Habakkuk was troubled. To put it mildly. His nation was full of corruption. Injustice. Abuse of power. The good people, like Habakkuk, prayed. God didn’t answer.
Chapter 1 of the book of Habakkuk records his lament:
How long, O Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
Then God did answer. Literally. He answered Habakkuk and shared with him the plan: God was going to raise up Babylonia, a “ruthless and impetuous people” (1:6), to punish Judah.
Habakkuk didn’t like that answer at all. He tried to be respectful, but he knew that God must be overlooking the fact that Babylonia was evil. They were the bad guys. Could God possibly use evil people to punish “the good guys”?
O Lord, are you not from everlasting?
My God, my Holy One, we will not die.
O Lord, you have appointed them to execute judgment;
O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrong.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
God later reassures Habakkuk that the Babylonians themselves will be punished for their misdeeds. But the short answer is yes, God uses the wicked to punish people, even people more righteous than they.
In fact, if we look at the biblical record, God rather consistently uses bad people as instruments of judgment. It’s the rare exception when he uses the righteous.
Yesterday we talked about telling God what to do. About how simple solutions usually aren’t simple and rarely solve anything. Here’s today’s question:
How will you react if God chooses to use evil people today to do his will?