Habakkuk – Chapter 3 – How do you pray?
2 Timothy 3:16-4:2
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
We are coming to the end of the book of Habakkuk. We’ll see how long we stay in the third and final chapter. I felt it appropriate to begin this study with an excerpt from 2 Timothy as I was contemplating what to write.
In the above passage, we are told how we got the scripture. It was “…given by inspiration of God.” We are told it is “profitable”. We are told why it was given, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Finally, we are told what to do with the scriptures, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
What could equip the saints for service better than the God-inspired scriptures? Sunday School? Church? Bible School? College? Though all these things are of immense value, nothing can thoroughly equip except the Word of God. Are you hungry for the Word of God and its truth? Does reading and studying the scriptures sate your soul? If not maybe you aren’t spending enough time in it.
Let’s peek into the wonderful little book of Habakkuk again. We don’t have to wonder how to think about chapter three. Verse one is very clear.
3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.
You may be thinking this is so obvious and elementary it is hardly worth the ink on paper to observe the final chapter is a prayer, and maybe you would be right. However, a question arises in my mind as I read through the chapter. If verse one didn’t explicitly tell us chapter three was a prayer would we categorize it as such? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I would.
Let’s make a few observations and see if we can get close to answering the question, “do we pray like this?”
Verse one introduces the prayer and verse two begins the prayer. Habakkuk addresses God directly when he says, “O Lord” or uses the pronoun “your”, but at times Habakkuk seems to be talking to someone else as indicated by the pronouns “His”, “Him”, and “He”.
Praise toward God is always appropriate when we pray and is present here in Habakkuk’s prayer. We see it in verses three and four.
3 God came from Teman,
The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.
4 His brightness was like the light;
He had rays flashing from His hand,
And there His power was hidden.
But what about verse five?
5 Before Him went pestilence,
And fever followed at His feet.
This verse seems to be addressing someone other than God and doesn’t seem to be flattering toward God. When you are talking to others about the creator of the universe and the Redeemer of our souls does it occur to you to mention pestilence preceding God and fever following Him?
Of course, there is so much more that could be observed here. I would encourage you to make your own observations in this chapter. I would love to know what you notice so feel free to leave me a comment.
Maybe next time we’ll discuss how the prophet was personally affected in verses 16 and following.
When you think about the Word of God remember that besides being inspired it is intentional. In other words, it contains exactly what He wants to tell us.
Yahweh truly is worthy of all our praise, worship, obedience and service.
All Scripture Quotation from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.