11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
This recalls the sun and moon standing still in Joshua 10 and the Battle of Gibeah.
12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
Again refers to the conquering of the Canaanite nations that formerly inhabited the Promised Land.
13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
This causes to come to mind a passage from the beginning and the end of the Scriptures.
Gen. 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Rev. 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
The Stones Tanak comments, “You topple their walls and their tall “neck” like towers.” This could be a reference hinting to the fall of the Jericho walls and the future fall of Babylon.
14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
15 Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.
Rev. 19:15, 21 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God… And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
This verse refers to the distraction of those who exploited and brought the destitute, poor, and needy to ruin and again hints at Egypt and the plagues because verse 15 recalls once again the parting of the Sea of Reeds during the Exodus.
All of this is double-speak, referencing the past Exodus and the future Exodus from Babylonian exile.
16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
This verse is a preface to the next and speaks of protection in the midst of judgment.
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
This verse reminds me of the time Yeshua cursed the fig tree.
Mat 21:18-22 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw [it], they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
The Stones Tanak says that, “This famine represents the distress that will prevail at the time described by Habakkuk. This is either the time of the downfall of Babylonia (Targum), or the Messianic-age war of Gog and Magog (Radak) or the Roman destruction of the Second Temple (Abarbanel).” I say, why not all three?
Rev. 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom [is] as the sand of the sea.
18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Neh. 8:10c for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Habakkuk says that despite all the fearful uncertainty, he knows it will all work out and that God is in control.
19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
The Full Life Study Bible says that Habakkuk, “…Knew beyond a doubt that a righteous remnant would survive the Babylonian invasions, and he proclaimed with confidence the ultimate victory of all who lived by faith in God.”
Judah has a mountain ahead of them to climb, that of Babylonian captivity. Yet despite the treacherousness of it all God will bless them to adapt like a mountain goat and that even in exile they will be able to commune with God on the mountain of tribulation, like Moses did with God on Mount Sinai.
Indeed I pray one can walk away with confidence that Romans 8:28 stands true and that the righteous and the innocent, the Remnant will be protected in the midst of judgment. Also I pray that when one sees evil “triumph” it is a clear indicator that a fall is close at hand, that judgment is about to fall on the wicked and when it appears that the wicked prosper it is actually evil in the process of destroying itself. And even if we still do not fully understand or comprehend the “why” of it all, by this small prophetic book we can trust God fully regardless.
In the Service to the God of Israel, Shalom,
Kris Shoemaker – Yehudah ben Shomeyr