By Ashley Synowicki
Habakkuk continued his prayerful response of praise to God this week as we continued on in Chapter 3. However, he shifted his focus just slightly. In verses 8-11 he is no longer talking about God, but talking directly to Him. Habakkuk is recounting, both to God and himself, the miraculous ways in which God has defended and delivered His people in the past. As we read Habakkuk’s words, we find remembering to be a powerful tool.
Habakkuk begins by recounting when the LORD rescued His people from slavery in Egypt. God’s anger and wrath were poured out on Pharoah and the Egyptians on behalf of His own people. God turned the Nile River to blood and parted the Red Sea to rescue the Israelites on His chariot of salvation. Habakkuk also remembers in verse 9 when God “split the earth with rivers” during the Israelites’ time in the wilderness to again provide for them.
The stories Habakkuk is remembering serve two purposes. First, they are meant to encourage Habakkuk that God will honor His word because He has honored His promises to His people countless times before. Therefore, Habakkuk can have confidence that God will bring wrath and anger towards the Chaldeans in His timing, just as He promised in Chapter 2. Secondly, they point to a future judgment. The judgment in which Jesus Himself will return to usher in a new heaven and new earth to conquer evil once and for all. We can have courage and wait in expectation for that day because the events of that day are also promised throughout Scripture. Just as God was faithful to deliver His people from Egypt, and faithful to restore the Israelites from the Chaldeans, Christ will also come on the clouds with great glory to gather us up (Matthew 24:30).
We were reminded in verse 11 this week that one of the many attributes of God is that of warrior. In verse 11 He is described as sending His arrows and using a glittering spear. Again, we remembered back with Habakkuk to Joshua 10:12-14 when the Lord stopped the sun and moon after Joshua made a prayerful request. He gave His people the advantage so they could win a victory. God even struck the opposing army with hailstones from heaven because “Surely, the LORD was fighting for Israel”, Joshua 10:14.
All of these instances that Habakkuk recounts are meant to be an encouragement. They give us confidence to faithfully trust that God keeps His promises as we remember the true accounts through Scripture for encouragement in our own circumstances. We can have confidence knowing that we have a warrior God who has done tremendous things on behalf of His people, and will continue to do so in the future.