Don’t Be Fooled by How Things Look

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Lord, why do You stand so far away? Why do You hide in times of trouble?”           Psalm 10:1 HCSB

We have all been there. Those times when we don’t understand why God allows certain things to happen, or those situations where there is not the immediate “divine retribution” when there is evil that is so prevalent. It is so easy to look at circumstances and to make the wrong conclusion due to God’s timing of His actions.

I was reading in Jeremiah 44 as the prophet is pronouncing judgment on those who have fled to Egypt from Jerusalem and they are continuing their idolatry there. This is their response, “As for the word you spoke to us in the name of Yahweh, we are not going to listen to you! Instead, we will do everything we said we would: burn incense to the queen of heaven and offer drink offerings to her just as we, our fathers, our kings, and our officials did in Judah’s cities and in Jerusalem’s streets. Then we had enough food and good things and saw no disaster, but from the time we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to offer her drink offerings, we have lacked everything, and through sword and famine we have met our end.” (Jeremiah 44:16-18 HCSB)

What the people were saying is when we were worshiping idols our life was just fine. But when we were commanded to stop (undoubtedly during the reign of King Josiah) things began to get worse. What they failed to see and understand was that God’s judgment was coming and Josiah was trying to make a correction, but it was too late. The people were displaying a twisted understanding in which they correlated, disobeying God’s instructions as good and obeying God’s instructions as bad.

Just as the understanding of the people of Jeremiah’s day was distorted, so was that of the psalmist. He saw what was happening around and declared  God had “run a way” or at least hid in the midst of evil. His perspective was reinforced by what was seen in the attitude and actions of the wicked,

“In all his scheming, the wicked arrogantly thinks: “There is no accountability, since God does not exist.” His ways are always secure; Your lofty judgments are beyond his sight; he scoffs at all his adversaries. He says to himself, “I will never be moved—from generation to generation without calamity.” (Psalm 10:4-6 HCSB)

Why does  God let some people get away with such attitudes? That question still plagues us today. Yet we must understand that God is long suffering and shows His mercy as much with others as He has with us before we submitted our lives to Him. But it is clear that there is coming a day of accountability. It will be in God’s time and choosing.

The psalmist ends with an affirmation of God’s final and ultimate justice, Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully, doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed
so that men of the earth may terrify them no more.” (Psalm 10:17,18 HCSB)

In times of confusion we can be confident that the Lord does hear our cry, He sees what is happening and He will provide the strength that is is needed and bring a final justice.

Prayer for today… “Lord, thank You that even when it feels like it, you are not hiding from our times of trouble and confusion. When we question ‘why?’ give us the assurance that You are in control, You hear our prayers, You provide that strength that we need. Thank You for listening and bringing an ultimate victory over all evil in our world.”