HINDS FEET ON HIGH PLACES (HABAKKUK 3:1-19)
There was a fellow who was about to jump from a bridge. An alert police officer slowly and methodically moved toward him, talking with him all the time. When the officer got within inches of the man he said, “Surely nothing could be bad enough for you to take your life. Tell me about it. Talk to me.” The would-be jumper told how his wife had left him, how his business had gone bankrupt, and how his friends had deserted him. Everything in life had lost meaning. For thirty minutes he told the sad story. What happened in the end? They both jumped!
A prophet was not a prophet without prophesy, foreknowledge and vision, and with that comes struggles, suspicion and even skepticism. Habakkuk had changed his attitude in chapter 3 compared to chapters 1-2. He had changed from being a pessimistic to a positive prophet, from being a petulant to a patient person, and from being a pouting to a pleasing partner.
What do you pray for lately? How do you cope with your feelings in times of unrest? Why
Regroup in His Sufficiency
1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth. 2 Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. 3 God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. 4 His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden. 5 Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.
6 He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed— but he marches on forever. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish. 8 Were you angry with the rivers, Lord? Was your wrath against the streams? Did you rage against the sea when you rode your horses and your chariots to victory? 9 You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers; 10 the mountains saw you and writhed. Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high. 11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear.
Former Dallas Theological Seminary president Charles Swindoll shared one chapel morning at the seminary:
“When you choose to worry, you do not trust.
When you try to fix what is impossible, you do not trust.
When you hurry ahead and don't wait for the Lord to move and to change you,
you do not trust.
When you lie awake twisting and turning at night, you do not trust.
When you doubt biblical principles and promises that are right here in the book you love and study, you do not trust.
When you turn to others first for help, you do not trust.
When you listen to human counsel and give a higher priority to that than the principles you have just learned, you do not trust.
When you manipulate and maneuver situations, you do not trust.
When you step in and take charge without praying and being led by the Spirit of God, you do not trust.
When you cling to others in order to feel secure and needed and loved, you do not trust.”
Charles Swindoll “Trust God!” DTS Chapel
The last chapter of Habakkuk is a passionate chapter joining prayer, poem and prophecy in song, music and instruments (v 19). This earnest prayer (v 1) is significant and symbolical because the noun “prayer” shows up for the last time in the Odd Testament, and also it is a transition from Habakkuk’s burden (1:1) to a prayer (3:1).
Thou wilt not hear! (1:2)
I have heard (3:2)
They are terrible and dreadful (1:7)
(I) was afraid (3:2)
None of the Minor prophets stated so authoritatively and adamantly as Habakkuk that he was a prophet (v 1). The shigionoth (v 1) is a poem. Unlike most prayer Habakkuk’s prayer is strictly directed to the Lord, in the first word. In chapter one Habakkuk despaired, “Thou wilt not hear!” (Hab 1:2), but now Habakkuk confessed, “I have heard.” The Chaldeans were dreadful (Hab 1:7), but now the Lord (v 2) is fearful (stand in awe, NIV) – the same word in Hebrew. The acclaim and adoration are to the Lord (twice in verse 2), God (v 3), the Holy One, His glory in the heavens and His praise on earth (v 3). Habakkuk is the only prophet in the Bible to address God in opening prayer with the direct calling Him “Lord” twice (v 2).