“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord.” ~Habakkuk 3:2
The prophet’s song in Habakkuk 3 is his response to God’s revelation that things are about to get really bad for the people. Habakkuk has spent the better part of his prophesy questioning God, accusing God, lashing out at God for just standing around and watching while wickedness abounds. And God answers those laments by telling his prophet that things are about to get a whole lot worse. Eventually, the Lord says, things are going to work out. But you’re going to have to wait.
So, the people begin to sing. According to the way Habakkuk 3 is written, judging by the style and the directions for singing at the beginning and end, and the technical musical notes throughout, it appears that all of God’s people sang Habakkuk 3. Together.
Habakkuk 3 is a corporate song of corporate worship.
It recounts the ways God has delivered his people in the past. It gives glory to God for his actions in history. It praises God for his power and his might. The song remembers God, it honors God, it worships God.
The song doesn’t really answer any of Habakkuk’s questions. But the song gives Habakkuk a new perspective. It shapes his vision. The song leads Habakkuk to pen the greatest words of faith found in all of Holy Scripture:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.” ~Habakkuk 3:17-18
There’s something special about our corporate worship. There’s something really powerful in an assembly of God’s people coming together to give him praise. When God’s people assemble to worship him, when we come together to give ourselves to him in worship — and I’m not talking about showing up and sitting in a pew; I’m not talking about watching your watch and worrying about your lunch plans; I’m not talking about just going through the motions and checking off another duty or obeying another command —when we give ourselves wholly and holy to our God in praise, something really wonderful happens.
True worship of God, sacrificial praise in spirit and truth, recounting to God and to one another his marvelous deeds, leads directly to changed hearts. Attitudes change in real worship. Outlooks are shaped. World views are molded. Really worshiping God together always causes us to see things differently, to view things as they really are, to even look at one another in a more genuine Christ-like way. There’s strength in singing. There’s power in worship. Real worship moves us from fear and anxiety to faith and confidence and joy.
Real worship reminds us of what’s important. It focuses us on eternal, big-picture things instead of the little petty things that distract us from what our God is doing. Corporate worship is where things really make sense.
When’s the last time you really gave everything you have to God in praise? When’s the last time you joined your brothers and sisters and sang at the top of your lungs about God’s amazing deeds and matchless grace? Try it this Sunday. Scripture shows us that it’ll change your life.