent and that he will not tolerate: Greed, malicious desire, disregard for life, vindictive enticement, violence and idolatry. Babylon would pay for all these sins which were inflicted upon God’s people but more than that, at the appointed time, all of this evil would be dealt with completely –

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the lord as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk had been given a glimpse of the future and his understanding of the vision was enough to change his confusion to contentment, or at least a measure of contentment. The vision also left him in a state of awe at the immense power of Almighty God:

“You split the earth with rivers. The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice.”

All of creation bows to the will and power of God. Habakkuk caught a fraction of that reality and it brought him to his knees – “I hear, and my body trembles; my lips quiver at the sound; my legs tremble beneath me.” The images he saw were both mesmerizing and frightening which caused him to plead, “in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk must have had an amazing amount of spiritual strength in order to have been able to ‘see’ God in this way. Sometimes I feel we could all do with this kind of vision as a reminder of who it is we serve.

After wrestling with God, Habakkuk accepted the fate of Judah’s sin and the coming punishment and he declared with absolute confidence –

“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.”

That little word ‘yet’, sums up the strength of Habakkuk’s faith. It is the kind of faith we all need to see us through the violence, destruction, strife and contention of this world. Come what may, our struggle is temporary but our hope is eternal.

Whatever you are facing today, remember, even yet, God, the Lord, is my strength.

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