The God of nature can alter and control all the powers of nature to make earth,
sea and heavenly bodies carry out the purposes of His judgment against sinners,
or for the salvation of His people.
His true children can, in the midst of earth’s distresses, rejoice in Him who is the God of their eternal salvation,
since by them, their salvation cannot be hindered but only furthered.
1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
2 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 known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 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.
4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
6 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.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
8 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?
9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
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 woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
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.
17 ¶ Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour 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:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
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.
Habakkuk 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Habakkuk 3 – The Faith That Is Invincible
This psalm was intended to be sung by the captives during the Exile, which was near. In Habakkuk 3:3-15 there is a recital of the great events in the past. First Sinai, then the victories and deliverances of the book of Judges, the passage of the Red Sea and Jordan, the divine vengeance on the oppressors. But the prophet could not contemplate the future of the Chosen People without dismay. He longed to be at rest before those terrible Chaldean hosts burst upon the land. At the close he breaks into a sublime refrain which has been the solace and song of myriads of believers. If all God’s gifts failed he would still possess the Giver. He could still triumph in God. Indeed, the divine Savior and Friend is often more apparent when the fields and the farmsteads are bare. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Habakkuk 3:2—O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years.
When we are oppressed with the state of the Church and the world, as Habakkuk was, there is no resource but to turn to God. It is of no use to say to our brother, “What shall we do?” Better at once get into the presence of the Almighty. All conferences with flesh and blood are wasted breath, unless there has been a previous one with God.
Note also the unselfishness of the prayer which precedes revival. We must not pray “Revive my work,” lest the insidious temptation come in of using the stream of God’s blessing to turn our own tiny water-wheels for our own profit. Let us get beyond the narrow limits of our church or section, and ask for a revival of God’s work everywhere.
We do not need a new Gospel, but a revival—a revivifying of the old Gospel. If any preach another Gospel than that which the apostles preached, let him be accursed; he is selling bran for wheat; he is filling cartridges with sand. We want nothing but the Gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ, proclaimed from lips which have received a new baptism of heavenly power.
Note the time. Not at the end of years, but in the midst. This is a prayer for those in middle life. They are apt to think that their power for service has passed its prime, and that the successes of their early days cannot be paralleled. But let them remember that in the midst of the years God can revive his work, and ask for it.
What an argument! “Remember mercy.” We cannot appeal to merit, but can lay great stress on mercy. Lord, have mercy on thy Church—revive her; and ere the dispensation close, may she arise for one great work of soul-salvation! —Our Daily Homily
Habakkuk 3:18 – This is a noble utterance, Habbakuk! Thou hast surely read the book of Job, and art echoing that great word of his (Job 13:15)—”Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” Thou believest that the love which God has toward us rests on some more solid evidence than the temporal benefits which He bestows upon us; upon evidence so satisfactory, so unimpeachable, that even if the greatly-prospered servant of God saw his flocks and herds rapidly perish, his merchandise carried off by robbers or consumed by fire, his houses and lands confiscated by unjust power, his gold and silver fraudulently taken from him, his friends alienated, his name beclouded, his person imprisoned, his health impaired, his appetite vitiated, his sight extinguished, his utterance impeded, he would still have occasions of undying and fervent gratitude, motives for joy unspeakable, a foundation for peace which passeth all understanding. Thanks be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne for the innumerable avenues by which the expressions of His goodness come to us. But oh, while we adore Him for these, let us feel that He has placed the great truth of His love toward us sinners, once for all, upon an inviolable basis; so that though the day, as it passes, may or may not have particular tokens of His goodness to impart, that goodness can in no wise be questioned. It is most likely, O Habakkuk, that God took thee at thy word; and in some surprising way, gave thee an opportunity of evincing thy singleness of heart toward Him; and that thou now wearest some peculiar crown of honor and fecity in consequence of that proof given. (Bowen)