Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Most of us want to know why bad things happen to good people.

Habakkuk, quite understandably, wants to know why good things happen to bad people.

And he’s not alone, I seem to recall the writer of Ecclesiastes becoming unhappy about the same thing.

The Babylonians are in power, and for ‘Babylonians’ we can read the word ‘dictators’, ‘army chiefs’, ‘the mafia’, ‘police officers’, ‘Mac-users’ and even, yes I’ll say it, ‘Christians.’ And hey – let's add 'Steve Goble' to that list. Anyone who thinks they’re right, no matter what.

God’s answer to Habakkuk is that, yes, the Babylonians are evil, and, yes, God is deliberately making them strong, even though they are evil.

The inescapable lesson there is surely that success is no indication of God’s approval.

Tell that to some of today’s ‘rabid’ Christians, who crow about the victory they think God is rewarding them with. (better not – they might execute judgement on you ‘in God’s name’)

The Babylonians, we’re told, are only being made strong in order to effect God’s will upon those whose morality he is trying to save. A plan that depends upon their humility.

Whether or not it was written later, in the last chapter Habakkuk seems to accept God's answer, which surely required some humility on his part.

How much worse, then, for those who choose to use that God-given strength to do wrong.


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