“…they [the Babylonians] are deeply guilty,
for their own strength is their god.”
“The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He will make me as surefooted as a deer
and bring me safely over the mountains.”
“My strength is god,” or “GOD is my strength”?
The Babylonians were God’s appointed people to execute His judgement over idolatrous Israel and the other nations. This proud people with military might unrivaled in those days would conquer many nations swiftly, including God’s beloved Israel. Pagan Babylon would rule over God’s chosen nation — what an affront to proud Israel! But this was God’s way of disciplining His beloved.
The book of Habakkuk records the prophet’s complaint before God, citing the grave sins of the Babylonians and appealing to God’s justice and love for His own people. God responds by assuring Habakkuk that Babylon will not go unpunished because she is “deeply guilty” for deifying her own strength. In contrast, at the end of his book, Habakkuk declares that the Sovereign LORD is his strength.
God, in His sovereignty, can and does choose to use the wicked things of this world to reveal His glory. But ultimately, He will judge fairly; evil will receive its due punishment. Those who trust their own strength may seem to prosper for a season, but their reign is short and they will, in God’s time, be put to shame. But those whose trust is in the LORD and His strength will be lifted by Him, even as they scale the mountains of their present sufferings.
Notes from my Bible reading in Februrary 2011.