Divine Outlook#1. “I will rejoice in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18).

Divine Outlook#1. “I will rejoice in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk 3:18).

Most of us know people who attribute all disasters to the outpouring of God’s wrath upon sinners. Be it sickness, hurricane, or earthquake, everything is viewed as divine retribution.

On the other hand, most modern Christians choose a view of divine judgement resembling that of the 10 plagues. They imagine God’s wrath as something poured out upon the enemies of God while the people of God are home safe in their beds.

Consequently, any thought of God’s displeasure adversely affecting the day-to-day rhythm of life is not there. Since we are well fed, clothed, housed and safe, we give no thought to God’s wrath. Such things are easily dismissed back into the Old Testament.

The prophet, Habakkuk, was informed by God that the Babylonian Empire would be God’s instrument of wrath upon Israel. A perplexed Habakkuk complains that, though God was righty punishing sinful Israel, He was using a far eviller Babylon, to do it. God’s response was: “But the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4).

Habakkuk, like all of us, had to traverse that ‘chasm of doubts’ that separates fear and faith. And although he accepted that God knew what He is doing, he trembled and said, “I must wait quietly for the day of distress, for the people to arise who will invade us” (Habakkuk 3:16).

The horrors of warfare were about to descend upon Israel by one of the cruellest armies on earth. Everything was about to change for the worse for everyone. In 586BC Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and took Israel into exile.

But for this punishment, Israel would have continued to run headlong into idolatry and their complete destruction.

Habakkuk saw God’s love and mercy in His wrath.

He said that despite the failure of all forms of physical sustenance:

“Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
(Habakkuk 3:18-19).

John Staiger

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