Habakkuk prays that God will show himself once again as long ago (verses 1, 2), and then describes a vision of God coming to deliver his people. Past, present and future are intermingled. God’s self-revelation in the past at Sinai, at the Red Sea, and at the entrance of Canaan are pictured under the image of a thunderstorm rolling up from the south and breaking upon Palestine. The same ‘Holy One’ is at work also in the present, and the tumults of the nations are the tokens that he has come in judgment to work salvation for his people.
- Habakkuk considered God’s working in the past with longing and fear (verses 1, 2).
Do we know such longing? Cf. Pss. 85:6; 143:5, 6; Is. 64:1-3.
Why was he afraid?
Cf. Heb. 12:21, 28, 29.
- The poetry describes political upheavals. Cf. Is. 29:5-8. Yet the poetry also is full of God’s acts.
How does this vision teach us to regard the world-happenings of our own day?
What is God’s purpose through them?
Cf. Ps. 74:12; Luke 21:25-28.
- What two effects did the vision have on Habakkuk? With verse 16, cf. Dan. 10:8; Rev. 1:17.
With verses 17, 18, cf. Ps. 73:25, 26; Phil. 4:11-13.
Are we as sensitive as Habakkuk was to the glory and the faithfulness of the God with whom, by grace, we have to do?
- What three things did God – trusted and rejoiced in – do for the prophet?
Cf. Ps. 18:32, 39; Zech. 4:6; Is. 40:31.
Which of these do you particularly need God to do for you?
- Verse 3. ‘Teman’, ‘Mount Paran’: i.e., the region of Sinai.
- Verse 4. Allusions to lightning and thick clouds.
- Verse 8. The answer is found in verses 13-15.