Today's Daily Bread
First, in wrath remember mercy (1-15). This is a beautiful prayer of repentance and submission, based solely on the word of the Lord. When the Lord's judgment was imminent, Habakkuk prayed that God, in wrath, might remember mercy. He based this on God's work (in Israel's history) and his word (given in this prophecy). For us wrath and mercy seem to be the opposite of each other; but each is fully the expression of the Lord. He is the judge of all the earth and the judge of all sin, and in his judgment he comes out to deliver and save his people. Truly, his judgments are beyond tracing out (Ro 11:33).
Second, yet I will rejoice (16-19). The word of the Lord made Habakkuk tremble. When he looked around him, nothing had changed. Fig trees did not suddenly bloom, olive crops did not "unfail" and there still were no sheep in the pens. But the prophet could rejoice because he saw God's salvation in all those things. He was strengthened to dwell in the heights of the Lord's majesty even as he experienced the poverty of this life and his people. There he experienced God as his Savior.