Updated: Mar 11, 2020
Habakkuk 3:17-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 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, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 19 God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
I am in no way a Bible scholar. Most of my bible knowledge is from listening to sermons every week for most of my adult life, and the various bible studies I have attended. I attended a private university that had disassociated itself with a church denomination long before I attended. I read my "Verse of the Day" from a phone app that many of you may also use. I know this because I often see my Facebook friends re-post the same verse that I had just read. The above passage from Habakkuk is from a recent daily verse. We even discussed it a bit in Sunday school this week, because our class leader had also taken note of it during his daily verse.
The Book of Habakkuk can be found in the Old Testament. It is only three chapters long, and all of those chapters are written in song or verse (if you notice the last line, it is directed to the choirmaster). Habakkuk was a prophet who actually questioned God! He complains to God in Chapter 1 that there is much injustice, destruction and violence all around him, and he does not understand why God is ignoring his cries for help. God tells him that He is doing things that Habakkuk would not believe, even if He told him. Habakkuk again complains in Chapter 2 that the righteous are being overtaken by the wicked, and questions why God seems to be letting this happen to His people. Again, God answers him in more detail about how He will judge the nations that have overtaken Israel.
In Chapter 3, Habakkuk writes a prayer. He acknowledges God's power and works, and his visions of the future. You can read all of that yourself. Seriously, the book of Habakkuk is very short. It is in those last verses that I really marvel at Habakkuk's writing. He waited for the Lord's answers to his complaints. The Lord delivered. Although Habakkuk was living in a world that seemed so hopeless for his people, he still found that he could rejoice in the God of his salvation!
Habakkuk sings of his trees not producing fruit, and his fields not producing food, and his livestock was not in the stalls. If you are a farmer or gardener, then you can probably relate. But, for the rest of us, we can still apply it to our own lives. Have you ever put in effort to make something, or even just do your job, but the results were not at all profitable? Have you ever opened your pantry doors or refrigerator, and found nothing to eat? Have you ever been unemployed and all of your submitted applications have been rejected? Have you ever checked your bank account balance and it was negative funds? I will admit that I can say yes to some of those situations. Through all of that, Habakkuk reminds me, though, that I can still rejoice in my Lord, the God of my salvation! There is hope, but we may not see it. God has His plans, although they may be a mystery to us. If you need to read it again, THERE IS HOPE. I just want to end this with one more verse from our good book!
John 1:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.