“Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own…
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
but the righteous shall live by his faith…
The earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 1:5-6; 2:3-4,14
“The Lord of hosts has sworn: ‘As I have planned,
so shall it be,
and as I have purposed,
so shall it stand,
that I will break the Assyrian in my land,
and on my mountains trample him underfoot;
and his yoke shall depart from them,
and his burden from their shoulder.
This is the purpose that is purposed
concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
over all the nations.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
and who will turn it back?'” Isaiah 14:24-27
“You will have your fill of shame instead of glory.
The cup in the Lord‘s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter shame will come upon your glory!
The Lord is in his holy temple;
let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:16,20
Israel had been brought to her knees by God using the cruel Assyrians, whom, Isaiah prophesied, He promised in turn to crush underfoot. Habakkuk questioned God’s next use of the wicked Chaldeans to punish Judah, and God pointed him to His wider purposes of justice: humbling His prideful people, yet also ultimately destroying those He used to punish them, all for His glory among the nations.
We now see in a mirror dimly, yet through this time of wondering what God is doing and why, He develops in us the faith by which He calls us to live, and stirs into our grappling deeper hope, and love for Him. Focusing on the foreground and immediately beyond, we get dismayed at present inconvenience, torques of lifestyle and schedule. We grieve what we are losing, yet cannot fathom or foretell all God is arranging in the distances beyond. He ordains and defines each layer of life, His plans for us individually and His divine scheme for the world over the ages. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13)
Does God use evil to bring about His ends? Absolutely. Jesus the unblemished Lamb was crucified to bring us forgiveness and eternal life. Is He using hardship now to accomplish His purposes? Will He redeem our sorrow, broken dreams, and loss? Absolutely! He does His work efficiently and efficaciously; He has determined His appointed times, His perfectly measured ways, His ends. We can trust that He loves us and is working all for our good. (Romans 8:28; Galatians 2:20)
Lord, silence my vexed heart. Keep me growing in Your knowledge, wondering at Your works, anticipating Your purposes, and joyfully astounding at Your glory.