In the last post, I shared with you one of my favorite Bible passages. I will do the same on this post. Both of these passages come from the “minor” prophets. If you’ve never read through them, I encourage you to do so.
Today’s verse is Habakkuk 3:17-18. I use Bible Gateway often to look at these verses in different translations. This excerpt was no different and I’d like to share it from a couple different translations.
The Contemporary English Version describes it this way, "Fig trees may no longer bloom,or vineyards produce grapes; but I will still celebrate
Even if the fig tree does not blossom and there are no grapes on the vines, If the olive trees fail to give fruit and the fields produce no food, If the flocks die far from the foldThen I will still rejoice in the Eternal!
Though the fig tree may not blossom,nor fruit be on the vines;Though the labor of the olive may fail,and the fields yield no food;
Though the fig tree does not blossom
Verse 18 is the focus here, but it really needs verse 17 with it to get its full value. Verse 17 reminds me of Job. You may recall that Job suffered physically, emotionally, and mentally as a test to prove His allegiance to God. Despite all of his losses, he continued to serve God. That is what verse 18 is all about. Verse 17 speaks of all types of loss and sorrow, and then verse 18 responds that even with all of this, Habakkuk will still praise God. The translations I enjoy most are the ones that use the term “Yet”.
Isn’t it amazing how such a small word can just change the whole focal point of the sentence or phrase? That is the function of some conjunctions. The word “but” is one example. The day was warm, but the wind was cold. He was ill, but he went to work. The stick was thin, but it was strong.
The word “yet” is a similar conjunction; used to change the heart of the passage in Habakkuk. In today’s passage, Habakkuk is lamenting a message he has had from God in a vision. In verse 16, he begins to describe his feelings from the vision. He goes on, in 17 and 18, to basically say that no matter what happens, and even if these bad things DO happen, he will YET rejoice in the God of his salvation because He knows that God’s way and plan are perfect. Habakkuk must go on in faith that God will be in charge, no matter the outcome.
Just as Job did and Habakkuk did, we should remember that through our bleak times, God is watching out for us. When the way seems long and dark and frightening, we should still praise God for He is the God of our Salvation. We can rest assured that He is in control and He will take care of us and our situation.