Habakkuk Prays for God’s Mercy
Verse 1 – A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.
Verse 2 – O Lord, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.
The Hebrew word Shigionoth refers to a type of song. Habakkuk knew that discipline was coming to the people of Judah, but he asked that God show mercy.
Verse 3 – God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.
Paran is the desert region, extending from south of Judah to Sinai. The word Selah occurs 71 times in Psalms and three times in Habakkuk. The precise meaning is unknown, but it most likely is a musical term. It could be a signal to lift up the hands or voice in worship, or it could be an exclamation like “Amen” or “Hallelujah.”
Verse 4 – His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden.
Verse 5 – Before Him went pestilence, and fever followed at His feet.
Verse 6 – He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.
Verse 7 – I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
Verse 8 – O Lord, were You displeased with the rivers, was Your anger against the rivers, was Your wrath against the sea, that You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation?
Verse 9 – Your bow was made quite ready; oaths were sworn over Your arrows. You divided the earth with rivers.
Verse 10 – The mountains saw You and trembled; the overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, and lifted its hands on high.
Verse 11 – The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; at the light of Your arrows they went, at the shinning of Your glittering spear.
These verses speak of when God parted the Red Sea and pharaohs chariots and all his army were drowned; and now when Joshua was fighting and needed it to stay daylight, God made the sun stand still. God, over and over, fought His peoples battles as they stood still and watched.
Verse 12 – You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled the nations in anger.
Verse 13 – You went forth for the salvation of Your people, for salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, by laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah
Habakkuk confirms hope for the believers in deliverance, because God never changes. God’s Anointed One was portrayed as Moses, Joshua, and David, representing the Messiah.
Verse 14 – You thrust through with his own arrows the head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.
Not only the kings were overthrown by God’s hand, but His hand passed through the villages on the wicked individuals who took advantage of the poor.
Verse 15 – You walked through the sea with Your horses, through the heaps of great waters.
Verse 16 – When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered my bones; and I trembled in myself , that I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, he will invade them with his troops.
Verse 17 – 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; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls –
Verse 18 – Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Verse 19 – 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.
Habakkuk’s feelings for God was not controlled by the events surrounding him or Judah, but by faith in God. Our trust in the One true God should not change because of what happens to us.
The prophetic message of Habakkuk is that while God may seem to appear inactive at times , in the face of violence all around, He is still in control of events far larger than even His prophets knew in order to ensure that His purpose for individuals and nations are accomplished. THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH!