Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds’ feet, he makes me tread upon my high places. —Habakkuk 3:17–19
Here is a part of a sermon from John Piper on Habakkuk 3:
In other words, no matter how severe the tribulation when the Chaldeans invade the land, Habakkuk will never stop trusting God. Even though God himself has roused this “bitter and hasty nation” (1:6), Habakkuk is confident that in wrath God will show mercy to those who trust him and rejoice in him alone when all else fails.
When a man and a woman marry, they pledge their love and faithfulness to each other “for better or for worse, whether rich or poor, in sickness and in health, ’til death do us part.” And if that’s true between husband and wife, how much more between us and God! That consecration is so important to Noël and me that we used Habakkuk 3:17–19 as a wedding text 14 years ago. We are each other’s, and we are God’s, no matter how severe the tribulation. We trust each other, and we trust him absolutely.
The Main Point of Habakkuk
Now as we step back from our survey, it shouldn’t be too hard to see what the main point of this little book is. Negatively it is this: Proud people, whose strength or ingenuity is their god (1:11, 16; 2:4, 19), will come to a woeful end, even though they may enjoy prosperity for a season either as God’s chosen ones in Judah, or as the victors over Judah. All the proud, whether Jew or Gentile, will perish in the judgment. But Habakkuk stresses the positive side of his main point, namely, “the just shall live by his faith.” He states it as a principle in 2:4, and then he celebrates it as his own song in 3:16–19. When Habakkuk says, “Even when all the fruit and produce and flocks and herds are destroyed and my very life is threatened, yet will I rejoice in God,”—when Habakkuk says that, he shows us what he means by faith in 2:4: “The just shall live by his faith.” He means banking your hope on God no matter what.