‘When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself — so that I might rest in the day of trouble…. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour 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!’ Habakkuk 3:16-19.
Calvin comments: “The Prophet…returns again to that dread…he had entertained on account of God’s voice in those terrific threatenings…. His purpose also was to animate them with strong hope, so that they might nevertheless look for deliverance…. He recited those histories by which God had proved…He was armed with invincible power to save His Church….
“He…says, ‘I have heard.’ What had he heard?… God had threatened His people with a horrible destruction. The Prophet says now that he had heard and trembled…. The Prophet here undertakes the cause of the whole Church…. He says, ‘Quiver did my lips!’… What is meant, is that motion in the lips which fear or trembling produces…. The whole body shakes with trembling.
Not only a noise is made by the clashing of the teeth, but an agitation is also observed in the lips…. ‘Enter,’ he says, ‘did rottenness into my bones!’…. The Prophet describes here the dread which could not have been produced otherwise than by the dreadful vengeance of God….
He now adds…’May I rest in the day of affliction!’… He who anticipates the wrath of God in time, and is touched with fear — as soon as he hears that God the Judge is at hand, provides for himself the most secure rest in the day of affliction…. The right way of seeking rest is set forth here by the Prophet…. The design of the Prophet…was to exhort the faithful to repentance….
“This exhortation is also very necessary for us, in the present day…. Let us then know that no rest can be to us in the day of distress — except we tremble within ourselves; except dread lays hold of all our faculties…. He intimates that they who had been moved and really terrified by God’s vengeance, would be in a quiet state when God executed His judgments….
“The Prophet declares now at large what that rest would be, of which he had spoken. It would be even this — that he would not cease to rejoice in God, even in the greatest afflictions…. He shows that though they might cease a hundred times, they would yet not perish! For the Lord would ever supply them with occasions of joy…. Habakkuk sets the desolation of the land — and…the inward joy which the faithful never fail to possess. For they are upheld by the perpetual favour of God…. He sought no strength, but in God alone…. God would give His people ‘feet like those of hinds’ — so that they could climb the precipices of mountains and dread no difficulties…. God would make His faithful people to advance boldly and without fear along high places!”
So, though all collapses — I will rejoice in the Lord! Do you?