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In his book, the prophet Habakkuk prays for the deliverance of Judah from the devastating consequences of their rebellion against God. His prayer is followed by a revelation of divine glory and power which shows God at work for the salvation of His faithful children and for conquering their enemies (Habakkuk 3: 3–16).
Habakkuk ends his book with a hymn of praise which is his affirmation of confidence in the wisdom and eventual success of the divine plan (vs. 17–19). This hymn was intended to be used in public worship, perhaps to be accompanied by “stringed instruments.” He wrote:
“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—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
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” (Habakkuk 3:17-19).
A song of faith
In this hymn, there are presented the evil effects of the Babylonian occupation, the destruction of the “fig” and “olive” trees, so highly esteemed in Palestine, along with the equally prized “vines,” grain, and cattle. The fearful condition that existed in Israel, will take place again in the last events of earth’s history, when the earth will be similarly devastated. But God will then deliver His people from destruction (Isaiah 25:9) and take them to their eternal home of glory (John 14:3).
The last chapter of Habakkuk ends with the comforting and refreshing song of joy and hope of salvation “in the Lord.” Habakkuk assures himself that finally all will be well because of the faithfulness of his God (Psalms 13:5, 6; 31:19, 20; Micah 7:7). And he identifies himself with his people, as Moses (Exodus 32:30–32), Jeremiah (ch. 14:19–21), and Daniel (ch. 9:3–19) did. For Israel’s success (Isaiah 58:14) is his own success.
And the prophet gladly submits his own will to the will of God. For the Lord will establish the feet of His people in the treacherous trails of the mountains where the feet of the hind were swift and sure (2 Samuel 22:34; Psalms 18:32, 33).
At the end, God’s people will triumph over all their enemies, and will dwell safely upon the heights of salvation (Deuteronomy 32:13; 33:29; Isaiah. 58:13, 14; Amos 4:13). And Habakkuk rests content that ultimately right and truth will triumph forevermore.
In His service,