Monday, January 29, 2018

The Song of Habakkuk – Music Story #1

Everywhere he looked he saw violence and injustice. He was powerless to change it.

He was a singer-songwriter, a musician, a prophet, a student of his culture. He was deeply disturbed by the pervasive moral decay all around him. No one was able to stem the tide of violence and corruption. The wicked outnumbered the innocent. They intimidated the blameless, twisting the law, perverting justice. Ironically, these were God’s people who so flagrantly violated God’s laws.

He cried out to God, “How can you tolerate this? Why aren’t you doing something about this?”

God replied, “Watch and see what I am about to do.” God would send a brutal, godless nation to conquer and deport them. These warriors were a proud people who worshipped the works of their own hands. They were a law to themselves, believing that their cruelty was justified; their might made brutality right.

Confused, he complained to God. “Why do you let the wicked destroy people who are better than they? How can you condone this?”

God answered him, assuring him that these brutal people, too, would be punished. The wicked, never satisfied with what they gained, would bring about their own downfall and death, their gains turning to ashes in their hands. But the righteous person trusts God and lives! God’s justice would prevail and his glory would cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Twice Habakkuk asked God “why” and both times God answered with “who.” Habakkuk wrote down his questions and God’s answers in the first two chapters of the book by his name. Then, in the third chapter, Habakkuk modeled what trust in God looks like in a morally corrupt society, one ripe for punishment.

From the album “Apologia - Answers for Troubled Minds” this video is scrolling playback of music from the first two chapters of Habakkuk. (Music from the third chapter here.)

Click here and here to read the first two chapters of Habakkuk.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for The Song of Habakkuk I-IV.
the Song of Habakkuk Parts 1-4
Click here for print sheet music (lead sheet format). 
The Song of Habakkuk Parts 1-4
Click here for digital sheet music for orchestra.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music. Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.) 

1 comment:

  1. Am just reading Habakkuk in my personal quiet time and noticed at the end the musical reference, so wondered whether anyone had set the book to music and found your work. It somehow helps, as with the Psalms, to realise that this scripture was framed lyrically. So thank you for helping me there. It would be good to hear your work as a choir piece.