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The LORD God is my Strength

December 29, 2017

Habakkuk 3:19 "The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

 

Great thoughts on these three clauses, from Alexander MacLaren, "the prince of expositors" (including a thought or two of my own; no claim to "greatness" on those 😃)

 

1) “The LORD God IS my strength” 
– Note, this is greater than, “The Lord GIVES me strength."
You can give a dollar to a beggar, yet keep your distance and go on your way. This is a more intimate and greater reality we know through several familiar texts of the New Testament:

 

Phil. 2:13 "It is GOD that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” 
Gal. 2:20, “Not I, but Christ liveth in me"
Colossians 3:4 "Christ, who is OUR LIFE . . ."
John 15:4-5 "Without Me, you can do NOTHING."

 

There is a condition, though. For HIS STRENGTH to be seen, I've got to acknowledge MY WEAKNESS. Which means we need to be willing to be SHOWN our weakness (which usually comes only through painful trials and afflictions; God "giving me more than I can handle" – II Cor. 1:8-10; 12:9-10)

 

The only other requirement is FAITH IN HIM: "and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20b).

2) “and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet.”

The “hind” is the female red deer that inhabits the precipices and rocky places of the Middle East – "similar to the American elk, but somewhat smaller." (Zondervan Bible Encyclopedia)

“The stag (or "hind") is, in all languages spoken by people that have ever seen it, the very type and emblem of elastic, springing ease, of light and bounding gracefulness, that clears every obstacle and sweeps swiftly over the moor. When the singer says, “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet,” what he is thinking about is that light and easy, springing, elastic gait; that swiftness of advance (the “RUNNING" we see in Habakkuk 2:2-3; Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 2:16; I Corinthians 9:25-27).

 

The text brings a bright assurance, that swift and easy and springing as the course of a stag on a free hillside may be the gait with which we run the race set before us; because communion with God manifest in Christ does actually breathe into men a vigour, and consequently a freshness and a buoyancy that do not belong to themselves, and do not come from nature or surrounding things.” (MacLaren)

 

3) “and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.” – communion with Christ brings elevation!

“One sees the herd on the skyline of the mountain ridge, and at home up there; far above all dangers and attack; able to keep their footing on cliff and precipice, tossing their antlers in the pure air.

If we keep ourselves in simple, loving fellowship with God in Christ; and day by day, even ‘when the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine,’ will still “rejoice in the God of our salvation,” He will lift us up, and Isaiah’s words will be fulfilled: “They shall mount up with wings as eagles.”

 

Communion with God does not only help us to plod and travel; IT MAKES US TO SOAR. If we keep ourselves in touch with Him, we shall be like a weight that is hung onto a balloon. The buoyancy of the one will lift the leadenness of the other. If we hold fast by Christ’s hand, that will lift us up to the high places, the heights of God, insofar as we may reach them in this world, and we shall be at home up there. They will be ‘mine high places,’ that I never could have got at by my own scrambling, but to which Thou hast lifted me up, and which, by Thy grace, have become my natural abode. I am at home there, and walk at liberty in the loftiness, and fear no fall among the cliffs.

 

It is safe up there. The air is pure; the poison mists are down lower; the hunters do not come there; their arrows or their rifles will not carry so far.

 

So we may go on until at last we hear the Voice that says, “Come up higher,” and shall be lifted to the mountain of God, where the Living Waters are, and shall fear no snares nor hunters any more forever.” (MacLaren)

 

"Happy in this glorious consciousness, Habakkuk, and we, too, can walk in faith, in our "high places," far above the snares and mists of the earth. Like the goats in the 104th Psalm (verse 18), we will be enabled to mount up to the tops of the rocks and dwell in the high hills. Surely if a child of God in the twilight of a past dispensation could so exult and triumph over all circumstances, we who live in the full blaze of the day of grace, may well be stirred up to a holy jealousy, that, CONTINUALLY DWELLING "IN HEAVENLY PLACES," we may be daily found overcoming through the power of faith!" -- H. A. Ironside.

 

As Miles J. Stanford used to say, "Abide Above; Keep Looking DOWN!" (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4).

Habakkuk 3:19 "The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."

 

Great thoughts on these three clauses, from Alexander MacLaren, "the prince of expositors" (including a thought or two of my own; no claim to "greatness" on those 😃)

 

1) “The LORD God IS my strength” 
– Note, this is greater than, “The Lord GIVES me strength."
You can give a dollar to a beggar, yet keep your distance and go on your way. This is a more intimate and greater reality we know through several familiar texts of the New Testament:

 

Phil. 2:13 "It is GOD that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” 
Gal. 2:20, “Not I, but Christ liveth in me"
Colossians 3:4 "Christ, who is OUR LIFE . . ."
John 15:4-5 "Without Me, you can do NOTHING."

 

There is a condition, though. For HIS STRENGTH to be seen, I've got to acknowledge MY WEAKNESS. Which means we need to be willing to be SHOWN our weakness (which usually comes only through painful trials and afflictions; God "giving me more than I can handle" – II Cor. 1:8-10; 12:9-10)

 

The only other requirement is FAITH IN HIM: "and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20b).

2) “and He will make my feet like hinds’ feet.”

The “hind” is the female red deer that inhabits the precipices and rocky places of the Middle East – "similar to the American elk, but somewhat smaller." (Zondervan Bible Encyclopedia)

“The stag (or "hind") is, in all languages spoken by people that have ever seen it, the very type and emblem of elastic, springing ease, of light and bounding gracefulness, that clears every obstacle and sweeps swiftly over the moor. When the singer says, “He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet,” what he is thinking about is that light and easy, springing, elastic gait; that swiftness of advance (the “RUNNING" we see in Habakkuk 2:2-3; Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 2:16; I Corinthians 9:25-27).

 

The text brings a bright assurance, that swift and easy and springing as the course of a stag on a free hillside may be the gait with which we run the race set before us; because communion with God manifest in Christ does actually breathe into men a vigour, and consequently a freshness and a buoyancy that do not belong to themselves, and do not come from nature or surrounding things.” (MacLaren)

 

3) “and He will make me to walk upon mine high places.” – communion with Christ brings elevation!

“One sees the herd on the skyline of the mountain ridge, and at home up there; far above all dangers and attack; able to keep their footing on cliff and precipice, tossing their antlers in the pure air.

If we keep ourselves in simple, loving fellowship with God in Christ; and day by day, even ‘when the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine,’ will still “rejoice in the God of our salvation,” He will lift us up, and Isaiah’s words will be fulfilled: “They shall mount up with wings as eagles.”

 

Communion with God does not only help us to plod and travel; IT MAKES US TO SOAR. If we keep ourselves in touch with Him, we shall be like a weight that is hung onto a balloon. The buoyancy of the one will lift the leadenness of the other. If we hold fast by Christ’s hand, that will lift us up to the high places, the heights of God, insofar as we may reach them in this world, and we shall be at home up there. They will be ‘mine high places,’ that I never could have got at by my own scrambling, but to which Thou hast lifted me up, and which, by Thy grace, have become my natural abode. I am at home there, and walk at liberty in the loftiness, and fear no fall among the cliffs.

 

It is safe up there. The air is pure; the poison mists are down lower; the hunters do not come there; their arrows or their rifles will not carry so far.

 

So we may go on until at last we hear the Voice that says, “Come up higher,” and shall be lifted to the mountain of God, where the Living Waters are, and shall fear no snares nor hunters any more forever.” (MacLaren)

 

"Happy in this glorious consciousness, Habakkuk, and we, too, can walk in faith, in our "high places," far above the snares and mists of the earth. Like the goats in the 104th Psalm (verse 18), we will be enabled to mount up to the tops of the rocks and dwell in the high hills. Surely if a child of God in the twilight of a past dispensation could so exult and triumph over all circumstances, we who live in the full blaze of the day of grace, may well be stirred up to a holy jealousy, that, CONTINUALLY DWELLING "IN HEAVENLY PLACES," we may be daily found overcoming through the power of faith!" -- H. A. Ironside.

 

As Miles J. Stanford used to say, "Abide Above; Keep Looking DOWN!" (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:1-4).

 

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