We have been, in recent blogs, considering the short prophecy of Habakkuk. Last week we looked at the sources of joy that are of eternal duration. But there is one last phrase at the end of his prophecy that I wanted to include in our short study where Habakkuk writes, “For the director of music. On my stringed instruments”. This last phrase in chapter 3 would indicate that probably chapter 3 was a song that Habakkuk had written to capture his experience of interacting with God. There is a musical note at the start of chapter 3 –“on shigionoth”-that would indicate the song section was limited to chapter 3. Habakkuk through his experience had met the living God. He had looked into the eyes of eternity and could not erase this impression by any means. So, he wrote a song about this and the third chapter is the composition that he wrote for stringed instruments. Much of the worship of the nation of Israel centered around songs. In fact, the book of Psalms is a songbook of worship for the nation of Israel. When we have a living encounter with the God of the universe through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, God not only helps us to plod along, but He helps us to soar on wings of eagles. He gives us a certain buoyancy through the Lord Jesus that we need when life is filled with heaviness and difficult burdens. So, this last chapter was written as a song to the living God who had revealed His will and plans to Habakkuk the prophet. This song was written in the form of a prayer and it flows out of Habakkuk’s fresh vision of the God of the universe.
So, the question that I have for us today is what kind of music are we making with the difficulties God allows to come into our lives? All of us will have experiences that are hard to understand. This past year has been filled with many particularly difficult and sorrowful situations. On May the 5th, on the anniversary of my Aunt Laura’s death– I will be taking my mom over to Washington Crossing Military Cemetery where there will be a family committal service. My Aunt died last year and though we were able to have a small funeral service in May, only 10 people were allowed to attend (and my mom wasn’t one of them) and we could not have a committal service at the cemetery. This will be taking place on May 5th. Some others have had even more difficult situations, but what kind of music are we making out of these difficult trials that we encounter? Have we learned the keynote of Habakkuk when God told him, “the righteous will live by his faith”(Hab.2:4)? Have we found that to be true in our lives? Are we trusting in Jesus’s invitation to come to Him with our heavy burdens and take His yoke upon us (Matt.11:28-30)? I believe God wants to give us a song in the night, just as he did with Habakkuk. But we have to be willing to acknowledge our need for the Lord Jesus Christ and not think we can go it alone. Jesus truly is “the rock of our salvation and His banner over us is love”.
All for God’s glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo