«Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls— Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation»
Habakkuk felt disappointed and did not hesitate to present his complaint before God, «O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds» (Hab. 1:2-4). Clearly, the prophet’s complaint is addressed to God whom he considered so clean and righteous that He cannot see their trouble nor intervenes to avoid it (v. 13).
Nevertheless, God answers Habakkuk’s complaints and reassures him that He is not indifferent to the injustice of the wicked ones or the suffering of His sons. Through a series of questions, He tries to make him reflect and seeks to turn his eyes away from the current concerns toward the coming judgement. Between His arguments, He highlights that «the just shall live by his faith» (Hab. 2:4).
It is interesting to note that, after the divine response, the prophet displays a true change. He no longer has eyes for violence as he fixes his eyes on the hands of God where he says «His power was hidden» (Hab. 3:4). Habakkuk understands prophetically that the scars on the hands of Christ are the proof of His great love—the greatest test of His solicitude for the human race and the guarantee of its salvation. In the light of this new perspective, he manages to express one of the most optimistic phrases in the Bible, «Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut of from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls» (Hab. 3:17). In other words, even if all goes absolutely wrong for me… I will still have faith and rejoice in the God of my salvation!
The God of my salvation is totally committed to everything that happens to me. He wants me to turn my thoughts around and He gives me strength to succeed by faith. Thus, I can rejoice in His salvation, even if the things do not go as I wish.