“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”Habbakuk 3: 1-2, 16-19 KJV
“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
In this fast-moving, fun-living, freedom-loving age in which we now find ourselves, we are often caught off guard when the worst comes. Perhaps, we are at ease or too comfortable with the modern conveniences of life; we live our lives as if the worst will not come.
Habakkuk, an obscure prophet of whom we know very little, had a plan for the worst. Habakkuk, the job of the prophets, lived during a time of national calamity.
In chapters one and two, we see Habakkuk pouring out his complaints before God. From where he sat the nation was saying, obedience to God was optional, morals were missing, and folk couldn’t have cared less about the law. Not only was there corruption in the government; there was also moral, ethical, and spiritual decay. There was a breach in the covenant relationship between God and the people.
Habakkuk determines that he will wait for the awesome day of calamity, trusting that the great God who performed awesome deeds in the past at Mount Sinai and the Red Sea would do so, in God’s own way, once again. To this testament of trust, Habakkuk appends a codicil, “God, do what must be done, but in your wrath remember mercy.”
The worst came to Habakkuk’s day; it comes to our day. In this life, things do not always go according to plan. Calamitous circumstances, tumultuous times, and perilous predicaments arrest our attention as they zigzag across the landscape of our social and individual horizons.
We need to have a strategic plan, a contingency plan, a dynamic course of action, because the worst does come. If it has not happened to you yet, just keep on living. Keep on walking. Keep on talking. There are bumps in the road. There are detours up ahead. There are problems to go through. The worst does come.
Habakkuk said to his generation and to ours that he has a plan for the worst of times; “Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls” — in the worst of times — “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD.” Notice Habakkuk does not say, “Then will I rejoice in the Lord.” He says, “Yet.”
In other words, “I am going to keep on doing what I have always done. I am going to praise God because God is no stranger to crises of this magnitude.”
The same God who moved in history is involved in this present hour. Over watching our days, our months, and our years is the great guardian. So I am going to live by what my faith tells me. My faith tells me God will come through again. My faith tells me that God will make things right.
If the worst should come, I’m still trusting Him.
By Rev. Dr. W. Marshall Myles, Senior Pastor