“You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
One more righteous than he” (Habakkuk 1:13).
In complaining to God about the success of the wicked Chaldeans against the Israelites, Habakkuk asks God a question that is not dissimilar to one asked by many since that time: Why does God allow wicked people to succeed?
The Chaldeans are troubling Israel, apparently successfully. The prophet ponders the perfection of God and questions whether the punishment he is allowing Israel to undergo is consistent with His nature. Why can God sit back and allow such wicked people to be so successful against His own people?
God provides a sound answer for the prophet later where He assures him that the wicked shall eventually be brought to judgment and “the just shall live by his faith.” In this reply, he is projecting His answer not only to the Israelites then but to all who will stand before God in judgment.
It is easy for any generation to look around and observe the success of those who have no spiritual inclinations and ask the same question. It can be discouraging for people to strive to live righteous lives and to observe the apparent success of those who do not fear God and keep His commandments. The scriptures assure us that God is in control and that everything will come out fairly in the end.