With the recent news of New York’s horrific, new abortion laws fresh on my mind, I’m extremely heavy-hearted. No doubt, you are too. As Christians, how are we to respond to such terrible injustice? Psalm 37:7, reminds us… Be patient while evil prevails (my paraphrase). What? Patient? Yes, and here’s why…
Our teacher, Israel
Isaiah 14:24. The LORD has sworn:“As I have planned, so shall it be, as I have purposed, so shall it stand…” The context is prophetic. It refers to a time when God’s judgment would come against Assyria, Babylon, and Moab. These countries were terrorist against Israel. Their only motive was to see the Israelites eradicated. Through Isaiah, God gave Israel a promise; He would save them and punish their enemies. Eventually.
Israel’s only task was to wait for God. To be patient. Sadly, Israel had no hope in God. Other than what Isaiah had told the people (and what did Isaiah know?) God gave His people no indication that He even noticed their devastation. Actually, the oppression got worse. Patient? They wanted justice! NOW!
God’s use of evil for good
Still, God purposed for Israel to learn a few lessons. First, all of Israel had placed their hope in the government leadership. King Ahaz was residing at the time of Isaiah. Ahaz couldn’t be trusted. He betrayed his own people by forming an alliance with the enemy, Assyria.
Next, God had warned Israel not to trust in other kings and/or kingdoms. God alone would be their protection. However, Israel thought they knew better. They followed their own plan and disregarded God’s command to be patient in affliction. Assyria betrayed Israel. Go figure! God used it all to disciple Israel.
What can we learn from Israel’s past?
Likewise, we continue to “expect” our national leaders to uphold justice. We want our leaders to protect the defenceless. Like Israel, the world thinks they know better. They won’t. There’s no point in getting indignant and self-righteous when the world abandon’s God through moral corruption. The assurance we have from Scripture is that it’s only going to get worse.
The word patient is derived from two Greek words which, when placed together, mean long-suffering. Here’s my interpretation: patience means to go a really, really long time without outbursts of passion-driven behaviour which emerges from those who prosper in harmful and wicked ways. We suffer long and refuse to respond out of anger and rage. We won’t seek vengeance when an offence has been committed. Not for any reason. Not against anyone.
I have to admit, my heart is grieved over the sickening new “Pro-Choice” ruling which allows mothers to abort a full-term baby. But when the skies of New York lit up as a sign of victory, I felt outrage. It was as if they dared God to deal with them. Yes, evil prevails. It will continue and get worse. But you and I have this blessed assurance; there’s still hope!
Psalm 37:7 is the perfect verse for those who feel outraged right now. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” Friend, these are days when our patience is being tried and tested. We must not give in to the enemies tactics. We MUST trust in God’s timing for justice.
God’s consistency is our vindication
In this moment, we can feel a bit like Jonah. Hard-hearted. “Yes, LORD, bring it on,” we cry. But, is that our call? Do we know what we are asking?
Isaiah 26:3&4 (look it up), calls us to trust in the LORD. Only in Him. In Him alone (trying to drive home the point). Our proof to the world will not come from being “granted” freedom of speech. We won’t be proven right by arguing about moral issues. It won’t prove anything when others see the bible is right, “therefore” we are right.” The vindication of our faith is secured only> by the dependability of the LORD. That is going to require our patience.
God’s heart for the world
Friend, I’ve made the mistake of being outspoken about other’s sins. I’ve vented on Social Media. The only outcome was alienation from people I love and care about. So much for advancing the gospel.
God’s heart for the world ought to be our heart. We know that God is compassionate and forgiving. He wants NONE to perish. Including those who abort a baby – no matter what the age of the fetus. He wants the law-passing leaders to repent. He would gather them like a mother hen gathers her chicks, if only they repent. Matthew 23:37.
What if you and I simply responded to God’s call (2 Corinthians 5:20)? What if we petitioned for God’s consistent mercy to be revealed. In Isaiah’s time, after the judgment, a fresh wave of repentance swept through the land. What if we followed Paul’s advice in 2 Timothy 2:23,Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. What if???
Why be patient while evil prevails?
Here’s a couple of insights:
1. In the sight of the LORD, it’s a gracious thing when we are long-suffering. 1 Peter 2:20.
2. God uses our patience with present evil circumstances as a tool to convict lost sinners. He can draw others to repentance through our obedience. 2 Timothy 2:24&25. That blows my mind.
One woman’s personal story about her abortion
To gain insight and grow in compassion, please read this article: One woman breaks her silence about her abortion
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