Habakkuk 3

* The prophet beseeches God for his people. (1,2) He calls to

mind former deliverances. (3-15) His firm trust in the Divine

mercy. (16-19)

1,2 The word prayer seems used here for an act of devotion. The

Lord would revive his work among the people in the midst of the

years of adversity. This may be applied to every season when the

church, or believers, suffer under afflictions and trials. Mercy

is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only

plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember

thy own mercy.
3-15 God's people, when in distress, and ready to despair, seek

help by considering the days of old, and the years of ancient

times, and by pleading them with God in prayer. The resemblance

between the Babylonish and Egyptian captivities, naturally

presents itself to the mind, as well as the possibility of a

like deliverance through the power of Jehovah. God appeared in

his glory. All the powers of nature are shaken, and the course

of nature changed, but all is for the salvation of God's own

people. Even what seems least likely, shall be made to work for

their salvation. Hereby is given a type and figure of the

redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. It is for salvation

with thine anointed. Joshua who led the armies of Israel, was a

figure of Him whose name he bare, even Jesus, our Joshua. In all

the salvations wrought for them, God looked upon Christ the

Anointed, and brought deliverances to pass by him. All the

wonders done for Israel of old, were nothing to that which was

done when the Son of God suffered on the cross for the sins of

his people. How glorious his resurrection and ascension! And how

much more glorious will be his second coming, to put an end to

all that opposes him, and all that causes suffering to his

people!
16-19 When we see a day of trouble approach, it concerns us to

prepare. A good hope through grace is founded in holy fear. The

prophet looked back upon the experiences of the church in former

ages, and observed what great things God had done for them, and

so was not only recovered, but filled with holy joy. He resolved

to delight and triumph in the Lord; for when all is gone, his

God is not gone. Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you

make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease. But those who,

when full, enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can enjoy

all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of

their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the

God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice

in him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is

especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in

the world. Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear

that man lives not by bread alone, we may be supplied by the

graces and comforts of God's Spirit. Then we shall be strong for

spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may

run the way of his commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we

shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. Thus the prophet,

who began his prayer with fear and trembling, ends it with joy

and triumph. And thus faith in Christ prepares for every event.

The name of Jesus, when we can speak of Him as ours, is balm for

every wound, a cordial for every care. It is as ointment poured

forth, shedding fragrance through the whole soul. In the hope of

a heavenly crown, let us sit loose to earthly possessions and

comforts, and cheerfully bear up under crosses. Yet a little

while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and

where he is, we shall be also.

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