Reading through the Bible together
Having challenged God’s apparent inaction and heard God’s answer, Habakkuk responds with a prayer. The petition is found in verse 2 where Habakkuk expresses his awe of God and then prays for renewal. He then expresses his confidence and trust in the Lord in a psalm of praise. He frames his praise with a recollection of God’s leading his people in the past. This is a common poetic method used by prophets and poets in the Bible.
For example in verse 7 Habakkuk refers to the reaction of the surrounding nations when Israel was delivered from slavery (Ex. 15:14-16). The sun and moon standing still in verse 11 is probably a reference to the victory by Joshua at Gibeon (Joshua 10:12, 13). This is reminding the reader that when God acts as He promised in chapter 2, the victory will be even greater and more complete.
The chapter concludes with a wonderful affirmation of faith. Having asked the questions and heard God’s answers, Habakkuk affirms that he is willing to trust God, no matter what the circumstances are. He may experience suffering for a time, but his faith in God his Saviour is unshakable.
Habakkuk’s message is a message for our times. He poses the questions that many are posing today: Why doesn’t God act? How can a just God allow such terrible things to happen? God’s assurance that He is in control is just as true today as it was in Habakkuk’s time.
We are confronted by wickedness on every hand and ask: “How much longer?” May his prayer be our prayer. When we remember how God led His people and has led in our individual lives, it will give us strength to trust Him in the difficult times as well. And like Habakkuk we will respond in praise, affirming our faith in the God who never fails.
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