When God is Unfair
Why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me . . . For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. Habakkuk 1:3-4
The times I’ve questioned God most are when he just doesn’t make sense, or when I can’t feel him. I believe that God is loving and all-powerful. So, when I read then of a teenager who is kidnapped and her parents murdered, it doesn’t make sense. How could you allow that to happen? Where were you? Similarly, in my addiction, I prayed to experience God’s miraculous intervention . . . but nothing happened. Again, the doubts crept in. Are you even there? Don’t you care?
Habakkuk similarly questioned God. Witnessing the evil that his people committed against each other caused Habakkuk significant turmoil. Why would you allow the wicked to hurt the innocent? What I’m experiencing doesn’t match up with what I believe about you God. Why?
God answered Habakkuk, which we’ll get to eventually, but the first lesson of Habakkuk is that it’s not wrong to take our questions to God. Habakkuk honestly didn’t understand, so he went to God who didn’t chastise him, but rather revealed a much greater reality.
This is often my problem. I see only one piece of a giant puzzle, and I can’t make it make sense. In the case of my addiction, I wanted God’s miraculous healing as I was taking the pills. God showed me however, that I wouldn’t experience transformation until I radically obeyed him. I didn’t get to feel God until I practiced faith.
In the case of the kidnapped teenager, I can’t possibly explain it. Like Habakkuk though, I do believe that somehow God allows man to make evil choices, while he remains in control. This is Habakkuk’s second lesson: Sometimes we get an answer, but sometimes, faith doesn’t make a lot of sense right now.
Though Habakkuk questioned God, he began with the humble premise that God was God. For some, this is simply too much. There are those who will never find faith because they demand that God satisfy their sense of reason. If God is God though, he will necessarily be profoundly mysterious to our limited minds. Faith doesn’t mean we can’t ask questions, but it does mean that we follow, even when it doesn’t make a lot of sense.