Israel was God’s covenant people. There was a special promise of blessing and presence if they obeyed Him. In this relationship, the Israelites were to reflect God’s glory to the watching world. But their evil behavior mocked this covenant. God wanted to restore their hearts back to himself and he was willing to use harsh means to get their hearts back. When Habakkuk cries out for justice in the land, God chooses to raise up the Babylonian army to discipline his people to return to him.
It’s helpful to remember God can use anything he wants to bring us back into relationship with him. We tend to wander from God in our hearts. Sometimes we step into outright rebellion. Our good Father is faithful to discipline his children to correct our hearts, sometimes removing the things from our lives we depend on for joy. By doing so, he reminds us that he alone can fill that place of ultimate satisfaction. While not all pain or tragedy is designed to wake us up from open rebellion, God never wastes an ounce of our pain as he draws us back to himself.
The beauty of the Christian story is the forgiveness offered to us in Jesus Christ. We can be restored to right relationship with God. God is with us in the pain and never leaves us as we travel back to him. Listen to the song “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns. Be reminded he is drawing you back to himself and that Jesus is with you through every storm.