How Long Oh Lord … How Much Longer?

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens!  That You would come down!  That the mountains might shake at Your presence—As the fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil—To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations might tremble at Your presence!” (Isaiah 64:1-2)

Can you read between the lines of this passage?  Can you hear the appeal, the pleadings of a people who are in distress and realize that it is only God who can ultimately help them?

God’s people will never find life on earth as we know it to be one of peace and harmony with the world.  Light and darkness don’t go together.  Good and evil don’t like each other!  Sin separates us from God!  Acceptance of God’s grace and mercy … genuine repentance and obedience from the heart bring about reconciliation!

There is much evil around us.  I think about and I pray for my grandchildren and the world which they will inherit when our generation has passed … and it is truly a scary proposition. How will they fare… how will they hold up … will they be able to withstand the increasing onslaughts of the evil one and his messengers.

At the time of the writing of our text, things were not going well for God’s people.  The Temple, the City of Jerusalem, all that they knew relative to God and service to Him was destroyed by the enemies of God’s people!  They had been carried off to a foreign land and how distraught and discouraged they must have been.

But, how much more God must have been disappointed in His people!  He had done so much for them over the years.  Deliverance from their bondage, provisions in life to sustain them, a promised land realized … but they were not a grateful people!

The questions are posed with more and more frequency by those who are in touch with the spiritual side of life, “How much more is the Lord going to put up with?  How much longer is He going to allow mankind to move further and further away from His will?”

The fact is … none of us know the answers to these and similar questions!  But what we do know is that nothing escapes the all-seeing eyes of the Lord!  And just as He has kept His promises down through the ages, His promise that one day … one day His Son will return to judge this world in righteousness and “every knee will bow” before the King of kings and Lord of lords!

The people wanted some kind of awe-inspiring demonstration of God’s presence and power … like that demonstrated at Mt. Sinai, or the destructions of Sodom and Gomorrah!  You see, what they wanted is sometimes exactly what we want from Him!

We want Him to come down again in some way, shape, form or fashion and reveal His awesome power to the nations … to our nation …and let them all see that their misplaced trust in dead idols does nothing compared to seeing and experiencing what the One, true and Living God can do!

Was God listening?   Yes!  Will God just answer to their beck and call?   No!  Will injustice, sin, disobedience go unpunished?  No!  Will God prevail?  Will truth overcome error?  Will wrongs be accounted for?  Yes … Yes … Yes … Yes!

And so, for now, let each one of us insure that we are “walking in the light”!  Let each one of us live faithful lives leaning on His grace and mercy to sustain us!  Let each us “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.”  We need to learn to “wait upon the Lord!” (Psalm 40:1)

All that I have learned from God’s Word teaches me the very real need to live every day of my life as if it were the last day of my life … because it very well could be!

“When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence.  For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God beside You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.” (Isaiah 64:3-4).
Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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