Through the final chapter of the minor prophet Habakkuk, Alistair Begg explains that Habakkuk rejoiced not because the circumstances surrounding him were resolved, but because through God’s answer to his prayer, the prophet gained a renewed, eternal perspective. God understands perfectly the cries of our hearts, and the right response to His answers is to do as Habakkuk did: wait patiently and pray fervently.
1A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
2O Lord, I have heard the report of you,
and your work, O Lord, do I fear.
In the midst of the years revive it;
in the midst of the years make it known;
in wrath remember mercy.
3God came from Teman,
and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covered the heavens,
and the earth was full of his praise.
4His brightness was like the light;
rays flashed from his hand;
and there he veiled his power.
5Before him went pestilence,
and plague followed at his heels.1
6He stood and measured the earth;
he looked and shook the nations;
then the eternal mountains were scattered;
the everlasting hills sank low.
His were the everlasting ways.
7I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
8Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?
Was your anger against the rivers,
or your indignation against the sea,
when you rode on your horses,
on your chariot of salvation?
9You stripped the sheath from your bow,
calling for many arrows.2 Selah
You split the earth with rivers.
10The mountains saw you and writhed;
the raging waters swept on;
the deep gave forth its voice;
it lifted its hands on high.
11The sun and moon stood still in their place
at the light of your arrows as they sped,
at the flash of your glittering spear.
12You marched through the earth in fury;
you threshed the nations in anger.
13You went out for the salvation of your people,
for the salvation of your anointed.
You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,
laying him bare from thigh to neck.3 Selah
14You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,
who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,
rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.
15You trampled the sea with your horses,
the surging of mighty waters.
16I hear, and my body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
rottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet I will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.
17Though 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,
18yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer's;
he makes me tread on my high places.
To the choirmaster: with stringed4 instruments.
Have you ever asked God why there is suffering and injustice in the world? The Old Testament prophet Habakkuk did just that. Living some 600 years before the birth of Christ, Habakkuk looked on the evil and disobedience of Israel and asked God two questions that many still ask today: why does God tolerate evil and how long will it continue unpunished? God’s answer to Habakkuk shocked the prophet, but Habakkuk responded with awe and wonder in the face of the all-powerful and all-knowing God. In this series from the Book of Habakkuk, Alistair Begg reminds us that these verses, like all of the Bible, are beneficial to us. As we face our own difficult questions about the evil, chaos, disease, and sin in the world around us, the book of Habakkuk teaches us that the ways of God are not simple. He is still powerfully in control, and while we might not understand His answers, He always acts to accomplish His eternal and perfect purposes.
How Long and Why?
Look and Be Amazed!
Let All the Earth Be Silent
I Will Rejoice!
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