Verse of the Day Devotion Habakkuk 3:17
“Though the fig tree should not blossom, And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail, And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold, And there be no cattle in the stalls,” – Habakkuk 3:17
This will be our last verse of the day for Thanksgiving 2021. This will focus on why we can be thankful during difficult times, as we also see today.
This prophecy of Habakkuk is concerned with the rise of the Chaldeans to power. Habakkuk had seen this mighty people used in inflicting judgment upon Nineveh, and they appeared to be the very instrument of God. But a problem arose when they were seen to be as the Assyrians whom they had destroyed. How could God use for any purpose a heartless, cruel nation, bent wholly upon evil? The prophet’s answer is that God will make all His dealings clear if we but wait for Him. “The just shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. When the issues appear confused, the righteous can still remain steadfast and loyal to God.
Now, our focus verse, along with verse 18 form one long sentence in Hebrew and also in most English translations. Verse 17 contains a series of six clauses introduced by ‘Though’ which address various problems regarding lack of food, while verse 18 gives two clauses introduced by ‘yet’ which professes their loyalty and trust in God. The basic idea expressed here in these two verses can be seen like this. Even if there are no figs on the fig trees and no grapes on the vines, yet I will be joyful because of the Lord. Even if there are no olives on the olive trees, and no grain grows in the fields, yet I will be joyful because of the Lord. Even if there are no sheep in the sheep pens and no cattle in the cattle stalls, yet I will be joyful because of the Lord.
Note the wording in our focus verse. Though the fig true “should not” blossom, and there be no fruit on the vine. Though the yield of the olive “should fail”, and the fields produce no fruit. Though the flocks “should be” cut off from the fold, and their be no cattle in the stall. All of these situations had not happened. The prophet Habakkuk is saying ”should these things happen”. He was saying if these things come to pass, “Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18. No matter what happens, no matter how bad things get, or whatever God allows, we will continue to exalt the Lord and rejoice in Him who is their salvation.
The Israelites were hated by many of the nations of that time period. And as stated above, there was a very good possibility that the Chaldeans were looking to conquer them and take their land. Today, we have many things that are happening in our world. We have, as back then, countries and peoples who want to take over other countries. Americans are afraid of what the future could be like if the United States continue down the path we are currently on. It is evident that fear is taking hold of so many people in this world. However, as followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ, we must place our hope and everything we are into His hands. We may, and I want to accentuate may, lose a lot of what we have. As costs go up faster than incomes, life could very well get difficult. But, He has promised we will be taken care of no matter what.
And here are some verses where God has promised to care for us.
“And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:19-20.
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’” 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 where Paul refers to Psalm 112:9.
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.” Psalm 37:25-26.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7.
So, I want to encourage us all to give all thanks and glory to our God. And do it no matter what we may be going through. For as God spoke through the prophet Habakkuk, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.” Habakkuk 3”17-19.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.