TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Today’s reading covers the entire book of Habakkuk. At the end of the book are these words that express the prophet’s confidence in God:
Hab. 3:17-18 Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit 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 triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
The Babylonians would be increasing their empire as they invaded Judah, but Habakkuk knew that God would then in turn bring judgment on the invading armies. The prophet’s role in the meantime was to “quietly wait for the day of distress to come against the people invading us” (Hab. 3:16). God would indeed bring His judgment — but He would do it in His timing.
So, Habakkuk had learned that he could trust God even if everything were messed up — even if the trees produced no buds and the fields produced no food. If nothing went right, still Habakkuk could rely on God. But, not only could he trust God, but he would also rejoice in God.
Rejoicing in God is seldom easy when the bottom drops out beneath us. Rejoicing may not be easy, but still it’s necessary. He is worthy of our worship whether we find ourselves at the top of the mountain or at the bottom of the valley. Rejoicing in the toughest times might, in fact, be one of the strongest witnesses we have.
PRAYER: “God, I don’t know what today will bring. It could bring disaster. If it does, grant me grace to rejoice in You anyway.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 41-45