The Holiness of God: His moral purity.
Read Habakkuk 1:12-17
“Your eyes are too pure to approve evil.”
Because of our sinful nature, it is impossible for us to fully grasp the absolute moral purity and holiness of God. No matter how much we may discuss it, no matter how many books we may read upon it, no matter how many hours we spend contemplating its significance, in the end we still project upon God our own moral corruptness. This is especially true when we are going things times of extreme difficulty and sorrow. When confronted with the tragedy and the confusion of life, we cannot help but question the motives and actions of God. Since we fail in our lives so frequently, we begin to question God’s goodness when our experience seems to contradict it.
Such was the case of the prophet Habakkuk. In verse 12 and 13 Habakkuk gives us a profound statement and insight into the nature of God’s holiness. When we speak of God’s holiness, we affirm that God is untouched, unaffected, and completely separate from moral impurity. So pure and holy is God that he cannot look upon it nor does he ever give approval to it. It is not just that God himself can do no moral wrong, but that God cannot be associated with anything or anyone that is immoral or impure.
But this is what caused Habakkuk’s confusion. As Habakkuk look around him and saw the triumph of the wicked, he began to question God’s holiness. How can a holy God remain silent when the wicked seem to win the day? Habakkuk was confused as heaven appeared to be silent and indifferent when the idolatrous Chaldeans were conquering Israel. If God is holy, then how can he not act when evil nations attack his chosen people? This is the same question we wrestle with when we face suffering and trials in our life. Why do we suffer when others, who reject God and his word, seem to suffer no hardships in their lives? How can God be holy and tolerate sin?
In chapter 2 God provides the answer. He does notice and he will act for he is a holy, therefore let all the earth be silent. God will vindicate his holiness and will bring judgment upon sin, but it will be in his timing and according to his purposes. In the end, Habakkuk is silenced before a God who sits upon his holy throne, untouched by sin. Instead of allowing circumstances to drive our faith, Habakkuk learned that faith must govern his understanding of God (2:4). When Habakkuk realigns his faith to trust in the holy God rather than judge God by his experience, then he affirms, “I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he has made my feet like hind’s feet, and makes we walk on my high places” (3:18-19).
This provides for us perspective in our times of trials. When we are discouraged, facing insurmountable struggles or overwhelmed by circumstances surrounding us, it is easy for us to start to question God. Because we are marred by sin, we begin to question the moral purity of God and the moral purity of his motives and actions. We start to wonder if God is as inherently flawed as we are. This is when we must realign our perspective by our faith in God and his word. Faith enables us to affirm and trust that God is intrinsically pure, therefore all his actions and motives are pure. In the end, we can simply rest in him, not because we have deliverance from our circumstances, but because we know that God is pure and holy, and he will always act on our behalf with our best interests in such a way that brings him glory.