Read Habakkuk 3.
What is Habakkuk doing there, and why is that so important, especially given the tough circumstances and difficult questions he is facing?
Habakkuk expresses his acceptance of God’s ways in a prayer set to music (Hab. 3:19). Being fully aware of God’s power, he asks the Lord to remember His mercy when the judgment begins. The prophet reverently recalls reports of God’s great acts in the past and is praying to Him to bring redemption now. He seems to stand between the times. With one eye he looks back to the Exodus event, while with the other he looks ahead to the day of the Lord. He longs for a display of God’s power in his present situation.
The hymn from Habakkuk 3 poetically describes God’s deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. What has happened at the time of the Exodus is a foreshadowing of the great judgment day. The godly should not be anxious about the day of the Lord, but they must wait, persevere, and rejoice in the hope that is theirs.
The hymn is also a celebration of the power, glory, and victorious nature of God. The Lord is described as sovereign over the whole earth. The revelation of His glory is comparable to the splendor of the sunrise (Hab. 3:4).
God judges the oppressive nations; yet, at the same time He brings about the redemption of His people in His “chariots of salvation” (Hab. 3:8). On the surface God’s power is not always visible, but the person of faith knows that God is there, no matter what.
Habakkuk calls us to look expectantly for the Lord’s salvation, when He will establish His righteousness on earth and fill the world with His glory. By singing praises to the Lord, the people of God encourage one another (Eph. 5:19-20, Col. 3:16) to meditate on God’s past acts and to hope for the glorious future. Habakkuk’s own example demonstrates how one can persevere by living with a vision.
Dwell upon God’s past leading in your life. How does this help you to learn to trust Him and His goodness, no matter what the immediate future brings? Why is it always so important to look to the ultimate and eternal future that awaits us?