This Day In History: 0000-02-09

February 9 – Habakkuk 3 

This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: 

I have heard all about You, Lord. I am filled with awe by Your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need, help us again as You did in years gone by.
And in Your anger, remember Your mercy… 

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. 

Are we as faithful as Habakkuk?  I have included only the first and last paragraphs of his prayer, so you may want to go read the whole chapter.  Habakkuk lived during a time when God seemed absent; silent. The Israelites had been wicked and unfaithful, and God had allowed the Babylonian Empire to rise to power and defeat them. They killed many and exiled most of the rest, leaving only a very small remnant behind. The land was left in total desolation.  Habakkuk had heard of days gone by when God was a mighty rescuer for His people, Israel.  He cried out to God in prayer, asking Him to remember His mercy and help them once again.  

In the middle verses, Habakkuk recounts to the Lord, the Holy One, some of the powerful ways in which He had saved His people in the past.  I am struck by the awe with which he speaks of his Savior.  He knows there was a time when all the people of the world knew that the God of Israel was to be feared, for He would always rescue His chosen people. Habakkuk reminds God that everything He does is for the salvation of His anointed ones.  In the end, he decides to wait patiently on the Lord, knowing that the day will come when He will put an end to the suffering of His people and will punish those who caused it.  The prophet can ultimately find comfort in trusting the One who is in control, believing that despite the desperation of the situation, despite the barrenness of the land, and the suffering of the people, God will sustain all those who trust in Him. 

Can we rejoice in our suffering as Habakkuk did?  Do we come before Him in the same spirit? Are we finding out all we can about Him?  Are we filled with awe by His amazing works? In our times of deep need, do we call out to Him for help? Are we contrite before Him, recognizing that our sins arouse His anger, yet appealing to His mercy?  Do we take the time to recount His mighty works for us and for His people throughout the whole of time?  Dear sisters, if we are faithful to do these things, He will surely fill us with the confidence of His Spirit.  We will be able to look at the troubles around us and, even though we may find ourselves in a barren land with little to celebrate, we will rejoice in the Lord!  We will be joyful in the God of our salvation!  The Sovereign Lord will be our strength; making us as surefooted as a deer; able to tread upon the heights.  Praise Him!