Habakkuk part 8 – 3:17-19 – Rejoice

  [17] Though the fig tree should not blossom,
              nor fruit be on the vines,
  the produce of the olive fail
              and the fields yield no food,
  the flock be cut off from the fold
              and there be no herd in the stalls,
  [18] yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
              I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
  [19] GOD, the Lord, is my strength;
              he makes my feet like the deer's;
              he makes me tread on my high places.
            
  To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. (ESV)

Habakkuk’s dialogue with God has radically transformed his outlook.  Having begun by questioning whether God could possibly know what He’s doing, Habakkuk now not only trusts in the LORD but rejoices in Him.  V. 17 depicts the loss of every material thing and every worldly source of security, and Habakkuk has been told that this day WILL come for God’s people.  Yet His response is to rejoice!

In the midst of disaster, God’s people have a perspective that differs drastically from that of the world.  When we come to know the God who is holy and powerful yet who saves, the God who is redeeming His entire creation, the loss of HIM is the only true disaster.  If we have been secured in His covenant love, then that means we have everything.  That means we can live lives of continual joy in all circumstances knowing that God can ONLY be good to His people.

Christians bring an even clearer perspective to this text, because we know how that covenant love was secured.  On the cross, the only true disaster befell our sinless savior.  As He cried out to the eternal Father, the response was only silence.  To save us, Jesus truly lost everything so that we could have every good thing forever.  We are now like the deer that can be sure-footed even on the most treacherous of heights.  If we have Him, then we have every good thing forever.

“For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice” – William Cowper