PODCAST: The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #701: Habakkuk 3:1 with Daniel Whyte III

This is Daniel Whyte III president of Gospel Light Society International with The Scripture & the Sense Podcast #701 where I read the Word of God and give the sense of it based on an authoritative commentary source such as the Bible Knowledge Commentary or Matthew Henry Commentary. This podcast is based upon Nehemiah 8:8 where it says Ezra and the Levites “read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” The aim of this podcast is that through the simple reading of the Word of God and the giving of the sense of it, the church would be revived and the world would be awakened.

Today we are reading Habakkuk 3:1.

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shi-gi-o-noth.


That was Habakkuk 3:1. Now here is the sense of it.

The Matthew Henry Commentary reads:

The word prayer seems used here for an act of devotion. The Lord would revive his work among the people in the midst of the years of adversity. This may be applied to every season when the church, or believers, suffer under afflictions and trials. Mercy is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember thy own mercy.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary reads:

The distressed prophet, who complained over the unchecked sin in his country, was amazed at God’s disclosure that He had already prepared an instrument to judge Judah, namely, Babylon. Habakkuk was shocked. He expressed his dilemma to God and waited for an answer. That answer came in the form of a dirge, or taunt-song, that Habakkuk was instructed to record. Learning of God’s just plan to destroy Babylon, Habakkuk bowed in humble adoration. His majestic prayer and hymn of praise followed. Chapter 3 is the culmination and climax of Habakkuk’s book, contrary to the contentions of some scholars who would make this chapter a separate entity that he wrote much later. Others consider this chapter a document written by some other author, a second person also named Habakkuk or a second person who assumed Habakkuk’s name. Despite the arguments about change of style and a separate title, the third chapter fits well in the flow of the book. The new style fits the new subject, just as the shift from the dialogue in chapter 1 to the dirge in chapter 2 indicated a changing emphasis. Furthermore, the title in 3:1 provides a clear break in the change, as “the ramparts” announced the shift at chapter 2. When the Dead Sea Scrolls Commentary on Habakkuk, which included only chapters 1 and 2, was discovered at Qumran, those who held to the disjointed theory felt they had won their case. But the issue is not so easily conceded. The ancient commentator may well have used only the parts of the book that suited his purpose. This scroll is not proof that a chapter 3 did not exist. It is more reasonable to see the thematic unity of Habakkuk. Chapter 3 is not a postscript; it is a pinnacle of praise. It is the mountaintop destination of a journey that began in a valley of distress. At the opening of chapter 2, Habakkuk had positioned himself to await God’s reply and to determine how he might respond to the Lord concerning his complaint. He then recorded God’s extensive reply. Now the prophet gave his response to God. It was no protest, however. It was a prayer of praise as indicated by its simple title: A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. This heading resembles that of several psalms, in which the contents, the author, and the poetical character of the song are indicated. Habakkuk again identified himself as a prophet, as he had done at the beginning of his book. The word shi-gi-o-noth is somewhat obscure. In Hebrew it is the plural of the noun that appears elsewhere only in the title to Psalm 7 where it is in a slightly different form rendered “shig-gai-on” in the NIV. It seems to be related to a verb meaning “to reel to and fro.” Thus some see this as an erratic song of enthusiastic irregularity sometimes used in songs of triumph or victory, or an elegy or plaintive song of variant chords. It is unlikely that it refers to the content of the song, even though the Hebrew root verb may also mean “to transgress or err.” But the theme is not directed to the transgressions or wanderings of Babylon and Judah; the song centers on the majesty of God. Therefore it is much more reasonable to see shi-gi-o-noth as having a musical-liturgical significance. Another musical notation is found at the end of Habakkuk 3. Possibly this song became a part of the temple worship.


Thank you for listening to the Scripture & The Sense Podcast. Remember to read the Word of God each and every day and pray without ceasing to God for wisdom to understand it and apply it to your life. Most importantly, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Please stay tuned for a complete presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that you can get your soul saved from Hell to that wonderful place called Heaven when you die. May God bless you and keep you is my prayer.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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