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3
God Racing on the Crest of the Waves
1-2A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk, with orchestra:
God, I’ve heard what our ancestors say about you,
and I’m stopped in my tracks, down on my knees.
Do among us what you did among them.
Work among us as you worked among them.
And as you bring judgment, as you surely must,
remember mercy.
3-7God’s on his way again,
retracing the old salvation route,
Coming up from the south through Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
Skies are blazing with his splendor,
his praises sounding through the earth,
His cloud-brightness like dawn, exploding, spreading,
forked-lightning shooting from his hand—
what power hidden in that fist!
Plague marches before him,
pestilence at his heels!
He stops. He shakes Earth.
He looks around. Nations tremble.
The age-old mountains fall to pieces;
ancient hills collapse like a spent balloon.
The paths God takes are older
than the oldest mountains and hills.
I saw everyone worried, in a panic:
Old wilderness adversaries,
Cushan and Midian, were terrified,
hoping he wouldn’t notice them.
8-16God, is it River you’re mad at?
Angry at old River?
Were you raging at Sea when you rode
horse and chariot through to salvation?
You unfurled your bow
and let loose a volley of arrows.
You split Earth with rivers.
Mountains saw what was coming.
They twisted in pain.
Flood Waters poured in.
Ocean roared and reared huge waves.
Sun and Moon stopped in their tracks.
Your flashing arrows stopped them,
your lightning-strike spears impaled them.
Angry, you stomped through Earth.
Furious, you crushed the godless nations.
You were out to save your people,
to save your specially chosen people.
You beat the stuffing
out of King Wicked,
Stripped him naked
from head to toe,
Set his severed head on his own spear
and blew away his army.
Scattered they were to the four winds—
and ended up food for the sharks!
You galloped through the Sea on your horses,
racing on the crest of the waves.
When I heard it, my stomach did flips.
I stammered and stuttered.
My bones turned to water.
I staggered and stumbled.
I sit back and wait for Doomsday
to descend on our attackers.
17-19Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
I feel like I’m king of the mountain!
(For congregational use, with a full orchestra.)
3
1A prayer of Ḥaḇaqquq the prophet, on Shiḡionoth.
2O יהוה, I have heard your report, I was afraid. O יהוה, renew Your work in the midst of the years! Make it known in the midst of the years. In wrath remember compassion.
3Eloah comes from Tĕman, And the Set-apart One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendour shall cover the heavens, And His praise shall fill the earth.
4And the brightness is as the light, He has rays from His hand, And there His power is hidden.
5Before Him goes pestilence, And a burning flame goes forth at His feet.
6He shall stand and measure the earth. He shall look and shake the nations. And the ancient mountains are shattered, The age-old hills shall bow. His ways are everlasting.
7I saw the tents of Kushan under sorrow, The curtains of the land of Miḏyan tremble.
8Shall יהוה burn against the rivers? Is Your displeasure against the rivers, Is Your wrath against the sea, That You ride on Your horses, Your chariots of deliverance?
9You uncover Your bow, The oaths of the rod of the Word. Selah. You cut through the earth with rivers.
10The mountains shall see You, they tremble. The storm of water shall pass over. The deep shall give forth its voice, It shall lift up its hands.
11Sun, moon shall stand still in their places. Like light Your arrows fly, Like lightning is Your glittering spear.
12You step through the earth in rage, You thresh the nations in wrath.
13You shall go forth to save Your people; to save Your Anointed. You shall smite the head from the house of the wrong, By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah.
14You shall pierce with his own arrows The head of his leaders. They stormed along to scatter me, Rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.
15You shall tread the sea with Your horses, The foaming of many waters.
16I heard, and my body trembled, My lips quivered at the sound, Rottenness came into my bones. And I trembled within myself, That I might rest for the day of distress, To come upon the people who would attack us.
17Though the fig tree does not blossom, And there is no fruit on the vine, The yield of the olive has failed, And the fields brought forth no food, The flock has been cut off from the fold, And there is no herd in the stalls,
18Yet I exult in יהוה, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance.
19יהוה the Master is my strength. And He makes my feet like those of deer, And makes me walk on my high places. To the chief singer with my stringed instruments.