How long O Lord?

It has been one of those weeks.  On the international front we have seen two mass shootings in America; tensions rising with Iran and on the Korean peninsula; another Ebola breakout in Goma (DR of Congo), and there are no less then fifteen African countries involved in a war or are experiencing post-war conflict and tension.  On the national scene, a woman has become the first person to end her life under Victoria’s new voluntary assisted dying laws.  The NSW government is debating the abortion bill and whether to decriminalise the termination of an unborn baby in the third trimester.  I could mention more on the local scene but let this suffice for now.   One thing is sure, there is a lot of ungodly stuff happening.  

Should we be surprised?  I guess not, for Scripture tells us that sinful, wicked people who deliberately and continually reject God, even though His eternal power and divine nature is plain to see from all that He has made (Rom 1:20), will only become more depraved and sinful (Rom 1:28).  And although this is true and it saddens us, we shouldn’t let it lead to despair or that we become downcast.  

There have been many times throughout history where people have rejected God and evil was the result.  The Psalmists, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Elijah, all found the apparent triumph of evil more than they could handle. “How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile Your name forever?” (Psa 74:10; see also Jer 12:1, Job 21.7). Letus also take comfort that God is still on the throne and He remains firmly in control and is faithful to His promises.   We may not always know why God allows evil to seemingly flourish, but we can be sure He has a purpose, not least His own glory, and the benefit of the elect.  

The Psalmist writes, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want … and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psa 23).  Job writes, “I am sure my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the earth …I myself will see Him…how my heart yearns within me” (Job 19:25-27).  Our victorious Shepherd and Saviour said of His people, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one” (Jn 10:28-30).  And again… “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Mat 28:20b).  

Without doubt, there is much trouble and sorrow in this world, and ‘getting-off’ so that we do not have to deal with this ugly stuff anymore is not an option that is given to us in Scripture.  Rather, we are encouraged to keep our eyes firmly fixed on Christ who has come to make all things new.  He has dealt with our sin and He continues to work through us with his Holy Spirit so that we can be a salting salt and a light in this dark world and thereby have a restraining influence on evil.   Prayer:Relent O Lord! How long will it be?  Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:13-14). Amen.  JZ