Habakkuk 3 v 17 – 19
This chapter is very relevant to the times we are living in. Habakkuk was a just man, living among the people of Judah who were living like pagans, not honouring their God, unfaithful in the worship of their God – chasing after idols and the things of the world. Doing what people do also in our day and age – being what they are: Narcissistic, Hedonistic Materialists, who keep on going through life shouting puff me, please me, pay me! He saw the horror of that – it afflicted him deeply and he was troubled about it asking why they as God’s people were like that. But God told him He was bringing the Chaldeans / Babylonians, raising them up to take Judah into captivity. He was troubled that He would use the Chaldeans whom Habakkuk thought were worse than Judah.
God’s first intent is to save you from yourself. God intended to save Judah also from themselves – not only the captivity.
This last chapter recalls the history of redemption:
a. The prologue (verses 1-3) – Habakkuk’s comprehension, call and contrition.
b. Then three stanzas:
(i) Verses 3-8 – all through history, when things looked bad, God came forth, came down and presented Himself with His people.
(ii) Verses 9-13a – God fired His arrows at nature and the enemies of His people.
(iii) Verses 13b-16 – God crushed the leader of wickedness.
c. The epilogue (verses 17-19) – Judah finds themselves having to reap the consequences of their own sin. That can happen to you too. In the midst of your sin there will be consequences and it can be devastating. God can stand ready to rip everything away from you, raise up everything against you – what we call worst case scenario because of how you’ve lived and despised God, He can bring it upon you.
How do you respond to it if you’re truly Christian? You will worship the LORD and you will walk sure-footedly. You’ll take what you’ve got coming, knowing that God will not only deliver you from what He’s brought over you, but He will deliver you from yourself and restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.
There is nothing that you have wrecked that does not have consequences but nothing that you have wrecked that God cannot redeem. Do you want hope in life? There it is – it’s your only hope! Habakkuk learned this.
- The Worst-case Scenario (v 17)
In this verse Habakkuk mentions every field of food production in the ancient near East. He’s saying that the worst-case scenario is that there will be no food for sustenance! It’s as bad as it can get God is going to afflict His people at the most basic level of human existence – there will be no food on the table – nothing to eat – lacking the most basic thing in life – something to eat. Eating is a wonderful thing – it brings us together in fellowship – the taste of good things. Eating to fortify the body – to see our children eat and get strong – when that’s taken away and there’s nothing to eat! As children we knew what poverty was, when sometimes having no food on the table. It’s worst-case scenario, because it goes along with others things – no people working. People are not farming – not doing what they are supposed to do with the means of production to produce what people need – the whole economy is gone! In our day and age God is not using the Chaldeans – He’s using a little virus, that increasingly there will be no food on the table for many people! Western Christian civilization is being besieged because for many decades we have not been the salt and light that God had called us to be. What if we find ourselves in a situation where we’re in worst-case scenario? Maybe in your personal life you’ve not worshipped God as you ought to – you’ve been phoney and fake about it, and God is calling you to order in worst-case scenario – everything that’s precious is gone.
What do you do? Habakkuk said in verse 18 “yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation” – the God who saves me from myself and then from what’s around about me. God is not going to let me ruin myself – He’s going to save me from myself and from my enemies.
- Worship the Saviour (v 18)
Three things about this aspect of worshipping the Saviour in Worst-case Scenario:
a. The prophet’s resolve (determination)
Three of the most beautiful words in the Christian Bible: “Yet I will” – it’s a decision you need to make – a stance you need to take. Whatever besets you in your life – when you’ve wrecked your life, your family, your community, your church, your country – I speak to the leaders of our land too – when worst-case scenario comes upon us and God calls us to order as a nation, as a family, as individuals, as a church and we are about to reap the consequences of that lifestyle, we need to worship the Saviour with a prophet’s resolve.
We need to say “YET I WILL!” What will you?
b. The prophet’s rejoicing.
Everybody’s chasing happiness. Let me give you some pointers – stop chasing happiness – pursue meaning and you will have joy, which is greater than happiness! The mistake people make in the West and all over the world is to chase after happiness. We must seek meaning like Habakkuk. Do you think he was going to be happy with no food on the table and the children weeping and dying of hunger? That was not happiness. It would be if someone would come and deliver food – meals on wheels, here it is – Mr Delivery! When adversity comes and God knows better than us because He is determined to save us, you must seek what Habakkuk sought throughout all his laments to God – “what does all this mean?” It was not “how are You going to take it away LORD?” He wanted to know “why is it like this and what are the consequences? I want the meaning LORD!” When Habakkuk got the meaning of it, he got something far greater than happiness – he got JOY – saying that he will rejoice in the LORD, taking joy from where it comes – from the LORD!
Happiness can come from the world, but joy comes from the LORD. Meaning gives you joy – even in the midst of adversity – in worst-case scenario. It’s what will make you strong and what you’ll need while God fixes what you broke.
Don’t chase happiness – pursue meaning like Habakkuk did, and you will have joy!
c. The prophet’s redemption
He knows that God will not only save Judah from the Chaldeans, but also from themselves. You can know that too – God will not only save you from everybody around you that you think you need to be saved from – He will do something greater and more important than that – He will save you from yourself! You need to be saved from yourself if you’re not saved, because we are dead in trespasses and sins, deaf and blind and need to be saved from ourselves. We cannot just do what comes naturally – cannot just stay the way that we are – none of us can! Let’s stop blaming everyone and everything around us already. That person that is probably the biggest problem in your life – you’re probably the biggest problem in their lives. We need to be saved from one another and from ourselves.
- Walk Sure-footedly (v 19)
God the Lord will give him the strength to get through it. The deer on a high ledge – their feet can hold unto the tiniest little crevices – God made them like that. It’s standing on a little ledge – high cliffs – as he steps, some pebbles go over the edge – you follow those pebbles, you’ll die! But you can’t just stay where you are either, because you’ll die of exposure and hunger! You have to move along through the danger, but you need the feet for it. Habakkuk says he will walk sure-footedly because God has given him the feet for it. You too – whatever you’ve broken in your life – nobody is going to come and pick you up there with a helicopter – you need to walk sure-footedly off the ledge where you’ve positioned yourself – that dangerous place which you’ve strayed on to. Habakkuk says ‘the LORD is my strength, He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places.’
There are those who say that the Covid virus is God’s judgement upon us. I don’t want to take that too far, because I see a lot of people whom I consider to be the purest of saints, suffer from it – but I do know that it is God’s virus – the devil didn’t make it, God did. When bad things happen to us, it is not because God has gone bad, but because we’ve gone bad.
That is called logic – can anybody refute that? There are bad things in this world such as viruses and diseases – it’s not always because you’ve sinned – it’s because of society’s sins too. Some people suffer because of society’s sins. Nuclear waste makes innocent people suffer, because somebody else did something evil.
The LORD has given him sure feet to walk through it – He will get you through it. That’s what Habakkuk teaches us in the last three verses, saying that “Even in Worst-case Scenario I will Worship the Saviour and Walk Sure-footedly”.