Sunday, May 18, 2014

“Why is it that so many people seem to never be tested,” she asked me, “and yet my life is one long, constant trouble? And why isn’t God answering me when I ask him to show me the way?”

We all have times of our life when we ask that.

Psalm 10 (NKJV)
Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire;
He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord.

Granted, it isn’t always the ones we consider “the wicked” who seem to have life easier than us. But we know plenty of those who thumb their noses at God and His laws, and yet apparently do just fine.

The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
God is in none of his thoughts.
His ways are always prospering;
Your judgments are far above, out of his sight;
As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
I shall never be in adversity.”

Worse still, the conceit of their own hearts convinces them that they are bulletproof, emotionally if not physically.

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.
He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the secret places he murders the innocent;
His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den;
He lies in wait to catch the poor;
He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 So he crouches, he lies low,
That the helpless may fall by his strength.
11 He has said in his heart,
“God has forgotten;
He hides His face;
He will never see.”

Sounds almost overdramatic, doesn’t it? Or maybe not. I think sometimes I live such an insulated life that I forget there are those who live to prey on others.

And then, if nothing else, I watch the news, and am reminded. Forcibly.

Worse, I think, than those who believe God hasn’t taken note of their wickedness is those who believe God condones what they’re doing.

12 Arise, O Lord!
O God, lift up Your hand!
Do not forget the humble.
13 Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
“You will not require an account.
14 But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
To repay it by Your hand.
The helpless commits himself to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.

Once again we read those words: God sees. God takes note.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man;
Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
16 The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.

As we look over the ebb and flow of history, we see people after people who have vanished from the face of the earth. These men who are so sure their cause is right, or that God doesn’t notice their misbehavior—they cannot endure, either.

17 Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
18 To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

The day is coming,  one way or another, that troubles will end. If that isn’t a temporary end, here on earth, then it’ll be a permanent one in heaven.


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