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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Habakkuk 3

 

 

Verses 1-19

3:1-19 HABAKKUK TRUSTS IN GOD'S JUDGMENT

The psalm of Chapter 3 has no direct connection with Judah and the Babylonians. Nevertheless, it is relevant to what Habakkuk has just written, for it describes the appearance of God in his work of judging the nations and saving his people. The psalm is introduced by what appears to be the name of the tune to which it was sung (3:1).

Habakkuk recalls the mighty works that God has done for his people in the past, and he prays that God will act on their behalf again. However, he knows that when God's anger is stirred against sinners, Israel's enemies may not be the only ones to suffer. God's people also are sinners, and therefore the prophet prays for God's mercy when he deals with them (2).

God's judgment is pictured in a number of illustrations, some of which appear to be taken from the story of Israel's escape from Egypt and journey to Canaan under Moses. The judgment is like a thunderstorm that is seen approaching over the tops of the southern mountains (3-4); like a plague from which no one escapes (5); like an earthquake that terrorizes the nations and shakes the mountains (6); like a desert wind that blows down the Arab's tents (7); like the overthrow of enemies in battle, whether by armies or by the spectacular intervention of the forces of nature (8-9); like a flood that sweeps everything away (10); like an eclipse of the sun that leaves the earth in darkness (11); like the triumph of a warrior who kills his enemies and saves his people (12-15).

The prophet trembles as he thinks of such a judgment. His only hope is to trust in the controlling justice and mercy of God (16). Fields and flocks may be destroyed, but he will remain faithful to God. He will rest contented in the knowledge that a God of infinite wisdom and power knows what he is doing, and his will is perfect. Such deep trust is the answer to the questions, doubts and complaints that he had earlier expressed (17-19).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Habakkuk 3:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/habakkuk-3.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 5th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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