Habakkuk 3:1-19

Habakkuk's Triumphal Song (3:1-19)

Habakkuk 3:1 (NLT), “This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk:”

Musical Notations:

• “Shigionoth” – v.1 • “Selah” – v. 3,9,13 • “To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments” – v. 19

  1. In fearful times, learn as much truth about God as you can.

Habakkuk 3:2 (NLT), “I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. 3 I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran.”

• I have heard all about you! • Remember God’s attributes: Mercy and Justice (wrath). • Mount Paran is near Mt. Sinai. This is a clue that this song will review Israel’s miraculous exodus story – from Egypt to the Promised Land.

  1. In fearful times, remember God’s powerful acts in history.

Habakkuk 3:3b (NLT), “His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. 4 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. 5 Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6 When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One! 7 I see the people of Cushan in distress, and the nation of Midian trembling in terror. 8 Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation! 9 You brandished your bow and your quiver of arrows.”

• “parted the sea” is referring of the Red Sea crossing. • God’s chariots of salvation defeated Pharaoh’s chariots of death.

  1. In fearful times, remember that good will triumph over evil in the end.

Habakkuk 3:9b (NLT), “You split open the earth with flowing rivers. 10 The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging waters. The mighty deep cried out, lifting its hands in submission. 11 The sun and moon stood still in the sky as your brilliant arrows flew and your glittering spear flashed. 12 You marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations in your fury. 13 You went out to rescue your chosen people, to save your anointed ones. You crushed the heads of the wicked and stripped their bones from head to toe.14 With his own weapons, you destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. 15 You trampled the sea with your horses, and the mighty waters piled high.”

• The sun stood still refers to Joshua’s battle in the Promised Land. • Why is the Lord pictured as trampling the nations? • God went out to rescue your chosen people (Israel) • God went out to save your anointed ones (the royal line of David which gave us Jesus). • God went out to crush the heads of the wicked (a reference to Gen. 3:15 where is says the seed of the woman will crush Satan’s head). • In the cosmic war between good and evil, Christ and antichrist, Christ triumphs in the end!

  1. In fearful times, wait and rejoice in the LORD!

Habakkuk 3:16 (NLT), “I trembled inside when I heard this; my lips quivered with fear. My legs gave way beneath me, and I shook in terror. I will wait quietly for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us. Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”

• Habakkuk has calmed his fears by reflecting on God’s attributes, God’s miraculous work in history, and God’s soon coming to defeat evil. • Habakkuk understands that total economic collapse is coming to Judah. Yet, as long as he has the Lord, he has all he needs. • Waiting is a key Christian virtue. • The just will live by faith – that means waiting and rejoicing. • Rejoicing and joy is in the Lord, not in circumstances!

CONCLUSION: The key to living above our circumstances.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” - Habakkuk 3:19 (NLT)

In the book, Hind’s Feet in High Places, the main character is Much-Afraid. She was a victim of her circumstances (fear, pride, self-pity, resentment). With the help of The Shepherd (Christ), she journeys to the High Places. To get there, she must master her emotions, take the hand of suffering, and learn to trust the Word of the Shepherd. When she arrives at the High Place, the Shepherd asked her, “What did you have to learn in order defeat your fears and to arrive at the high places?” She said:

  1. Accept with joy all that God allows in your life.
  2. Allow no trace of bitterness in your life.
  3. Treat others with the same grace as Christ treats you.
  4. See every circumstance and trial as an opportunity to grow in obedience and be transformed into His image.