Lately I have been doubting God’s goodness. I read the book of Nahum, which is all about how God is going to bring judgment on the people of Ninevah, who were a corrupt and evil people. To give you a picture of what Nahum sounds like, here is how the book ends:
“O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them. Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?”
Dang! That’s harsh! Did the God that I serve seriously inspire these words??
These are the questions that have been going through my mind lately. I believe that God is merciful and kind and loving. I also believe that he is just and fair, but Nahum just seems to take it a little too far.
So I’ve been talking to a few people about these ponderings and I’ve gotten a few different answers and opinions, but nothing seemed to satisfy me. All that changed this morning though.
This morning I read the book of Habakkuk, which comes right after Nahum. Habakkuk was a prophet but his book does not show him preaching at Israel to repent, it’s more of him complaining at God.
Here are the words of Habakkuk in chapter one:
“Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.”
Sounds like pretty serious problems happening in that time, huh? And what’s crazy is I’ve wondered the same things about the time period I live in:
God, why do bad things happen to good people?
God, why does evil get its way?
God, why is corruption in politics tolerated?
God, why don’t you do something about terrorism?
God, what about human trafficking?
God, do you even care?
Fortunately for Habakkuk (and all of us) God answered and His words in this book have changed my perspective. What I’ve learned can be summarized into these bullet points:
- God sees the corruption of the world
- God uses good and evil people alike to fulfill his plan
- Just because God uses evil does not mean he condones it
- All actions have their consequences, whether good or bad
- One day, all evil will be overthrown and justice will prevail and that day will be glorious
- Because of the previous bullet points, I will wait patiently for the Lord
This is how the book of Habakkuk ends, and this is what gives me the most hope:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Lastly I want to confirm that doubts are okay: it is natural to doubt the supernatural. But when you doubt, will you choose to bring those doubts to God or will you choose to turn away from God and abandon faith?