A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet (a) upon Shigionoth.
(a) "upon Shigionoth" or "for the ignorance". The prophet instructs his people to pray to God, not only because of their great sins, but also for those they had committed in ignorance.
(b) O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy (c) work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
(b) Thus the people were afraid when they heard God's threatenings, and prayed.
(c) That is, the state of your Church which is now ready to perish, before it comes to half a perfect age, which would be under Christ.
God came from (d) Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
(d) Teman and Paran were near Sinai, where the Law was given: by which is signified that his deliverance was as present now as it was then.
And [his] brightness was as the light; (e) he had horns [coming] out of his hand: and there [was] the hiding of his power.
(e) By which is meant a power that was joined with his brightness, which was hidden to the rest of the world, but was revealed at Mount Sinai to his people; (Psalms 31:16).
He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his (f) ways [are] everlasting.
(f) Signifying that God has wonderful means, and always has a marvellous power when he will deliver his Church.
(g) I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: [and] the curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
(g) The iniquity of the king of Syria in vexing your people was made manifest by your judgment, to the comfort of your Church, (Judges 5:10), and also of the Midianites, who destroyed themselves, (Judges 7:22).
Was the LORD displeased against the (h) rivers? [was] thy anger against the rivers? [was] thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride (i) upon thy horses [and] thy chariots of salvation?
(h) Meaning that God was not angry with the waters, but that by this means he would destroy his enemies, and deliver his Church.
(i) And so did use all the elements as instruments for the destruction of your enemies.
Thy (k) bow was made quite naked, [according] to the (l) oaths of the tribes, [even thy] word. Selah. Thou (m) didst cleave the earth with rivers.
(k) That is, your power.
(l) For he had not only made a covenant with Abraham, but renewed it with his posterity.
(m) Read (Numbers 20:11).
The mountains saw thee, [and] they trembled: the overflowing of the water (n) passed by: the deep uttered his voice, [and] lifted up his hands on high.
(n) He alludes to the Red Sea and Jordan, which gave passage to God's people, and showed signs of their obedience as it were by the lifting up of their hands.
The (o) sun [and] moon stood still in their habitation: (p) at the light of thy arrows they went, [and] at the shining of thy glittering spear.
(o) As appears in (Joshua 10:12).
(p) According to your command the sun was directed by the weapons of your people, that fought in your cause, as though it dare not go forward.
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, [even] for salvation with thy (q) anointed; thou didst wound the head out of the house of the wicked, by laying bare the foundation to the (r) neck. Selah.
(q) Signifying that there is no salvation, except by Christ.
(r) From the top to the bottom you have destroyed the enemies.
Thou didst (s) strike through with his staffs the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing [was] as to devour the poor secretly.
(s) God destroyed his enemies both great and small with their own weapons, though they were ever so fierce against his Church.
When I (t) heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in (u) the day of trouble: when he cometh up (x) to the people, he will invade them with his troops.
(t) He returns to that which he spoke as in, (Habakkuk 3:2) and shows how he was afraid of God's judgments.
(u) He shows that the faithful can never have true rest, except that which they feel before the weight of God's judgments.
(x) That is, the enemy, but the godly will be quiet, knowing that all things will turn to good for them.
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy (y) in the God of my salvation.
(y) He declares in what the joy of the faithful consists, though they see ever so great afflictions prepared.
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. (z) To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
(z) The chief singer upon the instruments of music, will have occasion to praise God for this great deliverance of his Church.