“I 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. 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.” (Habakkuk 3:16-18)
In Habakkuk 3:2 the prophet said, “O 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.” In Habakkuk 3; 16 the prophet provides a bookend which compliments 3:2. ““I 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.”
God’s revelation to the prophet has resulted in Habakkuk experiencing extreme physical exhaustion. He understands what God is going to do in bringing judgment upon Judah through an invasion by the Babylonians. In response, his body trembles with fear, his lips quiver in stunned astonishment and confusion, and his bones feel as if they are going to break into pieces and his legs tremble in anguish. The prophet is overcome by his circumstances. Yet, he resolves to quietly wait for the trouble he knows will come.
Have you ever felt this way a time or two about your circumstances? You are completely and utterly exhausted by what has happened, is happening and what you fear will happen. You are exhausted not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally and spiritually. In short, you are overwhelmed.
The question now is what do you do? Where do you turn? Where do you go for help? The obvious answer, and the biblical one, is to the LORD. This involves saturating your mind by reading His Word. The Psalms are a good place to begin because they so often communicate the raw emotions of the psalmists. Psalm 27 comes immediately to mind.
Following the reading and meditation of Scripture, take time for prayer. If necessary, a considerable amount of time. This involves not only your petitions or requests, but also adoration of God, thanksgiving to God and confession of sin before God.
Following this, reaffirm your love trust in the LORD. This is what Habakkuk does. He does not ignore his situation or the problems that will occur as a direct result of the impending invasion by Babylon. Rather, he remains focused on the faithfulness of God and affirms his trust in God who is faithful. Meditate upon Habakkuk’s words.
“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.”
Upon closer examination, we see that Habakkuk explores the essence of life and living in Israel. It is a land of fig trees and fig tree farmers. It is a land of grapes and olives. It is a country filled with fertile land and crops. It is also a land dominated by grazing sheep.
Yet what will happen if and when all these natural resources are destroyed or stolen. What will the prophet do? What will we do when all we have known and depended upon is taken away from us? The prophet provides the answer: “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.”
My joy and security is not to be found in the things or circumstances of life but rather in LORD, my God. The God of my salvation. In Him I will trust.
It is not easy sometimes to focus upon the Lord rather than our situations. Sometimes, it may even be a battle but it is a battle worth waging.
May the LORD’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!