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by Charles Box
Does Our God Use Evil? Habakkuk One
Very little is known about Habakkuk except that he is a prophet of God and that he was incredibly prayerful. He was searching for answers concerning life's difficult questions. Habakkuk chapter one describes God's use of wicked nations to punish other people. Even though man may not understand why God does this we must remember His sovereignty and man's responsibility to Him. The book of Habakkuk deals with many of the hard questions of the Bible. The book of Habakkuk is a struggle as the prophet goes boldly to God to discuss matters that he does not understand. During Habakkuk's day the people were very wicked, chaos reigned and justice was non-existent. Habakkuk felt that he had cried and cried for justice and yet he could not understand why God was still silent. Habakkuk had prayed to God for some extended time concerning the wrong-doing and injustice of the land. He described the evils of his day with words like iniquity, grievance, spoiling, strife and contention. Habakkuk prayed for God to set the matter straight but he felt that God was not answering.
God told Habakkuk that He was doing something already! He said, "Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you." God would bring the Chaldeans against the Jews to destroy them. He knew that the Chaldeans were a wicked people. They were simply a strong military force that God would use to punish the wrongs of His own people. The Chaldeans were arrogant, despiteful and blood-thirsty. They trusted in their own strength. The fact that God would use this wicked nation to punish His people was not at all what Habakkuk expected. When we pray we must expect God to answer with what is best, though it might not necessarily be what we expected. Habakkuk saw God as eternal and wondered how He could use a wicked nation to accomplish His purpose. We must remember the sovereignty of God and have complete faith that He will always do what is best.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29