Yet, I Will Rejoice in the Lord
Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given
Jesus Christ, His Son (Repeat)
And now, let the poor say, “I am rich,
Let the weak say I am strong,
because of what the Lord has done for us”
The book of Habakkuk is located between Nahum and Zephaniah near the back of the Old Testament.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NRSV) 17 Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails,
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold,
and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.
This is the Word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.
Let us pray: Father God, you alone are the source of every good thing in our lives. Help us today to know, understand and believe that all of our hope is in You. May we have the joy that comes in knowing you and trusting in you. Amen.
How many of you have never even heard of Habakkuk? For some reason, there are not many sermons or Bible studies on Habakkuk, who was a prophet in Jerusalem, probably around 609-598 B.C. since he spoke of events that would occur around the time the Babylonians defeated the Northern Kingdom.
Called the questioning prophet, it is easy to see where he got his name. Habakkuk constantly questioned God, not with “are you really God?” but instead, “why are you making me see these horrible things”, and ultimately, “why will you use a people even more wicked than we are to bring us to judgment?”
Habakkuk reminds us of Jonah, except while Jonah ran from God’s words, Habakkuk began to pray. And notice that when Habakkuk prayed, he didn’t do all of the talking. He listened. Habakkuk was asking the same questions many of us are asking today. “Why do you allow evil to continue upon this earth? Where is justice? And, reading this scripture reminds us that while God may seem silent and uninvolved in our world, He always has a plan.
After years of questioning God, Habakkuk finally came to know the One, True, and the Living God. With that knowledge came the understanding that, even in the midst of turmoil, we can learn to praise the Creator of the Universe, the One Who gave His only Son for our salvation, and the One Who waits to embrace us when our journey here has ended.
Habakkuk shows us that we should not just praise God only for what He has done, but for who He is. We were created to have relationship with God, and part of that relationship is the desire to praise Him. What has happened to that desire to give God the glory, not just for the great things He has done, but for His very nature?
Where is God in all of this chaos in which we now live? God has not changed, and God has not moved. God is the one constant in each of our lives.
One of my favorite books is “Hinds Feet on High Places,” by Hannah Hurnard. Written in allegorical form, it is the story of a little deer who was afraid of everything. But she heard the sound of the Good Shepherd, who beckoned her to join him in the High Places. It was a treacherous journey, and when she finally reached the peaks of the mountains, she looked down and saw a cross that would have made her journey so much easier.
Today, I encourage you to turn off the news for even one day, turn away from the world, and turn toward Jesus and just give thanks. Allow Jesus Christ to make your feet like the feet of deer, swift and sure, so that you can climb above the cares of this world.
Benediction: 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Be thankful and take the name of Jesus with you and share Him with all you meet.