“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.For I am going to do something in your daysthat you would not believe,even if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians,that ruthless and impetuous people,who sweep across the whole earthto seize dwellings not their own.” Habakkuk 1:5-6
(I’m writing this post on my iPhone in the airport terminal this morning. Forgive me if it feels a little Spartan!)
One of the things I’ve come to appreciate about God’s sovereignty is that God can and will use anyone and anything to accomplish His eternal purposes. The Babylonians referred to in Habakkuk’s vision were really nasty people. While not approving of their evil hearts and deeds, God was perfectly willing to use their actions as an instrument of ultimate good. God is a God of redemption, and even God can wrench evil purposes to accomplish His will.
By contrast, I find that we good religious people, and the institutional church in particular, like to dictate, control, and stipulate who God can and will use. Those who look, speak, think, or act differently than our strict behavioral guidelines and constipated comfort zone need not apply. We like to limit God’s machinations within the borders of our acceptable boundaries.
Surely, standards are a good thing for doing things decently and in order. However, when we try to expand and project our finite human understanding to define God’s eternal will and purposes we are trying to place our own limits on the Almighty. I find that both foolish and dishonoring to our sovereign Creator.