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Habakkuk 3:18

King James Version (KJV)
Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. - The words are very impressive, as they stand in the Hebrew. “For,” he says, “the fig tree shall not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vines, the labor of the olive hath failed;” (the prophet does not look on, only to these things, but in his mind stands in the midst of them, they are done, and he amid them, feeling their effects) “and the field hath yielded no food; the flock hath been cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stall; and I.” He relates it as the result of all which had gone before; such and such was the state of fruit-trees, vintage, harvest, flocks and herds; such was the aspect of all nature, living or inanimate; all was barren, disappointing; all had failed and was gone; and then at last he comes to himself, and I; what is he doing, when all nature and every seeming hope is dead? thus and thus it is with them; and I will rejoice.

He almost uses the expression as to the exultation of the enemy, adopting the same word only in a softer form. “Their exulting joy was” concentrated in this, “as to devour the poor secretly;” he too had “exulting joy.” There is a joy against joy - a joy of theirs in the possession of all which their rapacity covets, in the possession of all things: a joy of his amid the privation of all things. He contrasts the two joys, as David had of old; Psalm 17:13, Psalm 17:15: “the men of the world, whose portion is in this life, whose belly Thou fillest with Thy hid treasure; they are sated of children and leave their substance to their babes: I,” he adds, “I shall behold Thy Presenee in righteousness, I shall be sated, in the awakening, with Thine image.” So Habakkuk, “I will not rejoice only, but shout for joy;” and not so only, but “I will bound for joy;” and this not for a time only; both words express a drawing, yearning of the soul, and this yet more and more, “I will shout for joy and would shout on; I will bound for joy and would bound on.”

But whence the source of this measureless unutterable joy? In the Lord, the Unchangeable God, “who is and was and is to come,” I am (it is the incommunicable Name); in the God of my salvation: it is almost the Name of Jesus; for jesus is salvation, and the Name means “the Lord is Salvation;” whence the words are here rendered even by a Jew “in God the Author of my redemption,” and yet more sweetly by a father. Augustine, de Civ. D. xviii. 32: “To me what some manuscripts have; ‹I will rejoice in God my Jesus,‘ seems better than what they have, who have not set the Name itself (but saving) which to us it is more loving and sweeter to name.”) “in God my Jesus.” In Him his joy begins, to Him and in Him it flows back and on; before he ventures, amid all the desolation, to speak of joy, he names the Name of God, and, as it were, stays himself in God, is enveloped and wrapped round in God; sad I (the words stand in this order) “and I in the Lord would shout for joy.”

He comes, as it were, and places himself quite close to God, so that nothing, not even his joy should be between himself and God; “and I in the Lord.” All creation, as it had failed, ceases to be; all out of God: he speaks of nothing but himself and God, or rather himself in God; and as He, God, comes before his joy, as its source, so in Him does he lose himself, with joy which cannot be contained, nor expressed, nor rest, but utters itself in the glad motions of untiring love. “I would bound for joy in my Saving God.” Truly all our joy is, to be in Him in whom is all Good, who is all Goodness and all Love.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
When we see a day of trouble approach, it concerns us to prepare. A good hope through grace is founded in holy fear. The prophet looked back upon the experiences of the church in former ages, and observed what great things God had done for them, and so was not only recovered, but filled with holy joy. He resolved to delight and triumph in the Lord; for when all is gone, his God is not gone. Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease. But those who, when full, enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice in him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world. Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone, we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit. Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may run the way of his commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling, ends it with joy and triumph. And thus faith in Christ prepares for every event. The name of Jesus, when we can speak of Him as ours, is balm for every wound, a cordial for every care. It is as ointment poured forth, shedding fragrance through the whole soul. In the hope of a heavenly crown, let us sit loose to earthly possessions and comforts, and cheerfully bear up under crosses. Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and where he is, we shall be also.
Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 317-8

I urge that our schools be given encouragement in their efforts to develop plans for the training of the youth in agricultural and other lines of industrial work. When, in ordinary business, pioneer work is done and preparation is made for future development, there is frequently a financial loss. But let us remember the blessing that physical exercise brings to the students. Many students have died while endeavoring to acquire an education, because they confined themselves too closely to mental effort. CT 317.1

We must not be narrow in our plans. In industrial training there are unseen advantages which cannot be measured or estimated. Let no one begrudge the effort necessary to carry forward successfully the plan that for years has been urged upon us as of primary importance. CT 317.2

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 122

Of all the lessons to be learned from our Lord's first great temptation none is more important than that bearing upon the control of the appetites and passions. In all ages, temptations appealing to the physical nature have been most effectual in corrupting and degrading mankind. Through intemperance, Satan works to destroy the mental and moral powers that God gave to man as a priceless endowment. Thus it becomes impossible for men to appreciate things of eternal worth. Through sensual indulgence, Satan seeks to blot from the soul every trace of likeness to God. DA 122.1

The uncontrolled indulgence and consequent disease and degradation that existed at Christ's first advent will again exist, with intensity of evil, before His second coming. Christ declares that the condition of the world will be as in the days before the Flood, and as in Sodom and Gomorrah. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart will be evil continually. Upon the very verge of that fearful time we are now living, and to us should come home the lesson of the Saviour's fast. Only by the inexpressible anguish which Christ endured can we estimate the evil of unrestrained indulgence. His example declares that our only hope of eternal life is through bringing the appetites and passions into subjection to the will of God. DA 122.2

In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary weakness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent. “Be of good cheer,” He says; “I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. DA 122.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 629

In that day, multitudes will desire the shelter of God's mercy which they have so long despised. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11, 12. GC 629.1

The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that “walketh righteously” is the promise: “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.” “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17. GC 629.2

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;” yet shall they that fear Him “rejoice in the Lord” and joy in the God of their salvation. Habakkuk 3:17, 18. GC 629.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 157

I appeal to the teachers in our educational institutions not to let religious earnestness and zeal retrograde. Make no backward movements, but let your watchword be: “Advance.” Our schools must rise to a much higher plane of action; broader views must be held; stronger faith and deeper piety must exist; the word of God must be made the root and branch of all wisdom and intellectual attainments. When the converting power of God takes hold of them, they will see that a knowledge of God covers a much broader field than the so-called “advance methods” of education. In all the education given, they should remember the words of Christ: “Ye are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. Then they will not experience so great hindrance in preparing missionaries to go out and give their knowledge to others. 6T 157.1

We have every endowment of capability, every facility provided for discharging the duties devolving upon us; and we should be grateful to God that by His mercy we have these advantages, and that we possess the knowledge of His grace and of present truth and duty. Are you, then, as teachers, trying to maintain the false education you have received? Are you losing the precious opportunities granted you to become better acquainted with God's plans and methods? Do you believe the word of God? Are you every day becoming better able to understand, to give yourselves to the Lord, and to be used in His service? Are you missionaries to do God's will? Do you believe the Bible and heed what it says? Do you believe that we are living in the last days of this earth's history? And have you hearts that can feel? We have a large work before us; we are to be bearers of the sacred light of the word, which is to illume all nations. We are Christians, and what are we doing? 6T 158.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 275

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Students, co-operate with your teachers. As you do this you give them hope and courage. You are helping them, and at the same time you are helping yourselves to advance. Remember that it rests largely with you whether your teachers stand on vantage ground, their work an acknowledged success. 7T 275.1

In the highest sense you are to be learners, seeing God behind the teacher, and the teacher co-operating with Him. 7T 275.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 388

“O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make known;
In wrath remember mercy.
PK 388.1

“God came from Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens,
And the earth was full of His praise.
And His brightness was as the light;
He had bright beams out of His side:
And there was the hiding of His power.
Before Him went the pestilence,
And burning coals went forth at His feet.
He stood, and measured the earth:
He beheld, and drove asunder the nations;
And the everlasting mountains were scattered,
The perpetual hills did bow:
His ways are everlasting.”
PK 388.2

“Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people,
Even for salvation with Thine anointed.”
PK 388.3

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