Habakkuk 3:17 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:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
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.
Habakkuk has finally come to the right conclusion in these last verses. As we have noted before, God always wins out. He is always right. This fact bothers many people. Lost people have a massive problem with pride and they cannot accept any absolutes from others. They want to establish their own absolutes, but they are so blinded by their pride that they are hypocrites. The Pharisees were famous for this. They rejected the Lord Jesus Christ because they rejected the true God. They insisted on being the judge and jury but they were hypocrites. They demand things of others that they would not do themselves.
In verse 17 Habakkuk knew that he had lost the argument. He knew God was always merciful. He knew that Judah’s sin needed to be punished. He knew God had the right to use any people, or any method to punish His people.
The fig tree is a picture of Israel. Jesus used this tree as an example of Israel as well. Habakkuk talked of the fig tree not blossoming. If there is no blossom, there is no fruit. The time of blossoming is the time when the tree draws the attention of people. We like to see a tree in blossom. Judah was at a place where they were not attractive to others. They had become like the heathen. They had nothing to offer anyone.
Today, most churches have nothing to offer people. They have many programs and they are busy, but they have nothing to offer among all their busyness. Marriages are failing, and drug abuse is taking place. Drunkards continue on and other vices remain as well. People that are looking for a social club still attend, but they find no help. It is just an event.
A true church is under God’s authority, Jesus Christ is the Head. His Word is powerful and effective. Those who will listen and respond properly will find the help they need. They will be changed. God’s Word is effective and His way is right. Those who submit to Him will be blessed. Due to God’s mercy and grace, He will always have some true saints around. There will be a short time in the beginning of the Tribulation where there will be no saints. That will be a dark time. God will raise up the 144,000 to testify of His mercy and grace.
Habakkuk further stated there would be no fruit in the vine. As we have noted already, there is no blessing in rebellion. The olive tree would lose its fruit and the fields would not produce any meat. The flocks would vanish and there would be no livestock in the stalls. Judah was to the place where the warnings of God were going to come to pass. The Babylonians would soon invade the land and they would destroy all of the land. We know that when Nehemiah would later go back to Jerusalem, he would find the walls broken down. The city was in ruins. The land of Judah was desolate.
In verse 18 Habakkuk chose to rejoice in the LORD. The judgment of God was just. God did not rejoice in the sin of Judah. He did not rejoice in having to punish Judah. He would rather that Judah would repent and be forgiven. However, Judah did not want to repent. They wanted to remain in their sin.
Habakkuk decided to joy in the God of his salvation. It is important for the true child of God to keep a right relationship with Him. That way we can be a light to others who need to know the truth. In the midst of God’s judgment, the wise person can always find hope in the blessing of God in his life.
In verse 19 Habakkuk acknowledged that the LORD God was his strength. The LORD is Jehovah — the self existent God. God is Lord — He is the Master. Habakkuk came to realize that he did not need to question what God was doing. He needed to submit to the LORD God. He needed to be content to be a servant of the true God and walk humbly before Him. God was not going to change for Habakkuk, or anyone else. There would be no blessing had God listened to Habakkuk’s foolish musings from earlier in the book. God’s justice shows His holiness and it provides the means for man to see clearly what truth is.
Habakkuk could rejoice in the LORD. He did not need to walk around with a burden on his back. He could care about his fellow Jews, but he did not need to carry their sin. God blesses His faithful child in the midst of trouble.
As we look at our world today, we see trouble all around. As mentioned above, there are many churches that have forsaken the truth. That does not need to stop any true Christians from serving the Lord faithfully. Jesus Christ is still the Head of every true church. He will still bless His people with peace. Those who will humble themselves before Him and walk faithfully with Him can still rejoice and be a godly testimony to the lost.
Habakkuk noted that God would still exalt him. He would set him apart that others would see the benefit of walking with the Lord. The Lord is never overwhelmed with the wickedness of others. He is never down trodden with the wickedness of those who are supposed to be His people. He can and does judge the wicked and at the same time He can and does provide hope and encouragement for the faithful saint.
Habakkuk closed this book with the instructions to the chief singer. The true child of God can always have a song in his heart. He can praise God and demonstrate that praise to others. He can be that beacon of light in a dark world.
The important fact is to know the true God and walk humbly with Him. Learn of Him and be faithful to Him.