THINK IT OVER: GOD DOES NOT GRADE ON THE CURVE! “But Mr. Justice, you know I did the best in the class, why are you going to fail me?” “Because you did not complete my requirements,” Mr. Justice replied.
Habakkuk is a lot like Job when it comes to the end of his discussion and challenge with God. Both books end with the main character acknowledging the goodness, greatness, and justice of God.
This is the prayer of triumph that Habakkuk sang before the Lord: (I do not know where I got the following paraphrase. Sorry it is not ascribed the anybody. I don’t remember having done it and I don’t think it sounds like me, but it is good.)
Oh, Lord, now I have heard Your report, and I worship You in awe for the fearful things You are going to do. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as You did in years gone by. Show us Your power to save us. In Your wrath, remember mercy.
I see God moving across the deserts from Mount Sinai. His brilliant splendor fills the earth and sky: His glory fills the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise! What a wonderful God He is!
From His hands flash rays of brilliant light. He rejoices in His awesome power.
Pestilence marches before Him; plague follows close behind.
He stops; He stands still for a moment gazing at the earth. Then He shakes the nations, scattering the everlasting mountains and leveling the hills. His power is just the same as always!
I see the people of Cushan and of Midian in mortal fear.
Was it in anger, Lord, You smote the rivers and parted the sea? Were You displeased with them? No, You were sending Your chariots of salvation! All saw Your power! Then springs burst forth upon the earth at Your command!
The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging water. The mighty deep cried out, announcing its surrender to the Lord.
The lofty sun and moon began to fade, obscured by brilliance from Your arrows and the flashing of Your glittering spear.
You marched across the land in awesome anger, and trampled down the nations in Your wrath.
You went out to save Your chosen people. You crushed the head of the wicked and laid bare his bones from head to toe.
You destroyed with their own weapons those who came out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be an easy prey.
Your horsemen marched across the sea; the mighty waters piled high.
I tremble when I hear all this; my lips quiver with fear. My legs give way beneath me and I shake in terror. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us.
(Then comes the passage I used yesterday.)
Habakkuk ends thus:
The Soverign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet as the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
(Last verse gives instructions to the director or music.)