God’s Salvation of His People
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to [a]wild and enthusiastic music.
O Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear.
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath [earnestly] remember compassion and love.
God [approaching from Sinai] comes from Teman (Edom),
And the Holy One from [b]Mount Paran. Selah ([c]pause, and calmly think of that).
His splendor and majesty covers the heavens
And the earth is full of His praise.
His brightness is like the sunlight;
He has [bright] rays flashing from His hand,
And there [in the sunlike splendor] is the hiding place of His power.
Before Him goes the pestilence [of judgment as in Egypt],
And [the burning] plague [of condemnation] follows at His feet [as in Sennacherib’s army].(A)
He stood and measured the earth;
He looked and startled the nations,
Yes, the eternal mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills bowed low and collapsed.
His ways are eternal.
I [Habakkuk, in my vision] saw the tents of Cushan under distress;
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.
Did the Lord rage against the rivers,
Or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your wrath against the [Red] Sea,
That You rode on Your horses,
On Your chariots of salvation?
Your bow was made bare;
The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah (pause, calmly think of that).
You split the earth with rivers [bringing waters to dry places].(B)
The mountains saw You and [they] trembled and writhed [as if in pain];
The downpour of waters swept by [as a deluge].
The deep uttered its voice and raged,
It lifted its hands high.
The sun and moon stood in their places [as before Joshua];
They went away at the light of Your [swift] arrows,
At the radiance and gleam of Your glittering spear.(C)
In indignation You marched through the earth;
In anger You trampled and threshed the nations.
You went forth for the salvation of Your people,
For the salvation and rescue of Your anointed [people Israel].
You struck the [d]head from the house of the wicked
To lay him open from the thigh to the neck. Selah (pause, and calmly think of that).
With the enemy’s own spears, You pierced
The head of his hordes.
They stormed out to scatter us,
Rejoicing like those
Who secretly devour the oppressed [of Israel].
You have trampled on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters.(D)
I heard and my whole inner self trembled;
My lips quivered at the sound.
Decay and rottenness enter my bones,
And I tremble in my place.
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade and attack us.
Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!(E)
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my [e]high places [of challenge and responsibility].
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
- Habakkuk 3:1 Lit Shigionoth. The musical heading suggests that this chapter should be sung.
- Habakkuk 3:3 Located in the Sinai peninsula.
- Habakkuk 3:3 The exact meaning of selah is unknown; many think it calls for a pause in music.
- Habakkuk 3:13 Perhaps a reference to Pharaoh.
- Habakkuk 3:19 The troubled times of life may actually be the “high places” of spiritual growth for the believer who remains stable when tested by God.
- Habakkuk 3:5 : Ex 7:2-4; 2 Kin 19:32-35
- Habakkuk 3:9 : Ex 17:6; Num 20:11
- Habakkuk 3:11 : Josh 10:12, 13
- Habakkuk 3:15 : Ex 15:8
- Habakkuk 3:18 : Rom 8:37