“You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?”
In the first verses of his book, Habakkuk begged God to answer his prayers and to stop the unrighteousness of his people. But when God answers him, His message is very different from what Habakkuk expected. Yes, God will address the injustice and idolatry of the Israelites. He will judge them. But He will do so by means of a foreign people, the Chaldeans, “a bitter and hasty nation… dreaded and fearsome”. These Chaldeans will take the Israelites captive and destroy their country.
That’s not what Habakkuk had in mind! He does not understand how God, who cannot even look at wrong, wants to use such a wicked nation in His plans. Doesn’t this just make everything worse?!? Habakkuk touches hard questions here. We believe that God is completely good, but He sometimes uses evil people and powers for His good goals. In fact, it is a proof of His ultimate power that He makes His enemies do His bidding!
The ultimate example of this is the death of Jesus Christ. God the Father gave up His only Son; He let evil people crucify Him. What could be worse? But this was a necessary part of God’s eternal salvation plan. He used evil to bring about endless good.
What do you think: was Jesus’ death something good?