HOW CAN GOD USE EVIL TO ACCOMPLISH GOOD?
Babylon was an evil, cruel and ruthless nation but God used them to bring judgment on His people, Israel. We might wonder how God could use evil to bring about His plan. Habakkuk wondered the same thing (Habakkuk 1:5-11).
It shouldn’t surprise us that God uses evil for His purpose. He uses sinful people. He used pagan rulers in Egypt during Joseph’s time, Assyria during Jonah’s time, Rome during Jesus’ birth and during Paul’s time, Persia during Esther’s time and Babylon during Daniel’s time. Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20 assure us that God uses evil for ultimate good. He doesn’t create the evil and is not responsible for it. He controls it so His will is ultimately accomplished (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20). God does not sin and doesn’t tempt anyone to sin (James1:13). All He does is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Matthew 5:48).
We should not be surprised that God uses the sin that already exists in the world to fulfill His purpose. He used evil Babylon to discipline Judah for their sin. That was what Habakkuk couldn’t understand. God’s purpose was to bring judgment on Judah for their idolatry so they would turn from it. Babylon was even more evil, but God deals with His people first (“judgment begins at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Babylon was just the instrument that God chose (Isaiah 10:5). The best example of this is Jesus’ crucifixion – the evilest act ever. But through it God provided salvation for all and defeated Satan and his forces (Colossians 2:15).
Habakkuk wondered how God could use a nation wickeder than Judah to judge Judah (1:12-2:1). God’s response was a promise that He would later punish Babylon as well (2:2-20). In the end, Habakkuk could only acknowledge the Lord’s perfect wisdom. He ends with a song of praise in chapter 3.
When things happen today that don’t seem fair or right for God’s people, remember that God is allowing it and using it to accomplish His will. It could be to bring repentance or greater commitment and trust in His people. Or it might be to show the world His might when He delivers. Perhaps He is providing an opportunity for us to trust Him and for our faith to stretch and grow. It could be for many reasons, but it doesn’t mean He isn’t in control. And it doesn’t mean He isn’t fair and just. Babylon was destroyed for their sin and no longer exists today. The Jews were being punished for idolatry. They still exist today – and they have never gone back into idolatry in the 2,000+ years since then. Evidently what God was doing worked!
So, when you have questions about God’s methods as Habakkuk did, trust Him. Sometimes He miraculously delivers, other times it seems He is allowing evil to prosper and His people to suffer. He doesn’t always restrain or defeat Satan and his forces as we would like. So, learn from Habakkuk to view life from God’s perspective and worship Him knowing He is always in control of everything. (February 12, 2024 Doylestown, PA)
Deuteronomy 32:3–4 I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Do you ever questions what God is doing in your life or in the world today?
What can you learn from Habakkuk to better trust God with that which you don’t understand?
Who do you know who needs to hear this message today? Forward this blog or, better yet, write to them and use your own words to encourage them.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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