November 16, How Long?
Today’s reading: Psalms 76-80
“How long, Lord? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob and devastated his homeland” - Psalm 79:5-7.
The psalmist was asking how long God would take sides against His people and not judge those who did not know or serve the Lord. God, however, is more interested in shaping His own into the people they need to be than in judging the nations, which will happen in due time. Peter referred to this same pattern when he wrote about God’s attention being focused on God’s people first and foremost:
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (1 Peter 4:16-18).
Have you had those same thoughts expressed by the psalmist that are the equivalent of, “God, why don’t you go and deal with someone else for a while?” If so, can you see that it is much better that God be involved in your life, even if it’s to correct you, than it is for God to ignore you? What’s more, God won’t allow your discipline or hard times to last one day longer than they need to last, so thank Him for the discipline and rejoice, even though times may be tough.