Habakkuk's Second Lament - Part 3

    Are you not from everlasting,
O LORD my God, my Holy One?
We shall not die.
O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof.
    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?
    I will take my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Habakkuk 1:12a (ESV)

In faith, Habakkuk acknowledged the LORD's purity and His plan; but he was unable to reconcile the two. How could a holy God, "of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong," use the wicked Chaldeans as His instrument to discipline His people, who are "more righteous than" they?

Paraphrasing the words of Habakkuk: O LORD, you have preserved and prospered the Babylonians for Your purposes. But how can that be since you are so righteous that you cannot even look at sin without condemning it? Will you withhold Your judgment against those who are more evil than the people You are sending them to punish?

What Habakkuk did not see -- that the LORD does -- is the beginning and the end. From the beginning the LORD has ordained the humbling of His errant people by the idolatrous and incorrigible Chaldeans. And in the end He will judge the Chaldeans and justify those who belong to Him.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."   Revelation 1:8 (ESV)

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."   Revelation 22:13 (ESV)

The Westminster Confession of Faith
in Modern English

Chapter 5 -- Providence

4. God's providence reveals his almighty power, unknowable wisdom, and infinite goodness. His
providence extends even to the fall and to all other sins of angels and men. These sins are
not simply allowed by God, but are bound, ordered, and governed by him in the fullness of his
wisdom and power so that they fulfill his own holy purposes. However, the sinfulness still
belongs to the creature and does not proceed from God, whose holy righteousness does not and
cannot cause or approve sin.

5. In the fullness of his wisdom, righteousness, and grace God often allows his own children to be
tempted in various ways and for a time to pursue the corruption of their own hearts. God does
this to chastise them for their previous sins and to reveal to them the hidden strength of
corruption and deceitfulness in their hearts, so that they may be humbled. In addition to
various other just and holy results, believers are thereby raised to a closer and more constant
dependence on God for their support and are also made more alert in detecting and resisting
opportunities to sin.

6. It is different for the wicked and the ungodly. As punishment for their previous sins, God, the
righteous judge, spiritually blinds and hardens them in their own sinfulness. From them God
not only withdraws his grace, by which they might have been spiritually enlightened, but
sometimes he also withdraws whatever gift of spiritual understanding they already had and
deliberately exposes them to the opportunities for sinning which their corrupt nature naturally
seeks. He thereby gives them over to their own desires, to the temptations of the world, and to
the power of Satan, and so it happens that they harden themselves even under those
circumstances which God uses to soften others.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.