17Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet (female deer good at mountain climbing),
And makes me walk on my high places.
The prophet knew Israel was facing invasion and times were going to get really hard. Even if the people prayed, judgment was coming and could not be averted. Crops would fail and hunger would abound. The prospect of what was about to happen broke his heart.
Habakkuk 3:16 “I heard and my inward parts trembled, at the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, and in my place I tremble because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, for the people to arise who will invade us.”
Yet his response in the face of such hardship is what you read above. He will rejoice in God, no matter the circumstances. His strength comes from God, not from good circumstances.
In his prayers he is very honest with God. See Habakkuk 1:2-4 for an example of his clear and honest prayer to the Lord. Yet he always ends his prayer expressing his devotion to and trust in God. He is a model for us, helping us understand how to pray when our hearts are heavy.
Pastor Steve Hogg