Continuing to Trust

KEY VERSE: “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” —Habakkuk 3:17,18

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Habakkuk, Chapters 1-3

THE PROPHET HABAKKUK was a prophet of Judah in a period prior to the invasion of that land by the Babylonians, although the exact time is not certain. God had prophesied of this invasion for some time through Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s prophecies in particular. Habakkuk was utilized to write his prophecy for our day and time. His complaint, as recorded in Habakkuk 1:1-4, is typical of all sincere people in this present evil world who cry to God for an end to the violence and strife around them. God’s answer to Habakkuk was strange. He told Habakkuk that Judah would suffer even more violence by the invasion of the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar, causing Habakkuk to respond that he knew this was painful to God, also. He said: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”—Hab. 1:13

Habakkuk was given a glimpse of God’s righteous kingdom. This vision is mentioned in Habakkuk 2: 2,3, and is clearly defined in the 14th verse where he says: “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” This was the prophecy that Habakkuk wanted to see fulfilled, and he was told by the Lord that this vision would surely come. Even if it might not come when expected, it was sure to be realized. So, Habakkuk pronounced a series of ‘woes’ directed against the evils of this world. These are recorded in the second chapter of his prophecy.

The third chapter of Habakkuk is a record of his final prayer. As all God’s work was unfolded before this righteous man, from the violence of the present evil world to the judgments pronounced against it, he expressed a recognition of God’s great and mighty power that will, indeed, accomplish everything he has promised. Thus, this prayer recounts the Day of Vengeance of our God, which brings this present evil world to an end.

We are reminded that the most important feature of God’s plan—a vision of the kingdom—is the salvation of the people. We read: “Thou hast come forth to the salvation of thy people, to salvation with thine Anointed One.”—Hab. 3:3, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible

The ‘Anointed One’ is the Messiah, Jesus, “who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (I Tim. 2:6) The ransom sacrifice of Jesus was forecast as making possible God’s judgments against all evil, and especially against the Evil One. Habakkuk 3:13, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, continues: “Thou hast crushed the head out of the house of the Lawless One, baring the foundation up to the neck.” God had prophesied to the serpent, in mother Eve’s presence, that the ‘seed’ of the woman “shall bruise thy [Satan’s] head,” (Gen. 3:15) and this verse speaks of its fulfillment.

As the Lord’s people wait for God’s kingdom, they are likely to suffer disappointments and discouragements—pictured by the failure of crops and agriculture listed in our Key Verse. Their reactions should be similar to Habakkuk’s, who expressed complete trust in the promises of God, saying: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”—vs. 18

Dawn Bible Students Association
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