Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statutes. Psalm 119:83The skins used for containing wine, when emptied, were hung up in the tent, and when the place reeked with smoke the skins grew black and sooty, and in the heat they became wrinkled and worn.1 The psalmist likens himself to this worn-out skin that has obviously been damaged by the smoke and is getting brittle. His life has been difficult and his body is showing the results of the ongoing battles. Yet in the midst of his challenges, the psalmist’s commitment to God’s word is unwavering. Challenging circumstances should not distract the true believer from the promises and provision of God’s word. Our faith does not rest on favorable circumstances. Our faith rests in a suffering Savior who has made a way for us to be reconciled to God. There was a time when Habakkuk was struggling to understand God’s ways. After all, the wicked often seem to flourish and God even used evil nations to discipline His own children. How can this be? Consider Habakkuk’s conclusion at the end of his book. Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments. Habakkuk 3:17–19Our focus must never be on circumstances. We must set our gaze on the God who is sovereign over all the circumstances of life. He is absolutely trustworthy. Knowing Him is all we need. 1 Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119 (Vol. 5, p. 305). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.