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1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet vpon Sigionoth.

2 O Lord, I haue heard thy speach, and was afraide: O Lord, reuiue thy worke in the midst of the yeeres, in the midst of the yeeres make knowen; in wrath remember mercy.

3 God came from Teman, and the holy on from mount Paran Selah. His glory couered the heauens and the earth was full of his praise.

4 And his brightnesse was as the light: he had hornes comming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of his power:

5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coales went forth at his feete.

6 He stood and measured the earth: hee beheld and droue asunder the nations, and the euerlasting mountaines were scattered, the perpetuall hilles did bowe: his wayes are euerlasting.

7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtaines of the land of Midian did tremble.

8 Was the Lord displeased against the riuers? was thine anger against the riuers? was thy wrath against the Sea, that thou didst ride vpon thine horses, and thy charets of saluation?

9 Thy bow was made quite naked according to the oathes of the tribes, euen thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleaue the earth with riuers.

10 The mountaines sawe thee, and they trembled: the ouerflowing of the water passed by: the deepe vttered his voyce, and lift vp his hands on high.

11 The Sunne and Moone stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrowes they went, and at the shining of thy glittering speare.

12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.

13 Thou wentest forth for the saluation of thy people, euen for saluation with thine Anointed, thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discouering the foundation vnto the necke. Selah.

14 Thou didst strike through with his staues the head of his villages: they came out as a whirle-winde to scatter me: their reioycing was as to deuoure the poore secretly.

15 Thou didst walke through the Sea with thine horses, through the heape of great waters.

16 When I heard, my belly trembled: my lips quiuered at the voice: rottennesse entred into my bones, and I trembled in my selfe, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when hee commeth vp vnto the people, he wil inuade them with his troupes.

17 Although the fig tree shall not blossome, neither shall fruite bee in the vines: the labour of the Oliue shall faile, and the fields shal yeeld no meat, the flocke shall be cut off from the folde, and there shalbe no heard in the stalles:

18 Yet I will reioyce in the Lord: I will ioy in the God of my saluation.

19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hindes feet, and he will make me to walke vpon mine high places. To the chiefe singer on my stringed instruments.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Habakkuk 3

The prophet beseeches God for his people. (1,2) He calls to mind former deliverances. (3-15) His firm trust in the Divine mercy. (16-19)1,2 The word prayer seems used here for an act of devotion. The Lord would revive his work among the people in the midst of the years of adversity. This may be applied to every season when the church, or believers, suffer under afflictions and trials. Mercy is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember thy own mercy.

3-15 God's people, when in distress, and ready to despair, seek help by considering the days of old, and the years of ancient times, and by pleading them with God in prayer. The resemblance between the Babylonish and Egyptian captivities, naturally presents itself to the mind, as well as the possibility of a like deliverance through the power of Jehovah. God appeared in his glory. All the powers of nature are shaken, and the course of nature changed, but all is for the salvation of God's own people. Even what seems least likely, shall be made to work for their salvation. Hereby is given a type and figure of the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. It is for salvation with thine anointed. Joshua who led the armies of Israel, was a figure of Him whose name he bare, even Jesus, our Joshua. In all the salvations wrought for them, God looked upon Christ the Anointed, and brought deliverances to pass by him. All the wonders done for Israel of old, were nothing to that which was done when the Son of God suffered on the cross for the sins of his people. How glorious his resurrection and ascension! And how much more glorious will be his second coming, to put an end to all that opposes him, and all that causes suffering to his people!

16-19 When we see a day of trouble approach, it concerns us to prepare. A good hope through grace is founded in holy fear. The prophet looked back upon the experiences of the church in former ages, and observed what great things God had done for them, and so was not only recovered, but filled with holy joy. He resolved to delight and triumph in the Lord; for when all is gone, his God is not gone. Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease. But those who, when full, enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice in him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world. Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone, we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit. Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may run the way of his commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling, ends it with joy and triumph. And thus faith in Christ prepares for every event. The name of Jesus, when we can speak of Him as ours, is balm for every wound, a cordial for every care. It is as ointment poured forth, shedding fragrance through the whole soul. In the hope of a heavenly crown, let us sit loose to earthly possessions and comforts, and cheerfully bear up under crosses. Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and where he is, we shall be also.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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