Editors Note: Jeremy Sanders returns to In His Image for a three part series on the book of Habakkuk. Note the opinions of this author are his own and do not necessarily represent those of his employer or In His Image.
I. How do we trust God when confronted by affliction?
“The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.” Habakkuk 1:1-11
When a society forsakes the commandments of God, it naturally drifts into disobedience, unrighteousness, wicked deeds, and violence. This statement is not only true of society, but also true of individuals as well. For Christians, seeing one’s country drift in such a manner is quite disconcerting and the cause of much sorrow. We look at the evil being committed, sometimes in the name of God no less, and wonder “Why God?”.
Over the past year, America has experienced a large amount of turmoil and trouble. Violence has flooded our streets. We have elected a man who is committed to advancing the kingdom of darkness, whether through expanding abortion laws, restricting the freedom of the church, or pushing a perverse iniquity in the form of transgenderism and the homosexual movement. Truth has been abandoned for feelings, righteousness for unrighteousness, peace for violence. Not only has evil gone unpunished, it has been propagated as good by a government that has abandoned its God given role of promoting righteousness and punishing unrighteousness (Romans 13:1-6). Instead, our government promotes all forms of ungodliness and seeks to “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).
Even worse, many churches have abandoned their role as instruments of God, abandoning the Gospel for worldly philosophy and the ideas of men. Unlike Paul, who declared ““For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27), the church has abandoned Biblical principles in exchange for a pragmatic, seeker-sensitive message. Of course, we are expect such a reaction. As Paul warns us in 2nd Timothy 4:3, ““For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”.
On a personal level, many people have suffered greatly over the course of the last year. Some have had their businesses burned and looted by the violence, gaining no recompence for these acts of violence committed against them. Others have been separated from loved ones by the Covid restrictions imposed by the government, while still others have had loved ones die from the disease. Loneliness, whether from the Covid restrictions, loss of a loved one, singleness, depression etc. has entrapped many souls. And the violence, lockdowns, and restrictions seem to have no end in sight.
In the midst of all this suffering and wickedness, we look to the heavens and say “Where are you God?”. We wonder if He has abandoned our nation. We do not understand how He could let such evil go unpunished. Millions of innocent children slain each year, perversion celebrated in the highest chambers of government, violence reigning in our streets, and still, we wait for God to move. Where is God?
Such thoughts are not new. Indeed, we can see Habakkuk faced similar, if not worse circumstances, and had the same thoughts as many in the modern day. Indeed, after one reads through Habakkuk, one cannot help but identify with the prophet, which is odd considering we know very little about him other than through his writing. His name roughly means “one who clings” or “one who embraces”. We will see later why such a name is apt for the circumstances that he faced. Just as we face troubles in our day, he also was staring down the seeming triumph of evil.
Before we dive into the Word, a little background is necessary to provide context. Habakkuk was most likely written a little after 609 B.C. Israel had just experienced a period of great revival under the good King Josiah. Prior to Josiah, it had plunged into idolatry and wickedness, but had been restored through a return to God’s Word. For a more detailed look at how God revived Israel under Josiah, reference the series of articles entitled “A Modern Josiah”. After Josiah died, his son Jehoahaz became king, but took Israel back into spiritual darkness. He was deposed by the Egyptians, and a different son of Josiah, Jehoiakim, became king in his place. He was followed by several other ungodly kings, all of who failed to honor the Lord, live holy lives, or lead the people away from idolatry. Israel was full of internal violence, with robberies and assault common. We are told in 2nd Kings 24:4 that Jehoiakim shed “innocent blood”, indicating a return to child sacrifice that had become prevalent during the rule of his great grandfather, the wicked King Manasseh. During this time, Israel was also being constantly raided by the Chaldees, Egyptians, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites. The Egyptians had already deposed one king, and exacted heavy tribute from Judah. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Wickedness was the norm, not the exception.
It is in this context that we now dive into the book of Habakkuk. The book is divided into five sections. The first two sections, which we will examine this week in detail, concern Habakkuk’s first question to God, followed by God’s response. Next week, we will examine Habakkuk’s follow-up question and the Lord’s second response. Finally, we will examine Habakkuk’s ultimate response. In the next few weeks, we will find the Biblical response to the questions “Where is God?”, “Why God?”, as well as look at the Biblical response to encountering problems, and the manner in which we should pray when confronted with a difficult situation. Without further ado, let’s dive into the Word.
II. The Burden of Habakkuk
“The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth” (Habakkuk 1:1-4)
- When God is silent (Hab 1:1-3)
In verse one of Habakkuk, we see the prophet jump straight into His message. He gives his name, but no other information concerning his identity. His sole focus is on bringing the message of God. He lets us know that his message is a great burden that weighs heavy on his soul. He is not some prophet sitting detached on a mountaintop, unconcerned about the outcome of his prophecy. No, he is greatly burdened about his nation, he cares deeply for Judah, its people, and most importantly, he cares deeply for God.
In verse two, Habakkuk questions how God can keep silent when violence is overrunning Judah. “Where are you God?!!” seems to be the gist of Habakkuk’s words. “How long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!” Habakkuk has been crying out to the Lord for a long time. It is not a one-time cry, it is the deep, heartfelt, and repeated cry of one who is suffering anguish. Yet, God is silent. Even worse, not only is He silent, but He does not even seem to hear. How do we explain this silence? Even worse, God is not moving to save His people from the violence engulfing their land. “thou wilt not save!” Habakkuk cries in torment. “Why dost thou shew me iniquity” he enquires. Violence, robbery, strife, and contention “are before me” meaning that they are constant, not just isolated acts. They are widespread and frequent. Habakkuk feels totally alone, abandoned, and rejected. What do we do when we feel abandoned by God?
Is it wrong for Habakkuk to feel this way? Does it indicate a lack of faith on his part? How about when you experience similar emotions? When you feel alone, rejected, oppressed, is it wrong to cry out to God?
Our natural tendency is to cry out to God. Just as a child lacks understanding and cries for His earthly parents, so too do we cry out to our heavenly Father. We see countless such examples in Scripture (Psalm 3:4, 18:6, 34: 4-6, 120:1, Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, 2nd Corinthians 12:7, just to name a few). In Luke 22:42, Jesus, when faced with the impending crucifixion at Calvary, implores His father to remove the cup from Him. And Jesus was omnipotent, all knowing, and total Sovereign. Yet, He also cried out to His Father in times of trouble. So no, it is not wrong to cry out to God when we do not understand our circumstances or are suffering. However, when we do so, we must do it in a humble submissive spirit, which we will see Habakkuk model later in the next chapter.
- Unrighteous Laws are dishonoring God’s people (Hab 1:4)
Even worse than the violence, the government has ceased to uphold the law. It is “slacked” or powerless. Proper justice is not meted out upon evil-doers. Why? Because the wicked people “compass about” or surround the righteous. The righteous are outnumbered. They are like a tiny island, alone and battered by the ranging storm of wickedness. The tide of evil is eroding the righteous, at first slowly, but now unceasingly. Such is also the case in our own times. How many Christians feel like islands, even within their own churches? Those few that seek to live holy separate lives are often looked at with derision and scorn. It is far easier to host a dart ball game than a Bible study. Far easier to cave to the world’s pressure than stand firm against the storm. Not only has the government not upheld righteous, the church has likewise abandoned God’s Law.
Of course, God has ordained secular government to act as His representative here on earth. Romans 13:1-6 reminds us that the role of government is to promote righteousness and punish evil, up to and including capital punishment. That is the role government is supposed to play, it is why God has ordained government as His “ministers” for good (Romans 13:4). Government, the church, and the family are God’s basic building blocks for a righteous society, and are meant to act as a check against wickedness. And for this reason, Satan continually attempts to break down and corrupt all three. In America today, we are seeing the effects of a society bereft of the Biblical family, lacking strong churches, and given over to ungodly government. In Israel circa 608 B.C., the situation was even more dire.
Not only did the government not uphold justice, “wrong judgement proceedeth”. Evil laws have been instituted. As we saw in 2nd Kings 24:4, innocent blood was being shed on a regular basis, in a legal manner proscribed by the government. Sounds rather similar to America today, where abortion remains the law of the land, and millions of innocent lives are slaughtered every year.
It is easy to give into despair. Even one of the mightiest prophets of God faced a similar plight. His story would have been well known to Habakkuk; it is the story of Elijah. After Elijah saw God perform a massive victory over the prophets of Baal, Elijah flees to a cave in the wilderness and falls into despair. He thinks that he is alone, the last remaining island in the middle of a great sea of wickedness. In 1st Kings 19:10, he exclaims “I, even I only, am left”. You can hear his despondency. He is lonely, and thinks everyone else has abandoned God. After his greatest victory, he falls to his lowest point. He thinks all his efforts have been in vain, that despite his constant struggle, he has failed.
It is easy to fall into a similar trap. The root of such despair has everything to do with our own pride. We focus on what we have accomplished, on our own struggles and trials. And because we do not see immediate fruit, we think we are a failure. Such an attitude places the attention solely on ourselves. We forget that it is God who is accomplishing HIS WILL THROUGH US. He has Sovereignly and graciously permitted His power to be made manifest in our weakness. Paul reflects such an idea in 2nd Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Instead of rolling in the mud pit of our own pride and despair, we must turn our attention to God. We are not accomplishing our will, but His will. If you are anything like me, sometimes I stumble into this pit, and it is due solely to my own pride. We cannot place the blame anywhere else. We must recognize that we are not alone, that God’s plan is Sovereign, and our despair and loneliness come from our focus being wrongly on ourselves, not upon the Lord.
Once we remember our purpose, God can revive and refresh our spirit. As God kindly reminds Elijah in 1st Kings 19:18, ““Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” God still has thousands who remain faithful. Furthermore, God calls Elijah to anoint Elisha as a prophet and his eventual successor. Many claim God lost faith in Elijah and was replacing him as a punishment, but I believe a better reading is to see the mercy and faithfulness of God. Elijah is alone, despondent, and crushed. So, what does God do? He gives him a companion, who we are told in verse 21 of 1st Kings 19, “ministered to him”. God was not punishing Elijah, but providing someone to help him in his ministry! And we see further proof in the fact that Elijah lived to see the death of Ahab and Jezebel, his fiercest opponents and enemies of the Lord.
Such a story would have been well known to Habakkuk. He was a prophet, as was Elijah, and as we will see in Habakkuk chapter three, was a keen student of Jewish history. Still, it is one thing to know of God’s mighty work in the past, yet it is quite another to have the faith to believe God will work in our own time. Habakkuk cannot understand why God is allowing such debauchery among His own people. He cries out for God, he asks why. Why God, why are you permitting this?!! What is your plan in the midst of such a crisis? Have you forgotten about us? If we are honest, we have all cried out such words in the night, when we are likewise alone, despondent, and worried.
III. God Answers
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.” (Habakkuk 1:5-11)
- God provides an astonishing answer. (Hab 1:5)
God is only silent when He seeks to grow our faith and stretch our understanding of His Sovereignty. He yearns to communicate with His children. Thankfully, today we have the surest way to hear His will; Divine Scripture. Scripture, “is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105). It is meant to guide us every day, providing direction for our every day walk. When we cry out to God for direction, we can be assured He will hear us.
In Luke 18:1-7, Jesus provides a parable that demonstrates this principle. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” Jesus reminds us that even an unrighteous judge will heed the fervent and continual prayers of a believer. How much more will God, who is totally righteous and holy and who loves His elect with a love beyond our comprehension, answer our prayers.
Of course, sometimes, we get an answer we do not expect. God provides Habakkuk with an answer beyond his wildest imagination. “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you”. Interestingly, Paul quotes this verse in his great sermon found in Acts chapter 13. This is the first of four times Habakkuk is quoted in the New Testament, indicating the importance this seemingly insignificant minor prophet holds within the context of theological understanding.
Paul, after expounding the Gospel and the story of Christ, has this interest comment. “And by him (Christ) all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” (Acts 13:39-41).
Paul is saying that those who despise and ignore the teachings of God will eventually perish. No matter how extraordinary the statements sounded to the hearers, they were true and must be obeyed. To the Jews and Gentiles of Antioch, the Gospel was extremely hard to believe. Similarly, the statement God was about to make to Habakkuk was similarly difficult to hear, both for Habakkuk and the entire nation of Israel. This difficulty, however, did not make it any less true.
Sometimes, we are given instructions by God that we do not want to hear. Afterall, our sin nature does not want to be bound by the law of God. It seems far easier to go party with friends and engage in all sorts of debauchery than to say no, and spend time studying Scripture. No one wants to hear that they should abstain from fornication, drinking, anger, gossip, or malice. We do not want to give up our own desires to pursue the will of God. We do not want to be disciplined when we sin. It is a hard thing to hear, yet this is our calling from God.
- God’s marvelous prophecy: The wicked Chaldeans have been ordained to destroy Judah. (Hab1:6)
The marvelous prophecy of God was that he would use the wicked Babylonians (Chaldeans) to judge the evil deeds of Judah. Now, the Chaldeans are even more wicked than Israel, and extremely fierce. Habakkuk 1:6 reminds us they are a “bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful” Bitter, because of their evil deeds, hasty, because they are impetuous and sweep quickly across the lands of their enemies. Indeed, “They are terrible and dreadful”.
Yet, as terrible and dreadful as they are, the Chaldeans are acting according to the Sovereign will of God. God is totally Sovereign. Nothing can occur without His permission. We may not understand why He allows evil, why might not grasp why wickedness is allowed to seemingly triumph, yet we know that it is ultimately for the furtherance of His glory. Ephesians 1:11 reminds us “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:” Not only is the Christian predestinated according to the purpose of God, but we see that God works “all things after the counsel of his own will”. (Emphasis added). We are therefore left with no other option than to trust that God allows and uses evil to contrast with, and ultimately bring glory to His nature. And lest we be too lifted up by pride, we must remember that if God did not work good from evil, as Joseph reminds us so beautifully in Genesis 50:20, we would have no place in His Sovereign plan. As Romans 3:10-12 reminds us, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” In verse 23 of the same chapter, Paul writes, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” We must rejoice in the fact that God can take something as evil as our rebellious hearts, and turn them into a manifestation of His glory!
Repeatedly in History, God has demonstrated His ultimate Sovereignty, which needs no input from man, angel, or demon. We see in Genesis chapter one that God Sovereignly creates the universe ex nihilo (out of nothing), without the input of anyone other than the Divine Godhead. Not only does He create the worlds and “all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11, Nehemiah 9:6, Acts 4:24), but He crafted the plan of our salvation before the foundations of the World! Before He even created man, God predestined and ordained that Christ would come to sacrifice Himself for our sins. In Acts 2:23, Peter preaches of Christs death to the crowd at Pentecost, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:” Christ was not a victim at His crucifixion. He willingly embraced the cross, because it was predetermined by God that He do so! Speaking again about our salvation through Christ in his first letter, Peter writes in chapter 1:20 “Who verily (Christ) was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,” The death of Christ was Sovereignly accomplished, and no scheme of man could change its time, place, or manner. Daniel, through the inspiration of God, prophesized over five hundred years beforehand of the exact time of the Messiah’s appearing and death (Daniel 9:24-26)
As seen previously, God directed the Chaldeans, who were oblivious to His will. Nations rise and fall at the pleasure of the Lord. In Proverbs 21:1, we find that God Sovereignly directs the hearts of kings. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” The heart, through which man believes in God (Romans 10:10) and out of which spring the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23), is directed by the hand of God. Whichever way God turns, the heart will follow, as if it were water following the course of a river. And because of this glorious truth, all nations ultimately act according to the Sovereign plan of God. Their leader’s hearts are led by the hand of the Lord. And if leader’s hearts are so led, surely the hearts of all mankind must be similarly led.
Lest we need a historical example, we need look no further than Romans 9:15-17, “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Although not the main thrust of the passage, the point is clear. Pharoh was raised up specifically to demonstrate God’s glory. God hardened Pharoh’s heart in order to display the grandeur of his glory through the 10 plagues sent against the Egyptians. As we will see later in Habakkuk chapter 3, the prophet was very familiar with this account, and understood that it demonstrated the Sovereignty of God.
- God acts Sovereignly through those that do not recognize His authority: (Hab 1:6-11)
The fact that the Chaldeans do not recognize the Lord as God, nor do they serve Him willingly is clear in Habakkuk 1:6-10. We can see several descriptions of their character that demonstrate their utter ungodliness.
- The possess land that is not their own (vs 6). They steal what is not theirs to possess, which clearly violates Scripture. God has clearly given the promised land to Israel, but the Chaldeans wills shortly come possess it for themselves.
- Their judgement and dignity (read power) proceed from themselves (vs 7). They are trusting in their own might and power. Their laws have no basis in God, but proceed from their own pride.
- They are ravenous, as wolves who have fasted all day and are now on the hunt (vs 8). They are never satisfied with what they have acquired, but lustfully want to heap more and more spoil to themselves. Even with spoil that is greater than the sand of the sea, they desire more (vs 8)
- They are addicted to violence (vs 9). God calls His people to be peaceable, not quarrelsome (2nd Timothy 2:24), but the Chaldeans are not only quarrelsome, but seek violence. Indeed, the amount of innocent blood shed by the sword of the Chaldeans matches and surpasses that shed by the Israelites.
- They recognize no authority other than their own (vs 10). They do not listen to any other authority, even the authority of the Almighty God.
- In place of God, they worship idols of their own making (vs 11). Due to their pride, they are caught up in idolatry and do not worship the one true God.
As we can see, the Chaldeans are unholy, yet still are directed by the hand of God. Should we need another historical example, turn to Isaiah 45:1-4, which prophesizes that Cyrus the Great would one day assume power in order to punish the enemies of Israel and restore the Jews to their land. “Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.” (Emphasis added). Note, that this prophecy is written about 100 years before Cyrus is even born! Cyrus has no choice in the matter, in fact, he did not even know who God was, much less that God had called him for a specific purpose. What was that purpose? To free “Jacob” or Israel from captivity. Such is the wonderful expression of God’s Sovereignty demonstrated through history, and what God is revealing to Habakkuk in His response to Habakkuk’s cry.
The modern parallel is too evident to be ignored. America has rejected godliness and adopted unrighteousness. Instead of thanking God for making us free, we claim it is due to our own might and power. Instead of valuing life, we shed innocent blood. Instead of living in holiness, we practice fornication, adultery, homosexuality, transgenderism, and every other form of perversion imaginable. We allow violence in the streets, and promote unrighteousness in the highest chambers of power. And unless we repent, surely God’s heavy hand of judgement will allow another, even more unrighteous nation, to bring about swift and terrible justice.
Habakkuk’s cry to God did not go unheard. As we have seen, God was fully aware of the spiritual depravity of His people. The wickedness of Israel will be judged by an even more wicked nation. God suffered Israel’s wickedness for only so long before judgment. So, to answer the question, “Where is God;” He is moving His unseen hand in ways that will one day reveal His glory.
Because God is moving, we must not give into despair, no matter how easy it is to do so. We must remember that God is Sovereign, and controls the course of history. He will use all things, including those things meant for evil, to showcase His awe-inspiring glory.
Yet, this raises the question. If God is Holy, how can He use something unholy to punish His children? And what about Habakkuk and those righteous people remaining in Israel. They would be caught up in the same judgement? If you have similar questions, rest assured, Habakkuk wrestled with these questions as well. As we will see in the next article, God also has answers for these questions.
But to provide a short taste of the answers to these questions, let us recap quickly why is evil allowed to triumph in the short term. The answer can be found in Romans 9:22-23, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,” God permits the evil to exist as a demonstration of His divine mercy. But, rest assured, judgement is coming.
In our personal lives, as in the lives of nations, judgement is also assured. We are told in Romans 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;” God’s wrath will be poured out against all unrighteousness. As we saw earlier in Romans 3, all men are unrighteous, and thus must be prepared to face this wrath. The only way to escape this wrath is to believe in Christ, God’s Son. Submitting yourself to His Lordship, trusting that He died to save you from your sins, and purposing in your heart to follow His lead is the only way to obtain salvation. It cannot be earned by good works. It has already been bought and paid for by the blood of Christ, shed at Calvary. As John 3:36 instructs, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The wrath of God currently abides upon you unless you submit to Christ and believe on Him.
Until next time, for Christ and His glory!