Waiting for God to Act

Posted on December 6, 2021

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By David Ettinger

The Longsuffering Question
Israel’s King David was agitated, worried, and frightened. His enemies were getting the better of him, and he was experiencing grief and anxiety (Psalm 13:2).

Therefore, from the deepest recesses of his soul, he poured out these words: “How long, LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” (v. 1).

“How long, Lord” has been the longstanding, longsuffering question of the ages for God’s people. We crave righteousness in an unrighteous world and cry out for it. Yet, God – so it seems to us – is not delivering it.

Not only is He seemingly not delivering it, but it appears the more fervently we pray, the worse things get! Actually, let’s take the word “appears” out of this equation. Things ARE getting worse, and will continue to get worse all the way up to the Lord’s return.

So long as this is the present reality, believers in the Lord Jesus will continue to cry out, “How long, Lord? How long? How long will evil and unrighteousness persist on Earth, and You allow it to be so?”

It’s an appropriate question, and – blessedly ­– God has an answer for it!

The Answer
The answer is twofold. First, the answer encourages believers to continue to persevere in patience, awaiting the day when God acts once and for all.

Second, the answer entails retribution on the unrighteous. Some of you may not like this aspect of it, nonetheless this is what God has declared, and we need to accept His perfect will in such matters.

So, what is God’s answer to His people’s cry of “How long, Lord?” You can find it – among other places – in the Old Testament book of Zephaniah:

“Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD,
“For the day when I rise up as a witness.
Indeed, My decision is to gather nations,
To assemble kingdoms,
To pour out on them My indignation,
All My burning anger;
For all the earth will be devoured
By the fire of My zeal.
For then I will restore to the peoples pure lips,
So that all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder” (Zephaniah
3:8-9).

This describes God’s final judgment on Planet Earth during the Day of the Lord (which is the theme of Zephaniah). The Day of the Lord is that time of human history when Jesus Christ will return to Earth to do two things: 1. Rapture the Church; 2. Judge the wicked.

It will be a glorious day for those who love the Lord Jesus, but a terrifying and climactic one for those who have spurned Him.

Following this time of judgment, Jesus will establish His 1,000-year kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6) in which He rule a world where peace and righteousness will reign (see Isaiah chapter 11).

So yes, things will get terribly bad before they get wonderfully good. But take heart, God will indeed act, and when He does, we will experience a new world of glory unlike anything our mortal minds are capable of imagining!

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