“God, my Lord, is my strength, he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 (NAB church edition)
Yesterday’s daily devotional in my read the bible in a year plan was the book of Habakkuk. Although there are only three chapters in this short book it speaks volumes to me because it’s so relatable. Habakkuk was written between 605-597BC during a time where the city of Judah was being overrun by idolatry and tumultuous politics. For one of the first times in Israelite literature the prophet Habakkuk complains to God, questioning His ways. God responds by saying write this down; I will come in my time and the just will live beyond the impending doom that I promise, but the rash man has no integrity. In the final chapter the prophet comes back to his faith to remember that The Lord is all-powerful and his saving grace with a poetic statement of praise. I relate because I too am guilty of questioning Gods presence in my life and His untimely response to my prayers.
Bible Study Notes on the Book of Habakkuk
1:2 “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you violence but you do not intervene!”
- I have so been here, ‘Where are you my God, I need you, come here now.’ Patience does not come effortlessly to us all.
1:3-11 “…because the wicked circumvent the just…”
- Prophet speaks about the injustice of the rulers and kings, what confuses me is that in Hebrews it says “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority” (13:17) so do we also submit to marauders and the power-hungry? These confusions are reflected in my daily life, especially now in the midst of mid-term elections where it’s time to decide on re-electing politicians or take risks on new candidates.
1:12,13 “…why then do you gaze at the faithless in silence…”
- This makes me cringe because reading it I think why does the prophet believe he has a right to ask God such demanding accusative questions, as if he were his equal, and then I realize how God must feel when I ask him questions about justice within my own life.
1: 14-17 “He* brings them up with his hook…”
- I had to read this twice before I realized the ‘he’ being referenced is the king, not God.
2:1 “I will stand on my guard post… and give watch to see… what answer he will give to my complaint.”
- I wonder, Is he being arrogant as if he “deserves” answer or is he being faithful in The Lords justice?
2: 2-20 “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets… for the vision still has it’s time… and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it… a rash man has no integrity but the just man, because of his faith, shall live.”
- I like that God says wait in faith, “write that down” (Van Wilder reference) lol
- He confirms that the virtuous man will escape his plans of destruction of evil upon patience in His timing of execution.
2:13 “Peoples toil for the flame…”
- This is such poetry, in beauty it explains the horror of building a life or city contrary to the will of God, they build up only to be consumed by His fire. Truth if I’ve ever read it.
3:1-7 “Covered are the Heavens with His glory, and with His praise the Earth is filled…”
- A lyrical tribute to His power and the fear that comes to those that are due, the book is very short and I wonder if some texts were dropped because the prophet turns back to praise very quickly.
3:13 “You come forth to save your people, and to save your anointed one.”
- Is the prophet speaking hypothetically about a theocratic king that would serve the people under God’s rule or is it the general sense that God always does justice by saving his people throughout time with the additive of a prophesy of the messiah? Hmmm…
3:19 “God, my Lord, is my strength, he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights.”
- This is probably one of the most popular quoted text from Habakkuk, it’s just so peaceful and filled with faith.
I find peace that although the prophet was bringing forth complaint to the Lord, he was answered calmly. It reminds me that God understands our faults and impatient behaviors and because of that understanding He responds with love.