For the majority of Habakkuk’s three short chapters, the prophet really seems like a “glass is half empty” kind of guy. Apparently, the Bible translators sensed this as well, for they title the first two sections “Habakkuk’s Complaint” and “Habakkuk’s Second Complaint”. However, he is rightly distressed. God has revealed to him the His plans to allow the Chaldeans to invade Judah and plunder the city of Jerusalem. This is not exactly good news.
In fact, this is almost the worst news. Jerusalem was tied to everything that Israel held sacred regarding the worship of God. The same is true today, which is why there has been ongoing conflict over the fate of that city on a hill. To invade Jerusalem is to attack the God of Israel Himself. So it’s no wonder that Habakkuk is distressed over the fact that God has ordained for His own city to be attacked and captured.
But in the last few verses, Habakkuk reveals where His hope truly lies. It is not in a city or a temple. It is not in horses or armies of men. His hope is in the Lord. Take a look at Habakkuk 3:17-19:
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places.
If we lose everything, God will still be a good God who saves. We must get to the place where we can sing this song of praise with Habakkuk, where we are satisfied with God and God alone. Friends will leave. Flowers will fade. Food will run out. Jobs will be lost. Loved ones will die. Our health will fail.
Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord and take joy in the God of my salvation.