Habakkuk 1:2-4 (GOD’S WORD® Translation) – “How long, O LORD, am I to cry for help, but you will not listen? I cry out to you, “There’s violence!” yet you will not come to the rescue… Quarrels and disputes arise… Wicked people surround righteous people so that when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.”
The book of Habakkuk opens with the agonizing cry “How long, O LORD“, things have fallen apart in Judah, “There’s violence“, frequent quarrels and conflicts, but the judges are so corrupt “when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.” In such conditions, poor people, simple people, and righteous people, often experience hard times.
The LORD answers Habakkuk that he has seen the ugly conditions in Judah, and has permitted Judah to be captured by Babylon as a form of discipline for Judah. Habakkuk thinks the punishment is too strong and ask God for mercy. God assures him that “the righteous person will live because of his faithfulness” (Hab. 2:4).
God’s response so delights Habakkuk that he was inspired to write Habakkuk Chapter 3 as a magnificent song of praise. Habakkuk 3:17-19 are among the most beautiful praise and testimony of God’s provision for the righteous in hard times.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (GWT) – “Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle – even then, I will be happy with the LORD. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me. The LORD Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains.”
In hard times, the LORD is our strength, empowering us to thrive – giving us feet like those of the mountain deer, so we can walk on the mountains to springs of living waters, which never runs dry, glory to His name, Amen!
Image: Deer in the Carmel mountain, Israel (Source: Wikimedia)