Habakkuk – A Prayer

imageThough 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 sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)

Read: Habakkuk 3

Consider: In the first two chapters of Habakkuk the prophet raised two questions with God and in answering God reassured him that:

violence and injustice will not go unpunished;
it is only God himself who chooses how and when people (and nations) will be punished.

Chapter 3 changes the tone and emphasis of the book. The chapter starts ‘A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet’, yet despite this heading it continues ‘On shigionoth‘, which is a musical term indicating that the prayer was to be sung.

Habakkuk does as many before and after him would do, he reminds himself of God’s dealings with the Israelites from their time of leaving captivity in Egypt, through their wanderings in the desert, to settling in the promised land and finally to captivity. Habakkuk had heard of the faithfulness of God, and in God’s answers to his complaints he received reassurance of the reality of the faithfulness of God. In his interactions with God, Habakkuk no longer had to rely on the stories told and repeated by his ancestors, he had come to a personal experience of God. This is the same for many of us who were introduced to faith by parents, Sunday school teachers, Bible class leaders, and others. What we heard them tell us about faith had to become personal and our witness had to lead us to be able to say: ‘God my Saviour’.

It is incredible that Habakkuk could say:
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 sheepfold and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.

I suppose for us the application of this to today is whether or not we could or would be so positive in the face of such difficulty. Rejoicing and being joyful is so much easier in good times, but most of us find it hard to rejoice and be joyful when the odds are stacked against us. Yet the Bible doesn’t soften Habakkuk’s enthusiasm for God. It confronts the harshness and realities of life and even when faced with these Habakkuk is resilient.

Habakkuk is able to finish his prayer with the words – ‘The Sovereign Lord is my strength’. May God be your strength, whatever your personal circumstances and whatever difficulties you are currently facing.

Pray: Father, we thank you for the knowledge that you are an awesome God and that even in difficult circumstances you are there with us. May we learn to rejoice and be joyful in you. Amen

Every blessing

Advertisements

Author: profsloan

The purpose of this blog is to encourage others to read the Bible on a regular basis and to discover that God's Word applies to daily life. I will generally publish posts and a Verse for the Day alternately.

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s