Habakkuk’s prayer came shortly before the Babylonian invasion of Judah (605 BC). Facing His coming judgement, the prophet struggled with God’s justice. However, Habakkuk wanted the righteous remnant of Judah to keep their heads high and to remain faithful to God even during the difficult days to come (2:4). He concludes his book with a prayer expressing his unwavering trust in the Lord, despite his insecurities and questions.
Habakkuk begins this prayer by acknowledging the Lord’s fame and awesome deeds (3:2). He uses Yahweh’s name twice in the first sentence to bookend his proclamation of God’s reputation. Habakkuk stands in holy awe of Yahweh. In light of his current circumstance, it is no wonder that he requests Yahweh to repeat His miraculous deeds.
He begins by praising God for His deliverance in the past. Verses 3 to 7 recall the Israelites’ flight from Egypt. He alludes to Mount Sinai (vv. 3–4), God’s punishment through pestilence and plague (v. 5), and God’s descent to Sinai to give Moses the law (vv. 6–7). In the middle section (vv. 8–15), Habakkuk praises God for His power in bringing salvation. He declares Yahweh’s strength and might over nature, armies, and kings. In the final section (vv. 16–19), Habakkuk expresses the challenging question of trusting in the Lord despite one’s difficult circumstances.
In the midst of the coming destruction from the Babylonians, Habakkuk’s heart was pounding and lips shaking (v. 16). Nonetheless, even though the coming invasion would lead to destruction and starvation, his faith and trust in Yahweh remained steadfast and he pledged to continue to exalt the Lord (vv. 17–18). The Lord was his source of hope and security, no matter the challenges he faced.
>> Remembering God’s goodness to us during difficult times in our life will help us pray through the difficulties we face. Thank God for His deliverance in your past as you pray for the hope of your future.