God’s Wrath

Hab 3:8 Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea, when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation?

With this verse Habakkuk transitions from talking about God to talking to God. The words rendered “rivers” (Heb. Neharim, also means “floods”) and “sea” (Heb. Yam) are also personifications (gods) found in ancient Canaanite literature. It could be that Habakkuk was talking about God’s wrath against these false religions. It could also be a reference to Noah’s salvation from the raging seas of the great flood. The poetic language used here is somewhat vague, though when woven into the fabric of the prayer/psalm of this chapter context indicates the prophetic element of God’s salvation in the face of an enemy with an army like a sea flooding the land of Judah. It is common in Hebrew literature for a mass of people to be characterized with a water metaphor such as a river, sea, or flood.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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5 Responses to God’s Wrath

  1. Todd Beal says:

    Lance, I know this is off topic, but I am wondering if you know why the new earth has no sea, no water. The last sentence in your post made me think of this.

  2. Lance Ponder says:

    Not that far off at all, Todd. I’m not sure the new earth is without a sea or water. Why do you say this. What about the river of life? The trees of life grow in a grove beside the river of life. There’s rivers running from the temple in Ezekiel’s vision. Whether literal or not, the notion of a new earth without water sounds rather unlikely to me. I’d like to know more if you could point me to a reference that tells us this.

    • Todd Beal says:

      Revelation 21:1 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.”

      Regarding the river of life, for the fact that it is the river of Life tells me it is a divine water, not water as we know it. The new earth is just that, new, not our earth restored. We will have brand new bodies that exactly resemble the makeup of Jesus’ resurrected body. He could walk through walls with his body even though it was a body and not spirit form. The new earth and our new bodies will be made for each other, which suggests to me that everything will be very different from the way things are now.

      Of course, maybe there will be actual water (a re-created perfect water), but no seas. Whatever the case, according to scripture everything will be redesigned.

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