Do you ever have questions or doubts about God? Do you ever feel like He allows wickedness and evil to prevail in the world? I know I have those thoughts sometimes, and as it turns out, so did another individual in the Bible.
Lately I’ve been reading though the Minor Prophets (the last twelve books in the Old Testament), so called not because they are less important, but simply because they are all fairly short. Among this collection is a three-chapter book called Habakkuk.
Habakkuk was a prophet right before the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Judah. If you read the book (which I would encourage you to do – it only takes five minutes), you will clearly see that Habakkuk isn’t too happy with state of the world. In fact, he’s downright frustrated. Read this excerpt from chapter 1:
2How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
And then verse 13:
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
In other words, why does God allow such bad things to happen? This question certainly isn’t new; Habakkuk asked it of God 2600 years ago! So what was God’s response? What did He say to Habakkuk’s timeless question? If you read on in chapter two, God explained that although Babylon would triumph for a time, His justice, although slow in coming, would be certain. And true to his word, God allowed the seemingly invincible Babylonian empire to be overthrown about sixty years later (Daniel 5:31).
So what does this mean for us? I believe that we can take Habakkuk as a great encouragement that even during times where our situation seems dark, even when it appears that evil is winning, God is still in control. Although we may not get the justice or the answers that we want within our lifetimes, God will work things out. We just need to be patient and trust Him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28