April 20, 2011

Minor Prophets LXXV: The Holy One of Mount Paran

Habakkuk 3 is a familiar literary form or at least it should be. The notes to a choirmaster and "selah" should be dead giveaways.

This chapter is clearly a Psalm. Verse 19 even ends in a standard Psalm note “to a choirmaster”. Verse 3 to 7 is an answer to Habakkuk’s prayer in (v2) “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” God answers Him in the form of a theophany. He is portrayed as coming from the wilderness region (Teman) south of the Dead Sea in Edom (v.3-7). God then mounts a campaign against His enemies pulling His bow and arrows (v8-12). He wins deliverance for His people (v.13-15). Habakkuk responds in confidence to the Lord: “he makes me tread on my high places.”

What events of OT history is Habakkuk referring to here in Habakkuk 3:1-15?

The works of God of “olden” days fill Habakkuk with wonder and awe. He knows that whatever God has done before, He can do again. We today should understand this also. God will move mountains for those that believe. He even came to a man on a mountain-Sinai. Habakkuk begs to renew these type of works in his time. So what works of old would solicit a sense of awe from a Prophet of God that can speak to God? What works that took place that would have God described as the Holy One of Mount Paran (v3) in the Sinai Peninsula? Events that would warrant the mention of places like Midian (v.7)? A place where God would come again out of the wilderness and make Himself known to His people and now to His prophet? That would speak of His people’s deliverance (v.13). It is a passage riddled with reference to Moses. Moses had said the Lord’s appearance was like a light shining “from Seir…and from Mount Paran” (Deut 33:2) and Seir was the name used in Moses’ time for none other than…Teman. It was in these southern regions where many of the miracles and wonders of old took place. The references in verse 5 most likely refer to the plagues of Egypt. These events referred to by Habakkuk can be none other than the Exodus and deliverance of His people and their journey in the Sinai Peninsula area culminating in the eventual entering into the promised land by Joshua after the wilderness wandering.

Even after all this time God’s people still remembered His works and took them as serious as a heart attack.

We should do the same. We should view them through the same lens as Habakkuk. Many of us as Christians do not. We see them more as fables. Shame on us.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...