What we thought about...



7th November, 2005

Seeing God articles
Faith & Reason articles
Bible Teachings articles

Why don't you do something, God?

Mozambique endured the misery of 17 years of civil war in which thousands of people were killed. Barely had the war ended and the celebrations were in full swing when three days of heavy rain wrought more damage to the economy of the country than the war had done. God could so easily have sent the clouds out to sea and spared Mozambique's inhabitants from yet more wretchedness, but He didn't. Why not? Why did He let thousands perish in the Asian tsunami of 2004? Why does He stand by and let the regime of Robert Mugabe heap misery and death upon his own people?

God loves every human being, even the most insignificant, so much so that He numbers the very hairs of their head (Matt. 10:30). He hates human suffering. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, acutely felt the pain of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7). He feels the same now for every suffering soul. He is constantly angry with the wicked who bring misery on their fellows (Ps. 7:11). Indeed, God's compassion for His children is so great that He suffers the accumulated misery of every agonized human being alive (Is. 63:9)! Think about that.

Perhaps the greatest challenge God faces is to remain silent in spite of the crushing toll of human misery. Since Adam and Eve threw God out of the garden of Eden, the God of infinite love has maintained a stony silence. Not out of spite, but because we, His children, want to have no part of Him. For thousands of years, He has willingly complied with our desires and left us

to fend for ourselves. Why? We might not be able to understand how it works, but God's silence, called “slackness” in 2 Peter 3:9, will eventually produce fruit for salvation. We human beings have to learn that following our own sinful ways of doing things brings nothing but misery for all. So God remains silent, waiting for the lesson to sink in, in the confident hope that eventually “all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

And they will. He won't maintain silence forever. He claims to be a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows (Ps. 68:5). He will do it. The time is coming when He will allow His zeal for justice and His compassion for the unfortunate bring His silence to an end.

I have held My peace a long time, I have been still and restrained Myself. Now I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once (Is. 42:14).

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 107:41, which describes the time when God's silence will be replaced by proactive administration of justice and lifting of human burdens.

Yet He sets the poor on high, far from affliction, and makes their families like a flock.

He will bring an end to human misery at just the right time. Not a minute before, not a minute after. In His infinite wisdom He knows exactly what He is doing.


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