1 These are the words that the prophet Habakkuk prayed. He used music called Shigionoth.
2 Lord, I have heard what people say about you. I see the things that you have done, Lord. Then I am afraid. But do them again now. Cause people to know what you can do in our lifetime. You are angry, but still remember mercy!
3 God came from Teman. The Holy God came from the mountain called Paran.
His glory covered the skies and his praise filled the earth.
4 He was as bright as the sunrise. Light fell from his hands, where he hid his great power.
5 Plague went in front of him and pestilence followed his feet.
6 (God) stood and he caused the earth to shake. He looked and countries were afraid. Old mountains broke into rocks and very old hills fell down. That always happens everywhere that he goes!
7 I saw the places where Cushan lived. The people there were not happy. The people who live in the houses of Midian were afraid.
8 I do not think that you were angry with the streams and rivers, Lord! You rode through the sea with horses and chariots! But I do not think that you were angry with the sea. You did that to win the fight.
9 You showed people your bow and you asked for many arrows.
You cut the earth into pieces with rivers.
10 The mountains saw you and they shook. Deep waters moved very fast. The sea made a loud noise and it lifted its waters high.
11 The sun and the moon stopped moving in the skies. The light from your arrows that were flying past and the light from your shining spear stopped them.
12 You marched through the country because you were angry. Because you were so angry, you hit the people in many countries with your stick.
13 You went out to make your people safe. You went out to save the person whom you have anointed. You beat the leader of the wicked country. You took away his clothes from head to foot.
14 You, Lord, pushed your own spear into his head. You did that when his soldiers came out to fight us. They were laughing when they came out to kill the poor people. The poor people were hiding from them.
15 You marched through the sea with your horses. You shook the waters.
16 I listened and my heart was afraid. My lips shook at the sound. My bones began to fall into pieces. My legs would not stop moving. But I will be patient. And I will wait for the very bad days that will come. They will come to the people who are attacking us.
17 There may be:
· no flowers on the fig tree
· no fruit on the vines
· nothing on the trees that have fruits called olives
· no food in the fields
· no sheep in the hills
· no cows on the farms
18 but I will still sing praises to the Lord! I will be happy with the God that makes me safe.
19 The Lord, who is my master, will make me safe. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer so that I can climb mountains.
The music leader must use things that have strings to make music.
3:19The book ends with a psalm (a song with music)! Habakkuk may have worked with one of the music groups in the temple in Jerusalem. He tells them what music to use, and what musical instruments, (verses 1 and 19). The psalm remembers what God did. He led his people out of Egypt. That was 800 years before Habakkuk. If God did great things then, he can do great things now! The plagues and pestilences in verse 5 are what happened to the Egyptians. That was when they did not obey God. The sea in verses 8 and 10 was the Red Sea. God led his people through it, and their feet did not even get wet! Verses 6-12 describe a great storm. The ‘leader of the wicked country’ in verse 13 was Pharaoh, King of Egypt.
3:19All this makes Habakkuk afraid, verse 16. But he says this: Whatever happens he will still praise the Lord (verse 17).
3:19He knows that God is still in authority! That is why he will still praise the Lord. Even when bad things are happening, Habakkuk will be like an animal. This animal can climb mountains with no difficulty! The animal is called the deer.