Habakkuk (Ch 1-3)

The book of Habakkuk is a dialogue between what the Prophet saw and Questions he had for God and how God responded to him. That is, it is a dialogue between Habakkuk and God about the difficult scene he saw and why was it the way it was.

Habakkuk, from a Hebrew root meaning to “embrace,” denoting a “favorite” (namely, of God) and a “struggler” (for his country’s good). Some ancient authors represent him as belonging to the tribe of Levi.

The time seems to have been about 610 BC; for the Chaldeans attacked Jerusalem in the ninth month of the fifth year of Jehoiakim, 605 BC. And Habakkuk, probably a contemporary of the Prophet Jeremiah, spoke of the Chaldeans as about to invade Judah (Habakkuk 1:6), and he seemed to have seen the people’s desperations of their attack that followed; hence he asked many questions.

“The vision is yet for an appointed time.” Habakkuk 2:3 makes clear that this vision was not just for Habakkuk’s time, but also for the end-time, and although it had a narrow vision for the house of Judah, its wider implication for the latter days is for the house of Israel; the time shortly before the second coming of the Messiah. 

Habakkuk 1

Habakkuk made his observation and started with a series of three Questions:

1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet saw. — the burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw: Habakkuk had a burden – not only in the sense of a message from God, but also in the sense of a heavy weight. It was heavy in its content, because Habakkuk announced coming judgement on the house of Judah. It was also heavy in its source, because Habakkuk deals with tough questions he brings to God and God’s answer to those questions.

— “for I will work a work in your days” (verse 5 below) means that the message of Habakkuk is really for us in the latter days, today. And this is reinforced in Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie.”

O Lord, how long shall I cry, and Thou wilt not hear? Even cry out unto Thee of violence, and Thou wilt not save? — Q (1): O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Q (2): Or cry to You, “Violence!” and You will not save?

— Rashi: O Lord! How long: Habakkuk foresaw that Nebuchadnezzar was destined to be the ruler of the world and to cause trouble for Israel, as the matter is stated in his prophecy (1:6): “For behold, I raise up the Chaldeans, etc.”

— Habakkuk was asking a series of questions we all have today, when we ask and it seems God didn’t hear; and when there is violence and it seems God is not saving!

Why dost Thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? For despoiling and violence are before me, and there are those that raise up strife and contention. — Q (3): Why do You make me see wickedness, and cause me to see trouble? Plundering and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

— Rashi: iniquity: plunder and violence; and cause me to behold grievance; and look upon mischief: you look upon this mischief, but You do not help.

— and the one who bears quarrel and strife endures: And this wicked man who bears quarrel and strife, will live, remain in existence, and prosper; endures: he who bears quarrel and strife will endure; so Jonathan renders.

Therefore the law is slacked, and judgement doth never go forth. For the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgement proceedeth. — the law is “slacked” here means the law is powerless. So the first point is that the law is lacking in physical and moral strength! The law is applied weakly to evildoers. Those who are guilty are not charged with their crimes. Judgement seldom has its enforcement; that there is little justice in the land;

— “the wicked compass about the righteous” means that the wicked surround the righteous, frequently in the form of rioting, to pressure the law-abiding population into accepting their criminal activities. “Therefore wrong judgement proceeds” means that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer to Habakkuk’s first series of Questions:

“Behold ye among the nations and regard, and wonder marvelously; for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you. — look among the nations, and watch—wonder and be amazed! For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe, though it were told you.

— you “among the nations” is a reference to the Israelites being scattered amongst all the nations of the world;

— the expression “in your days” tells us that this is a reference to the end-times, the period preceding the return of the Messiah;

— this Scripture is speaking about very different type of work where people will not accept what is done as being “the work of God” something very extraordinary which the people will not believe, but only “wonder marvelously”;

— a parallel in Isaiah 29:14 therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” which means in the context of those in leadership positions lacking wisdom and understanding, i.e. in the context of leaders whose ways of leading the people are no better than the ways of someone who is lacking wisdom and understanding, perhaps drunk and incoherent.

For lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs. I am going to send the Babylonians, that fierce and reckless nation. They will march throughout the earth to take possession of lands that don’t belong to them.

They are terrible and dreadful; their judgement and their dignity shall proceed from themselves. — they will be terrifying and fearsome. They will carry out their own kind of justice and honor.

Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves. And their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from afar; they shall fly as the vulture that hasten to eat. — their horses will be faster than leopards and quicker than wolves in the evening. Their riders will gallop along proudly; their riders will come from far away; they will fly like an eagle that swoops down for its prey.

— taken historically, these verses can be seen as applying only to the Babylonians who took Judah into captivity; but prophecy are meant to be dual, so when we consider the context that follows, it should be clear that God is using the Babylonian captivity as a type of the yet future great tribulation on all Israel. — a parallel in Ezekiel 20-21, (more details at the end)

They shall come all for violence; their faces shall consume as the east wind, and they shall gather the captives as the sand. — they will all come for violence; every face will be directed forward; they will gather prisoners like sand.

10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them. They shall deride every stronghold, for they shall heap up dirt and take it. — the Babylonian soldiers laugh at kings; they make fun of rulers; they laugh at all the strong walled cities. They build dirt roads up to the top of their walls, then they capture the cities.

11 Then shall his mind change; and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.” — They will move quickly and pass through like the wind. So they will be guilty, because their own strength is their god.

Habakkuk’s Second Series of Questions

12 Art Thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, Thou hast ordained them for judgement; and, O mighty God, Thou hast established them for correction. — O Lord God, you’re from eternity, aren’t you? Q (1) If so, we aren’t going to die, are we? O Lord, You have appointed them for judgement; and You, O Rock, have established them for correction.

13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. Why lookest Thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest Thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? — Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot look on wickedness. Q (2) Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours the man who is more righteous than he?

14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things that have no ruler over them? — You make men like fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler.

15 They take up all of them with the hook; they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag; therefore they rejoice and are glad. — they bring all of them up with a hook, they catch them in their net; they gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag, because by them their portion is fat and their meat plenteous. — therefore they sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their dragnet; for by them their portion is extravagant, and their food plentiful.

17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? — Q (3) shall they continue to empty their net, and continually kill the nations while not sparing anyone?

~~~

A Description of the Chaldeans, one from the East an anti-type of one similar coming from the South in the latter days:

“Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than evening wolves. Their horsemen charge on; their horsemen come from afar; they fly like the eagle that hastens to eat,” Habakkuk 1:8

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the South, and drop thy word toward the South, and prophesy against the forest of the Southland.
47 And say to the forest of the South: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the South to the North shall be burned therein.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”
49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”
Ezekiel 21:1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;

3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My Sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My Sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the South to the North,
5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My Sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

The Scriptures above are shrouded in coded language, and so the Q is: how would such scenarios be played out?

Habakkuk 2

1 I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. — Habakkuk will stand at his watch and station himself on the watchtower; and he will wait and keep watch to see what God will say to him, and what he will answer when he was reproved.

The Lord’s Answer to Habakkuk’s second series of Questions:

And the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it. — Habakkuk here is expecting some message or some instructions from God; and sure enough, God gave him specific instructions, which is: write this message down in big block letters for people to read it;

it doesn’t say, “that he who runs may read it,” but “that he may run who reads it.” The running – the activity and progress – comes forth from God’s warning; this is to give those people to escape from those terrible times to come who who read it and take warning.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry. — for the vision is yet for an appointed time; but it speaks of the end and does not lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait; it’s on its way; it will come right on time. If it delays, wait for it; it will not be delayed.

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith. — look, his soul is lifted up; it is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.

“Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people. — note well: money deceives; the arrogant rich don’t last. Indeed, wine betrays the proud man, who does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite and like death he is never satisfied;

— God sees the proud man and how the proud man cannot be satisfied;

— they are like cemeteries filled with dead bones; like graveyards filled with corpses. Don’t give people like this a second thought. Woe to the Wicked; soon the whole world will be taunting them.

Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, ‘Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his (how long?) and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay’? — shall not all these take up a taunt against him, with satire and riddles, and say, “Woe to him who increases what is not his—how long? And to him who loads himself with heavy debts!”

Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake, that shall vex thee? And shalt thou be for booty unto them? — shall not your debtors rise up suddenly, and those awake who oppress you? Then you will be their plunder.

Because thou hast despoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall despoil thee, because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. — because you Israel have plundered many nations, all the remnant of these nations will plunder you, because you did it through warfares, bloodsheds, deceits and violence; of the cities and all of the land where you live in them;

— when you visit any museum of the house of Israel (London, Paris, New York), you’ll witness lots of plunderings of other nations over the last few centuries; thus one day “all the remnant of the people will plunder you.”

— from the Message Bible: Habakkuk 2:6-8 

“‘Who do you think you are—
    getting rich by stealing and extortion?
How long do you think
    you can get away with this?’
Indeed, how long before your victims wake up,
    stand up and make you the victim?
You’ve plundered nation after nation.
    Now you’ll get a taste of your own medicine.
All the survivors are out to plunder you,
    a payback for all your murders and massacres.

Here is one example of an article by Jason Hickel’s How Britain stole $45 trillion from India (from economist Utsa Patnaik – published by Columbia University Press) and thus funded the industrialisation of Britain. And during the entire 200-year history of British rule, income in India collapsed and millions died needlessly of policy-induced famine. India’s share of world’s GDP went from over 20 percent to less than 2 percent when India won her independence in 1947.

But the plundering of India wasn’t alone; after the British had conquered India, they then went to war with China (the First and Second Opium Wars: 1839–42; 1856–60), “trading opiums” for tea, porcelain and silk. Not satisfied, they, together with the French, went to war again, burnt down Beijing’s Summer Palace after looting its arts and treasures. These plundered treasure are still hidden today by the rich and famous in their lofty homes, a few in their national museums.

Following Christopher Columbus’ voyage in 1492, the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 15th and 16th century with steel weapons and armor, they plundered the Aztecs and Incas of their gold and silver, as native weapons could not pierce Spanish armor nor could native armor defend against steel swords. 

Later they came with rifles, firearms and cannons. In Mexico, conquistadors found great golden treasures, including great discs of gold, masks, jewelry, and even gold dust and bars. In Peru, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro demanded that the Incan Emperor Atahualpa fill up a large room once with gold and twice with silver in exchange for his freedom. The emperor complied, but the Spanish killed him anyway. All in all, Atahualpa’s ransom came to 13,000 pounds of gold and twice that much silver. This did not even count the vast treasures taken later when the Inca capital city of Cuzco was looted.

And following the Mexican-American War that ended in 1848, the United States plundered more than 500,000 square miles (1,300,000 square km) of land from Mexico, expanding US territory by about one-third. Mexico ceded nearly all the territory now included in the US states of New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, Texas, and western Colorado for $15 million and US assumption of its citizens’ claims against Mexico.

More recently, the Americans “assisted” American museums in acquiring vast quantities of Persian antiquities and archaeological finds; this was the looting of Persia’s mosques and shrines, the transfer of these religious artifacts first, to London, and the subsequent acquisition of some of the objects by such museums as the Metropolitan of New York.

God says He saw all these; and how these Godly Judgements will play out, we’ll have to wait and see; but there is a parallel from the Prophet Ezekiel; and this mystery is an “enemy” coming from the SOUTH:

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the South, and drop thy word toward the South, and prophesy against the forest of the Southland.
47 And say to the forest of the South: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the South to the North shall be burned therein.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”
49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”
Ezekiel 21: And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My Sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My Sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the South to the North,
5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My Sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

Q: Who is this enemy from the SOUTH, and how would such scenarios be played out? But God says He will kindle a fire and “all the remnant of the people shall despoil thee.”

“Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! — “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be delivered from the power of calamity!”

10 Thou hast devised shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. — You have given shameful counsel to your house by cutting off many peoples, and forfeiting your life.

11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. — for the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam of the woodwork will answer it.

— from the Message Bible: Habakkuk 2:9-11 

“Who do you think you are—
    recklessly grabbing and looting,
Living it up, acting like king of the mountain,
    acting above it all, above trials and troubles?
You’ve engineered the ruin of your own house.
    In ruining others you’ve ruined yourself.
You’ve undermined your foundations,
    rotted out your own soul.
The bricks of your house will speak up and accuse you.
    The woodwork will step forward with evidence.

12 “Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity! — “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed and establishes a city on iniquity!”

13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? — is it not from the Lord of Hosts that the people labor to feed fire, and the nations weary themselves for nothing?

14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. — for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas.

15 “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on his nakedness! — “Woe to him who makes his neighbor drink, pouring out your poison until they are drunk, that you may look on their nakedness!”

16 Thou art filled with the shame for glory; drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered. The cup of the Lord’S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. — you will be filled with shame instead of glory. You yourself—drink and show your own uncircumcision!

the cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned against you; the drunk and those who promote drunkenness loved their own cup full of drink; now God promises a cup for them, a cup of judgement and just recompense for their wickedness.

17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts which made them afraid, because of men’s blood and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. — the violence done to Lebanon will cover you, as will the plunder of beasts that terrified them, because of the bloodshed of men and violence of the land, of the cities and all who live in them.

— from the Message Bible: Habakkuk 2:15-17 

“Who do you think you are—
    inviting your neighbors to your drunken parties,
Giving them too much to drink,
    roping them into your sexual orgies?
You thought you were having the time of your life.
    Wrong! It’s a time of disgrace.
All the time you were drinking,
    you were drinking from the cup of God’s wrath.
You’ll wake up holding your throbbing head, hung over—
    hung over from Lebanon violence,
Hung over from animal massacres,
    hung over from murder and mayhem,
From multiple violations
    of place and people.

18 “What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it, the molten image and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein to make dumb idols? — what profit is a carved image when its maker has carved it, a cast image, and a teacher of lies, that its maker trusts in what he has shaped when he makes mute idols?

19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, ‘Awake!’ To the dumb stone, ‘Arise, it shall teach!’ Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. — woe to him who says to the wood, “Awake!” To the silent stone, “Arise!” Can it teach? It is overlaid with gold and silver, but there is no breath at all in it;

— from the Message Bible: Habakkuk 2:18-19

“What’s the use of a carved god
    so skillfully carved by its sculptor?
What good is a fancy cast god
    when all it tells is lies?
What sense does it make to be a pious god-maker
    who makes gods that can’t even talk?
Who do you think you are—
    saying to a stick of wood, ‘Wake up,’
Or to a dumb stone, ‘Get up’?
    Can they teach you anything about anything?

20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.” — but the Lord is in His holy Temple; He is on His Throne. Let all the earth keep silence before Him; the point of this verse is that even though terrible times lie around, God is always in full control; the ultimate outcome will be exactly what God predicted; that, for the time being, the just shall live by faith; that all question has a full and adequate answer.

Habakkuk 3

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet: The first two chapters of Habakkuk presented the prophet’s question and answer time with God. Now that God had answered Habakkuk, the prophet offered a prayer to close the book.

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon “Shigionoth.” — a prayer of Habakkuk because of his ignorance. Rashi: concerning the errors: This may be interpreted (by Ezra) according to the Targum. However, according to the apparent meaning, Habakkuk is begging for mercy for himself because he spoke rebelliously: (1: 4) “Therefore Torah is slackened,” and (verse 14) “You have made man like the fish of the sea.” He criticized the Divine standard of justice.

— Job, too, repented of his sin of questioning God; earlier, he had stated that he had lived righteously before God and was undeserving of God’s punishment, as if God was unjust in His treatment of him:

“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:3-6.

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 it known; in wrath remember mercy. — O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years: Habakkuk simply prayed for revival. He knew how God once worked and how His people once responded, and Habakkuk wanted to see that again;

— this prayer of Habakkuk shows us that revival is a work of God, not the achievement of man; there is something man can and must do for revival – simply cry out to God and plead for His reviving work;

— notice the prayer: “revive THY work” – often, our prayers are really “revive my or our work,” but we must have a heart and mind for God’s work, far bigger than our portion of it;

— in wrath remember mercy: Habakkuk prayed, knowing well that they didn’t deserve revival, so he prayed for mercy. The idea is, “Lord, I know that we deserve your wrath, but in the midst of your wrath remember mercy and send revival among us.”

God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. — Teman: Esau; Paran: Ishmael, as Scripture states (Genesis 21:21): “And he (Ishmael) dwelt in the desert of Paran.”

— having rejected Ismael and Esau, He came to the house of Jacob;

— Selah; “stop and think.” Oh ye house of Jacob; stop and ponder: His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise: All creatures bow down to Him!

And His brightness was as the light; He had horns coming out of His hand, and there was the hiding of His power. — Oh house of Jacob; stop and ponder:

5 Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet. — Covid-19 has been spreading around the globe; first the Delta variant, then the Omicron; and who knows what’s next? Could Covid-19 destroys a third of mankind eventually?

and sparks went out at His feet: fiery angels came with Him to witness the affairs of the heavens and earth. Could “burning coals” went forth at His feet be civil wars within nations? Witness the numerous civil strives within many western nations because of the various issues of how to manage Covid.

He stood and measured the earth; He beheld and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow. His ways are everlasting. — He stood and judged the earth; he looked and shook the nations; as He did at Mount Sinai, now the whole world is experiencing it;

the everlasting mountains: Ephraim and the other twelve, the heavenly princes of the nations; all are either scattered or bow low.

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? Was Thine anger against the rivers? Was Thy wrath against the sea, that Thou didst ride upon Thine horses and Thy chariots of salvation? — Habakkuk was asking another series of Questions:

~ a Parallel in Ezekiel 6:3 on mountains, hills and rivers ~

— this message to the “mountains of Israel;” these mountains refer to the United States, UK and France. . . . “and to the hills, to the rivers and to the valleys;” the hills: Ireland, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Finland, and Iceland; and the valleys, the low countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg;

— and to the rivers; where during the nineteenth century, the British Royal Navy were known to “Rule the Waves;” and the United States having been plowing up and down the five oceans with her Seven Fleets since the British left the scene.

Thy bow was made quite naked according to the oaths of the tribes, even Thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. — Rashi: You split the earth into rivers: according to the Targum.

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.

11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of Thy glittering spear.

12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation; Thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.

13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for salvation with Thine anointed. Thou wounded the head out of the house of the wicked, by uncovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. — You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your Anointed:

— Selah; “stop and think.” Oh house of Judah; stop and ponder; don’t be stiff-necked:

— as Habakkuk remembered how God had saved in the past, it made him full of faith for what God could do in the present and in the future. He also declared that salvation is brought with Your Anointed – and the Lord’s Anointed is none other than the Messiah, Jesus Christ; but’s call him Yeshua (for Christmas is rightly called “the Mother of all paganism”).

14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages; they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me; their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

15 Thou didst walk through the sea with Thine horses, through the heap of great waters.

16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice. Rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble. When he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. — when I heard, my body trembled: Habakkuk showed the righteous response of man under the sovereign power of God, recognizing his own weakness and low standing before this God of all majesty and power;

— He will invade him with his troops: the prophet remembered that the Babylonians were coming, and that this God of sovereign power and majesty would direct their work against Judah.

17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labor 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— — though the fig tree may not blossom, not fruit be on the vines; 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 … yet Habakkuk will still rejoice in the Lord, whom he knows, has full control from His throne;

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. — Habakkuk will rejoice in the God of his salvation: In almost a vision, Habakkuk saw the Judean countryside desolate, perhaps from the invading Babylonian army or perhaps from natural calamity;

— sometimes we think, “If God is so great and powerful, how come I am going through a hard time?” Habakkuk knew this was the wrong question and the wrong attitude; instead, he said: “I know you are strong and mighty, and if we are in desolate circumstances it is because we deserve it. I will praise You still, and even rejoice in You.”

— but in the midst of this almost complete loss, the cities and countryside desolate, Habakkuk could still rejoice in the Lord.

19 The Lord God is my strength; and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. — the Lord God is my strength: Habakkuk could only properly declare this after he prayed the prayer of faith in the previous verses. He rightly declared that his strength was not in fig trees or vines or fields or flocks, but only in the Lord God;

— Habakkuk’s prayer could also be adapted as a song of prayer and/or a prayer of reflection. Selah!

~ by Joel Huan on January 2, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: