Question: "Does God sometimes use evil to accomplish His plans (Habakkuk 1:5-11)?" (Regarding Pulse Massacre)

Habakkuk 1:5-11 is a prophecy in which God relates His intention to raise up Babylon, a “ruthless” and “dreaded” nation, to achieve His purpose. This raises the question, Does God sometimes use evil to accomplish His plans?

There is an important distinction to be made between God controlling evil and God creating evil. God is not the author of sin, but He can use sinful men to attain an objective. Romans 8:28 says, “For those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” “All things” includes both good and bad things. God can use struggles, heartbreaks and tragedies in ways to bring about His glory and our good. Such events, even though we don’t understand the reason for them, are part of His perfect, divine plan. If God could not control evil, He would not be God. His sovereignty demands that He be in control of everything, even “dreaded” nations such as Babylon.

My question is whether God is using radical Muslims now as he used Babylonians back in 576 BC, that is, to punish His people for his wicked ways, and whether an attack by a radical Muslim on a notorious homosexual hangout is an example of this. :confused: Not sure if this belongs in world news or apologetics?

I don’t want to point to any specific instance such as this latest shooting… but I WILL agree that yes, whenever God’s people had rebelled against Him in scripture, the most powerful of His punishments was to turn them over to their enemys/depraved passions.

That’s the key principle.

The Old Testament is full of such divinely permitted (not caused!) punishments, but they are specifically documented only in the case of

(a) God’s chosen people - that would be Israel then, and the Church now
(b) those who oppressed God’s chosen people - that would be Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, etc… then, and perhaps radical Islam and secularism / liberalism now.

Beyond that, it is often imprudent to speculate on individual instances. A Catholic priest had a good blog post on this. Do you think those men who died in that gay club were worse sinners than the rest of us? Are we ready to face a sudden and unexpected death? Even if we are not practicing homosexuals, are we clean of mortal sin? That is the true point to ponder in such tragedies.

^^^Well said.

Thanks, but I think the best part of that message is courtesy Father Z. The credit must go to him. :thumbsup:

First, how would scripture have to be worded, to convince you that God was claiming to ‘cause’ evil and not just ‘allow’ evil? I can find a few that clearly imply “cause”, with no justification from the grammar or immediate context to justify saying that language is only talking about “allowing”:

11 “Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.
12 ‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’” (2 Sam. 12:11-12 NAU)

How could the bible ever correct our theological errors, if we always insist that scriptures that on their face seem to contradict what we believe, must be “interpreted”? I don’t think bible inerrancy is as concretely established as are “grammar” and “immediate context”, and therefore, I do not believe bible inerrancy should be exalted in our mind to the status of governing hermeneutic, the way “grammar” and “immediate context” deserve that appellation. Hence, thinking one’s interpretation of scripture A causes it to conflict with scripture B, cannot be an objective ground to dispute the first interpretation. Demanding that one scrap any interpretation when it conflicts with other so-called “established” interpretations of the bible, is exactly why Mormons and other cultists are so incredibly difficult to evangelize. They don’t care that the bible teaches the existence of only one god, they care more about “reconciling” those passages with a few obscure passages that they have already incorrectly interpreted as teaching the existence of more than one true god. If everybody ceased exalting bible inerrancy to the status of governing hermeneutic, we might become subject to the bible ‘correcting’ us when we are wrong. Otherwise, our desire to ‘reconcile everything in the bible’ becomes the very reason that we can never notice that the bible is correcting us.

From the Douay-Rheims

7 I form the light, and create darkness, I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord that do all these things. (Isa. 45:7 DRA)

Is the DR translated correctly here? The Hebrew for “evil” is rah, the generic word for the opposite of good.

14 And Absalom, and all the men of Israel said: The counsel of Chusai the Arachite is better than the counsel of Achitophel: and by the will of the Lord the profitable counsel of Achitophel was defeated, that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom. (2 Sam. 17:14 DRA)

Then there’s more direct verses in which God takes responsibility for forcing unbelievers to sin, such as:

2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal: and prophesy of him,
3 And say to him: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I come against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal.
4 And I will turn thee about, and I will put a bit in thy jaws: and I will bring thee forth, and ail thy army, horses and horsemen all clothed with coats of mail, a great multitude, armed with spears and shields and swords. (Ezek. 38:2-4 DRA)

In the Hebrew, “bit” is chach, and means a hook. Hence, the NAU and others more correctly translate it as “hook”.

Yes, the “hook in your jaws” is metaphorical, but the mental picture created by such words is entirely inconsistent with the idea of a God who always respects human freewill.

It’s not really “evil,” in this passage.

It’s more like the English opposites “good and ill,” or the saying about “all the ills that flesh is heir to.” We usually only today see the word “ill” in the word “illness”. But “the ills that flesh is heir to” include stuff like, “I can get cut if my skin touches something sharp” and “I can commit errors in math problems.” These things aren’t evil, but they are ill things to have happen. Similarly, storms and crop failures aren’t evil, but they are ills.

I quoted several passages. Which one were you talking about?

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