THE PROPHET’S MUSICAL
Do you ever just feel like singing. I used to wonder why in the world would the movie people make a “Musical”. Then, one day as I was going along singing a song, with no one else to hear it but me; it hit me. My life was a “Musical”, since I spend a lot of time singing; mostly to myself and the Lord. I have noticed since then, as well that most people go around singing. Sometimes it is with the radio, ipod, CD player, or by whatever method they recieve their music; but many people are spending a lot of time singing.
It was not so odd after all that Hollywood would make “Musicals”. They are associated with our lives.
This final chapter of Habakkuk seems to be a song which sums the whole thing up. You do not find the prophet Habakkuk questioning God. You find him praising Him. Pleading for mercy from Him in behalf of Judah.
“A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth” Habakkuk 3:1 (NKJV).
I think it would be good for us to realize once again that this Prophetic message of Habakkuk is all in the form of a Psalm or “Song”. The first two chapters seem to just be the prophet’s questions to God of why the guilty seem to go unpunished – even among His people – but especially among those who capture, abuse, and kill His people, like Babylon.
There seems to be no certain meaning for this word, “Shigionoth”. You will find it used in the heading of Psalm 7:1, and the New King James Version translates it as “Meditation” – “A meditation of David”. The following is the notes of C.H. Spurgeon from THE TREASURY OF DAVID on the word “Shigionoth”; at least a form of the same word – “Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the Lord, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.”— “Shiggaion of David.” As far as we can gather from the observations of learned men, and from comparison of this Psalm with the only other Shiggaion in the Word of God (Hab.iii), this title seems to mean ‘variable songs,’ with which also the idea of solace and pleasure is associated. Truly our life-psalm is composed of variable verses; one stanza rolls along with the sublime metre of triumph, but another limps with the broken rhythm of complaint. There is much bass in the saint’s music here below. Our experience is as variable as the weather in England.”
Strong’s definition for this word is “From H7686; properly aberration, that is, (technically) a dithyramb or rambling poem: – Shiggaion, Shigio-noth. ” It seems that this definition would fit with Spurgeon’s, “…Our life-psalm is composed of variable verses…”. At any rate we do see that the prophet has spent time in the presence of the Lord, heard His Word and come to a better understanding.
“O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2
In verse two Habakkuk is referring back to when God answered him concerning his question of “Why do I cry out to You concerning wickedness, and You do not hear?” (My paraphrase from chapter one and verses two through four). God’s answer in verses five through eleven is “Your speech” to which the prophet speaks. He admits his fear from those fearful words. Judgment is going to come on Judah for their sins by the hands of sinful pagans, but that seems to be a little more than Habakkuk could bear at the time.
This holy fear causes Habakkuk to pray for God’s mercy for Judah. “Revive Your work in the midst of the years” is the years they are in judgment in Babylon. Since God was going to judge them in a foreign land, the prophet is pleading that God show forth His saving hand in giving new life to the children of Judah. When in Your wrath “Remember mercy”.
Reading the prophet’s plea for God to remember mercy, causes me to think of God delivering the whole nation from Egypt to make of them a mighty nation; and it seems as though the prophet is asking God, “Do it again LORD; do it again”.
In the midst of those held captive in the United States of America, which is the whole nation; I would pray, do it again LORD, do it again. The USA needs a touch from God. Especially those who call themselves “Christian”. The church in America is held captive by political parties, by finances, by fear, by culture, by comfort, by entertainment, by apathy, by complacency, by a lethargic mind and heart; and we need to be awakened by the power of God’s Spirit; or this nation will perish. “O LORD, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”
Lord, in Your wrath remember mercy. Remember the death of Jesus Your holy Son for the sins of all who will believe. The greatest Song and Singer who ever lived was Jesus Christ the Son of God. To hear Him sing you must know Him.
-by Tim A. Blankenship