“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor 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—yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet and He will make me to walk upon my high places.”
Knowing what to do during these times will keep you from losing hope.
Blessing in barrenness. Joy in sorrow. Hope in the midst of despair.
That’s the essence of the message in today’s Manna as Habakkuk’s “belly trembled, lips quivered and rottenness entered his bones” as he thought of the coming invasion of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army on his homeland (3:16; 1:5-11).
At first he was troubled over the half-hearted, hard-hearted condition of his countrymen. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness, they’d refused to hear and heed his call to repentance. His despair further deepened when it seemed God Himself had turned a deaf ear to his cries (1:2-4, 12-17). And, when the Lord finally showed him His coming judgment (1:5-11; 2:2-13, 15-19; 3:17), it only increased his anguish over the whole situation.
Yet, in the midst of it all the Lord reminded him of His faithfulness.
When troubles abound, trust must also abound. When fruitlessness is evident on every hand, faith must arise and say “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Anyone can look at the headlines or the evening news and say “Oh me, oh my—what’s the world coming to? Look at the prices. And, listen to those rumblings of war on the horizon. Oh me, oh my—what am I going to do?!?”
What are you going to do?
Trust in the Lord, Pilgrim.
Say with Habakkuk, “The Lord God. . .the One Who made Heaven and earth. . .the One Who parted the Red Sea and gave His People manna in the wilderness. . .the One Who delivered the three Hebrew children from the fiery furnace and Daniel from the lions’ den. . . the One Who raised Jesus from the dead. . .is my strength and He will make my feet like deer’s feet (swift and nimble) and make me to walk upon my high places (like a sure-footed mountain goat on craggy mountain ridges).”
Even though barrenness may abound around us, it need not be so within us. If a rose can bloom in the desert, so can/will He make “the lame man leap as a hart and the tongue of the dumb sing as waters break out as streams in the desert” (Is. 35:6). Hallelujah!!
“Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10a).
That’s what the Lord is saying today, Pilgrim. He’s still “in His Holy Temple” (Hab. 2:20a). His Throne is not shaken by man’s devices or evil ways. “Keep silent before Him” (v.20b) and stand in awe of Who He is and what He has promised. Pray for your loved ones and friends. Pray for your nation and world. But, do not let the world’s barrenness rob you of your joy.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 21, 2009