The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Hab. 3:19)
Considered an image and symbol of grace, agility, and beauty, deer are ritually pure animals according to the law of Moses. They are proverbially known for their ability to venture with ease into rocky and perilous mountains and escape from any imminent danger in the blink of an eye. When a thirsty deer—driven by the arid climate of Israel—brays after the flow of water, it relies on its sure feet to travel long distances and rise to the heights.
Habakkuk concluded his prayer with words showing his unwavering trust in the Lord. He acknowledged that God strengthened him and made his feet firm, like those of a deer, which are said to be strong. Like David, the messenger affirmed that God made his feet like those of a deer and gave him sure footing on high places (see 2 Sam. 22:34; Ps. 18:33). Just as the deer uses its feet to pull itself up to the heights, the Lord leads and secures the steps of his servants. God’s servant was able to do all of this because of the strength that he got from the Sovereign Lord.
God calls us to a new dimension in our spiritual walk with him. This invitation requires us to leave the valley and the plain, stand firm in our steps, and take unbeaten, stony, winding paths to reach the heights.
Be sure-footed like a deer to tread on the heights with God.
Handy Calixte is an ordained pastor of L’Église Wesleyenne d’Haïti and likes writing about various biblical topics. He and his wife, Johane, have three children.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.