Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes 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 rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk looks around him and doesn't see God at work. In his honesty and struggle with what he sees, he brings his cry to the Lord Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted (1:3, 4). And again, Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves (1:13)? And Habakkuk looks to the Lord for an answer. God speaks and says, "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald my run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. . . . For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (2:2, 3, 14)." And contrary to people's lifeless idols, "But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." In other words, God will have the last word!!!
And so Habakkuk offers his prayer, his psalm unto the Lord in chapter 3. He cries out for God to move in his time. Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. And Habakkuk ends his prayer in a realization of all he has in the Lord. He draws his sight up higher. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes 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 rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. And so the message of Habakkuk which resonates so powerfully: "But the LORD. . . ." And our response: Wait on the LORD, and while we are waiting, we can rejoice in Him. He brings us ever higher from where we are to where He is. The KJV uses the term hind's feet in this final phrase. The following is a quote from a Christian counseling ministry website, www.hishighplaces.org: "What exactly is 'hind's feet?' A hind is a female deer that can place her back feet exactly where her front feet stepped. Not one inch off! She is able to run with abandonment! In times of danger, she is able to run securely and not get 'off track.' The hind is able to scale unusually difficult terrain and elude predators."
When we are tempted to run, run to Him! There was a time when many of Jesus' disciples began to turn from following Him. "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
Isaiah's message in one of his most beautiful chapters, 40, resonates the message of Habakkuk: Hast thou not know? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).
Regardless of what you see around you, wait on and in the Lord. But the Lord! Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!