Habakkuk is a prophet and it has been revealed to him that Israel, because of their sins, is going to get smashed by the evil Chaldeans.
Habakkuk struggles with this. How can God use evil people like the Chaldeans to blast His own people? Doesn’t this violate God’s holiness to use such dirty weapons? In comparison, aren’t God’s people better than them anyway?
Habakkuk has a response not too uncommon with us today. We wonder why the evil succeed. Why do the liberals get to run the media? Why can’t we just have Duck Dynasty 24/7?
Rather than dealing with our own sin, we get busy comparing ourselves to others, and this works best if we pick some of the worst “others” we can find.
There is much Christian outrage over abortionists, homosexuals, liberals, and various other evil people. There is no denying the evilness of these groups. But when our fixation on those groups keeps us from dealing with our own sin and places us in a high-and-mighty position of self-righteousness, we become evil ourselves.
Whether the Chaldeans are bad or not, makes no difference to God’s judgment that Israel is completely messed up. Habakkuk comes to this realization by the end of the book.
“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” Our haste to judge others is always, always, always a really bad sign. True spiritual discernment always, always, always results in humility, a humility that sees personal sin in front of God leading to silence.
God will judge sinners, it’s kind of what He does. Our job is to love them and the best way to do that is to have a humble view of our own sin. As Habakkuk says next, “O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.”
It’s time for the Church to shut up about the evil people in the world and start getting honest about its own sin. As Peter tells us, judgment begins with the house of God.
If we have a true concern for the souls of sinners, rather than blasting the worst sinners you can find (which always means–“sinners who sin differently than you”), lets deal with ourselves and God’s people first.
Never once has the wrath of man worked the righteousness of God. If we were as upset by our own sins as we are by the sins of Miley Cyrus, homosexuals, liberals or whatever group ticks you off the most, we’d get somewhere.