Habakkuk 3 (The Message)

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1 A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk, with orchestra: 2 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 God'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, 4 His cloud-brightness like dawn, exploding, spreading, forked-lightning shooting from his hand - what power hidden in that fist! 5 Plague marches before him, pestilence at his heels! 6 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. 7 I saw everyone worried, in a panic: Old wilderness adversaries, Cushan and Midian, were terrified, hoping he wouldn't notice them. 8 God, 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? 9 You unfurled your bow and let loose a volley of arrows. You split Earth with rivers. 10 Mountains saw what was coming. They twisted in pain. Flood Waters poured in. Ocean roared and reared huge waves. 11 Sun and Moon stopped in their tracks. Your flashing arrows stopped them, your lightning-strike spears impaled them. 12 Angry, you stomped through Earth. Furious, you crushed the godless nations. 13 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, 14 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! 15 You galloped through the Sea on your horses, racing on the crest of the waves. 16 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 Though 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, 18 I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. 19 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.)
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