3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
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.
God came from Teman,
and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covered the heavens,
and the earth was full of his praise.
His brightness was like the light;
rays flashed from his hand;
and there he veiled his power.
Before him went pestilence,
and plague followed at his heels.
He 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.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction;
the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was 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?
You stripped the sheath from your bow,
calling for many arrows. Selah
You split the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw you and writhed;
the raging waters swept on;
the deep gave forth its voice;
it lifted its hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their place
at the light of your arrows as they sped,
at the flash of your glittering spear.
You marched through the earth in fury;
you threshed the nations in anger.
You 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. Selah
You 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.
You trampled the sea with your horses,
the surging of mighty waters.
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.
Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord
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.
GOD, 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 stringed instruments.
Habakkuk 3 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Questions are answered. Habakkuk’s choice and action are critical. His prayer simple: Revive us. Revive Your work in the midst of the years.
Is that not a beautiful thought to consider? Revive Your work Holy God, in us. Revive Your work in the people we love. Revive Your work in the mission to which you’ve called us. Revive Your work in the church. Revive Your work!
Revival is not construed by man or manipulated by feelings. It is impossible to fabricate or make happen. It is the absolute work of God’s Spirit deep within the heart and soul of man which brings the credit and glory of His astounding works and renewal to Him and Him alone. Our position is simply to cry out for Him to revive His work, plead for His work to be started afresh, anew or picked up from where we wandered.
Revive Your work in the midst of the years.
Sometimes this is a personal prayer. “Lord, revive me.” This resuscitation of God begins within. It requires an inner search of things as we look at our actions, our conversations, our communion with Jesus. It truly does take a search of our attitudes and thought processes of where we see God and how we’ve responded to Him. But it all begins, the turnaround happens, when we pray “Revive me.”
And sometimes it is a corporate prayer. It takes looking at people whom we love or are burdened for; the church of which we serve and attend; the random encounters that we meet and ask for His revival to move beyond us. Revive Your work!
Habakkuk longed for God to do a work that was evident and recognized by everyone. He asked for it “in the midst of the years”. It’s a definite request for a time and place, not just something that is internal. It’s a revival that meets people exactly where they are, in the middle of the mundane years even, where new life begins afresh.
Don’t you want it? Don’t you wish for such a renewal? Pray boldly this day – “O God, revive Your work in the midst of the years!”
Habakkuk 3 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
O LORD, I have heard of what you have done, and I am filled with awe. Now do again in our times the great deeds you used to do. Be merciful, even when you are angry.Habakkuk 3:2 GNB
Let us remember the faithfulness of God in the past. Let us rejoice and praise His Name for His victory. Do it again, Lord! This was the heart of Habakkuk. This psalm was meant to be sung by the captives during the exile. Though he knew the fate of his people, he couldn’t help but continue to praise God and look toward a time when His mercy would shine down. The storms that Habakkuk saw on the horizon did not alienate him from God. The storms drew him closer.
Is this how we react to the storms of life? Is this our response when the fields are bare… when the fig tree has no fruit… and when no grapes grow on the vine?
Even though the fig trees have no fruit and no grapes grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no grain, even though the sheep all die and the cattle stalls are empty, 18 I will still be joyful and glad, because the LORD God is my savior. 19 The Sovereign LORD gives me strength. He makes me sure-footed as a deer and keeps me safe on the mountains.Habakkuk 3:17-19 GNB
This is such a powerful Word! Even if the sheep die, and the cattle stalls are empty and the crops fail, God is still on the throne. He’s not nervous. He’s not lost control. We can still trust in Him. What does this mean practically today? It means that even if His gifts are taken away and His blessings are removed, there is still victory IN Him. Our hope does not come from the gifts, it comes from knowing The Giver. This is a subtle but important distinction. Many will abandon God when times get tough. Many will lose faith and take matters into their own hands. Not Habakkuk.
“If all God’s gifts failed he would still possess the Giver. He could still triumph in God. Indeed, the divine Savior and Friend is often more apparent when the fields and the farmsteads are bare.”F.B. Meyer