Sometimes I look at the world and get a little discouraged. I see inexplicable violence, blatant perversion, rampant materialism, and I worry about the future.
I know they’re not, but sometimes like it looks like the bad guys are winning.
The composers of the Psalms had the same thought, apparently, because thoughts like these are all over the place.
Why are you letting them win, God? What are we supposed to do? Where are you? Why aren’t you doing something?
Here’s a sample:
In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, “Flee like a bird to your mountain, for behold, the wicked bend the bow; they have fitted their arrow to the string to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart; if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:1-3).
Did you notice the uncertainty, the frustration bordering on despair? What can the righteous do?
Maybe you’ve felt that before. You see growing signs of depravity everywhere in the world. You look at the church and you see too much of the world in us.
Why are you letting them win, God?
He’s not, even though it may look that way sometimes. Here’s the rest of the Psalm:
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man. The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Let him rain coals on the wicked; fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face (Psalm 11:4-7).
Where are you, God? “I’m on my throne in my temple.”
What are you doing, Lord? “I’m watching. Sometimes I wait, and sometimes I act, but I know everything that’s happening.”
Are they going to win? “Absolutely not.”
That’s probably a good reminder for all of us.
The Lord’s throne is in heaven, David says, and our King is fully concerned about and engaged in everything that’s bothering us.
He may not act today, or at least not in the way we—in our finite wisdom—think he should.
But he’s busy, and he always does the right thing at the right time. —Chuck