Joy Despite It All
11th and final of a series of studies from Habakkuk
“I will be joyful in God my Saviour”
Habakkuk 3:18 (NIV UK)
Habakkuk ends his book on a positive note.
He has understood that his image of God was in need of revision. He realizes that the righteous will live by faith. He knows that, even when everything goes wrong and stays wrong, the promises of God are undiminished. He says in his magnificent prayer: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (3:17-18). God will deliver his people (3:13). Despite “the day of calamity” (3:16) grace and mercy will prevail because God is sovereign and he is our strength (3:19).
Sometimes, when the prophets wrote, they did not grasp the full significance of what the Holy Spirit had inspired them to write. In passing Habakkuk says to God, “You came out…to save your anointed one” (3:13). How did Habakkuk understand this? Maybe he thought it referred to the Exodus when God delivered Israel from the Egyptians. On the surface of it, that makes sense. Israel thought it was the anointed nation. But could we go deeper and explore a related thought? Jesus is God’s anointed one, the Messiah. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38), and saved him by raising him from the dead (Romans 10:9). Paul explains that, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace” (Ephesians 2:6-7). Just as God intervened to save the Israelites historically, so through Christ he has intervened to save us eternally!
At times we can feel overcome by all that we see around us, and by what is happening to us right now. Just like Habakkuk felt burdened by all he was going through and by what he knew lay immediately ahead. Through faith Habakkuk had the certain assurance that God was his Saviour. God’s gift of faith gives that same assurance to you and me.
“I will be joyful in God my Saviour” was Habakkuk’s conclusion about a life of faith. It is ours as well.
Our Father, thank you that you are my Saviour. You are the Sovereign Lord, my strength. Whether life is good or bad, I put my faith in you. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson