There are times for all of us, when things just do not go well. Sometimes this state last for moments, sometimes for days, weeks, months or years, before we are able to extract ourselves from the weight of the burdens of our oppression. As Christians, we are called to turn to the Lord and turn to the Word of the Lord. In that turning, we shall receive solace and comfort and our burdens and conditions will be eased as we earnestly seek Him. Indeed Jesus offer this directly in Matthew 11:29-30 then he tells us to ”Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Some of us come to this understanding quickly and take the Lord’s words at face value. Others “soldier on” in the flesh, hoping against hope that something will change. Foolishness is doing the exactly same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome, yet we brazenly persist, and nothing changes.
Some 2,600 years ago the Prophet Habakkuk found himself in this type of situation. Things were just not going well. Not well at all, for he had faithfully prophesied the words of the Lord to Judah that the Babylonians were coming execute the Lord’s judgement upon them. That time was now fast approaching. Sometimes the Lord will take this prophets out of difficult situations and sometimes not. This time it appeared Habakkuk was to share with Judah the Babylonian onslaught. Despair filled both the nation of Judah and Habakkuk himself.
Then Habakkuk began fervent pray and praise the Lord and the Lord answered his questions. He poured his heart out to the Lord, acknowledging his own fears and acknowledged guilt in the displeasures of the Lord. Habakkuk held nothing back from the Lord as he spoke out all in both truth and honesty.
Then in three verses, 3:17-19, his prayer changed, not by intention, but by metamorphosis, into a Hymn of Faith in the Lord:
“Though the fig tree shall not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labour of the olive fails,
And the fields yield no food.
Though the flock is cut off from the fold,
And no herd is in the stalls;
Yet I will rejoice in Jehovah,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Jehovah the Lord is my strength,
He will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
He will make me to walk on my high places.”
It was as if the Spirit of the Lord had stepped in, as Habakkuk’s words changed from a passionate desperate prayer, into a Hymn of Praise. There was a change of heart, a change of spiritual condition. From the three woes of Chapter Two it changed into a Hymn of Praise. Oh how Habakkuk’s heart must have lifted as his prayer developed and he heard the words his mouth uttered. The last line of the Book of Habakkuk (which immediately follows this prayer) tells it all, as Habakkuk 3:19 finishes with an instruction: “To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments”. He had just written a Hymn.
The physical conditions of Habakkuk had not changed from the time he started the prayer, but his spiritual condition had changed totally. He was renewed. Habakkuk’s eyes were now on the Lord and on all His blessings, not on his own problems and fears. His eyes were now focussed correctly, where they should have been from the very beginning, on his Lord.
Habakkuk had again proven truth in the words of Psalm 59:9 “O my Strength, let me look to You, for God is my strong tower.” For in Habakkuk’s looking to, and concentrating on, God during his prayer, the Lord had built for Habakkuk a joyous strong tower. A Hymn of Praise had arisen out of a both a physical situation and a prayer of desperation.
What is it that changed? It is really quite simple. Habakkuk had received the “Truth” of God. This is the absolute truth, which when received, makes all else meaningless; makes all else dull and drab by comparison. His present physical condition was suddenly of no matter. The Babylonians were now of no concern to him. He now knew the Truth.
Jesus gives us two simple illustrations of what Habakkuk found, first in Matthew 13:44 “the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which when a man has found it, he hides it, and for the joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.” And again in next two verses “the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”
I pray that You will now share Your Truth with me in such a way that I will be able to comprehend it. That You will change me today, from what I am, to that which You wish me to be for You. I pray that in Your Truth and in Your Truth alone, I will walk for the rest of my life.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen and Amen.