Habakkuk’s Closing Words: Shouts of Joy

Habakkuk stands out as a man of great faith. He knew there would come a time when all would be made right (God told him so), but today was not that day. And though none of his external circumstances had changed, he still testifies of his faith with boldness.

In the Old Testament, God’s covenant with his people dictated that obedience resulted in a fruitful land, while disobedience produced a cursed land.

With the nation’s rebellion against God and the coming of the Babylonians, Habakkuk could expect to see devastation in the land. The sins of others would continue to affect him deeply.

“I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered.
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.

Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls” (Habakkuk 3:16–17)

Verses 18–19 demonstrate Habakkuk’s deep joy in the Lord. How was this possible? The Lord was his strength.

“Yet I will exult in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places” (Habakkuk 3:18–19).

The word exult has the idea of exultation or triumph. The word rejoice refers to “rejoicing or shouting in exultation.” Habakkuk chooses enthusiastic expressions of joy to demonstrate his faith in the Lord.

The idea of rejoicing often bears in mind God’s works or attributes throughout the OT.

Though circumstances may change for the worst, like Habakkuk, we may outwardly rejoice in any circumstance because our God’s character remains unchanging. Amen.