“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; . . . 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.” (Hab. 3:17-19, NKJV). What is so good about the prophet’s attitude here? How can we cultivate such an attitude for ourselves? See also Phil. 4:11.
The closing words in Habakkuk’s book (Hab. 3:16-19) express the prophet’s response to the revelation of God’s power and goodness. A fresh look on God’s saving acts sparks Habakkuk’s courage as he awaits the enemy attack. His fear stirs his innermost being as he waits for divine judgment to fall upon his nation. Invasion may result in the devastation of the fig and olive trees, so highly prized in Palestine along with the equally needed vines, grain, and cattle. But the prophet’s staunch faith remains untouched because he has had a vision of the living Lord.
Based on his past experiences, Habakkuk knew of God’s absolute faithfulness. That is why he resigned himself to God’s present purposes (Hab. 3:16-19). In spite of all the unfavorable circumstances, the prophet is determined to place his trust in the Lord and in His goodness no matter how hopeless his situation appears.
Habakkuk waits in faithful trust, even though there are no immediate signs of salvation. He is a prophet who, through dialogue, taunts, and a hymn of praise, has instructed the faithful over the ages to develop a deeper living faith in the Redeemer. By his own example, he encourages the godly to dialogue with God, to test their loyalty to Him in harsh times, to develop hope in the Lord, and also to praise Him.
Habakkuk closes his book with a beautifully expressed attitude of faith: regardless of how hard life may become, one can find joy and strength in God. The underlying message of his book points to the need to wait patiently for God’s salvation in a period of oppression that has no visible end. The theme of “waiting on the Lord” dominates Habakkuk’s book. How especially relevant that theme should be for us, as Seventh-day Adventists—we whose very name expresses our faith in the coming of Jesus.