Happy Memories of Bad Times” was the title of an article Philip Yancey wrote for Christianity Today a number of years ago in which he explored the way age affects how people remember difficult times. In his conclusion he wrote, “Partly from listening to elderly people, I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse. Fifty years casts another light on a marriage; the century looks different from a ninety-four year-old view.” What is the old saying, “hindsight is 20/20”?
The story of Habakkuk and the oracle he wrote for us is a story about a man who is overwhelmed by the world in which he lives and who then cries to God only to discover that the cure is worse than the disease, a classic case of getting what you pray for but finding out that the answer is not as desirable as you expected. But in the end Habakkuk reveals a depth of maturity and faith for which, I pray, we all long.
Pray: In your prayer today you might reference Hebrews 11:1 and let that inform your prayer for the Lord to speak to you by His prophet Habakkuk.
Read: All three chapters of Habakkuk.
Meditate: Our focus this week will be on Habakkuk’s song, chapter 3, and the questions below are designed to help you think about how the issues of his complaints and God’s answers are resolved in his heart. There are echoes of Job (and countless saints down through the ages!) in the heart of Habakkuk. The reason we call this Habakkuk’s song is because there are a number of markers that reveal it as a prayer put to music. Notice that this chapter begins with “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet.” The term Shigionoth is a term that identifies a highly emotional form of poetry. The three “Selahs” are musical terms that generally suggest a pause or rest. And the closing line in the book assigns it to “the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.”