As we look around at our world, it’s easy to feel like the wheels are coming off. Morality is optional. Truth is relative. Disease runs rampant. And God stands by and allows it all.
Critics of Christianity point to the problems in the world as proof of God’s absence or apathy. On the other hand, some Christians get in the game and point to God’s judgment as the reason for terrorism, Isis, and hurricanes. The problem is, we want God’s acts of judgment to stop at property lines (usually ours). We prefer clear delineations, just as God made in the plagues on the land of Egypt in the book of Exodus. But it doesn’t work that way. Those plagues are a picture of God’s plan for tomorrow.
The Plagues of Egypt—When God Made a Distinction
After the seventh plague, when hail destroyed crops and cattle, Pharaoh’s court officials asked him, “Do you not realize that Egypt is destroyed?” (Exodus 10:14-23). The horrific destruction stands in even broader relief when we read that in nearby Goshen, where the Hebrews lived, the land remained unaffected (9:26). God made a distinction between His people and the world. But that was then.
God’s Lack of Judgment—Today’s Opportunity
In today’s world where God’s common grace allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, the lines between Goshen and Egypt—or between believers and unbelievers—are not always clearly defined.
- When natural disasters (or “Acts of God”) devastate all lives in their wake regardless of people’s faith, it can seem difficult to understand the distinction God made in ancient Egypt.
- When terrorists take lives indiscriminately, it can seem confusing why God sits idly by and allows it.
- When cancer ravages the homes of believers as well as unbelievers, we bow our heads in confusion and cry out to God.
God’s unhurried methods of bringing about justice speak to His patience, not to His apathy or inability.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9
God’s Certain Judgment—Tomorrow’s Promise
The destruction of Egypt and the protection of Goshen stand as minuscule examples of what God will bring about one day on a cosmic scale. These examples are a warning to all unbelievers and an encouragement to all of us who believe (see 2 Pet. 2:9).
Today’s grace doesn’t represent an eternal opportunity. One day God will draw the line. (Tweet that.)
In the mean time, we enjoy blessings and suffer tragedies along with everyone else.
Tell me what you think: What helps you as you wait on God’s justice? To leave a comment, just click here.
This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.
- • These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.
- • You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.
After going places with God, you’ll never be the same.