God, Evil and Judgment
A friend asked an interesting question recently. He referenced Habakkuk 1.13.
“But you are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot stand to look on iniquity.”
And then he asked this question:
“If God cannot look on evil, how can he be present in a world
where evil is everywhere and even in us since sin is still part of our life?”
Nothing Is Hidden From God
All evil is committed in God’s unencumbered sight (Ps 51.4). His ominpresence, as His other attributes, is immutable. Also, there is nothing in His character that prevents Him from having evil in His presence. Remember, even Satan Himself can stand in the presence of God (Job 1.6-7) and not be destroyed. He is present by God’s permission, but He is present nonetheless.
Habakkuk 1.13 is not a declarative sentence about the nature of God but rather a question that Habakkuk brings before the Lord as a complaint. It would be a mistake to convert Habakkuk’s complaining question into a specific teaching about what God can and cannot see. The question itself shows that Habakkuk knows very clearly that God sees evil.