How long oh Lord?

Many cultures thrive on foods that ferment for months or sometimes years. For foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, even a great wine or fine cheese, time is a critical factor. The tastiest, and many times most beneficial for our health take TIME. And those who have learned to appreciate it are blessed.

These days it has become conventional wisdom to comment on (or complain about) our culture of instant gratification. Yet in this deteriorating world situation the question, "How long O Lord?" is becoming more understandable each passing day. The biblical prophet Habakkuk issued a deeply resonant heart-cry:

“O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you 'Violence!' and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted. ” [Hab.1:2-4]

God's timing was the prophet's complaint...."Too long, LORD!" In his day, the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel had already taken place. And in just a few short years the Babylonian invasion and the destruction of the Temple would follow. Yet witnessing the wickedness of his own people in their generation Habbakuk agonizes, “How long O Lord? Evil abounds! Where is your righteous judgment?"

Here is God’s response to Habbakuk... and I love this: “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” [Hab. 1:5]

"Joseph was sold as a slave. They afflicted his feet with fetters, he himself was laid in irons, until the time of his word came to pass"; [Ps. 105:18-19]. And, "The end of a matter is better than its beginning. Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit; [Ecclesiastes 7:8]. He has made everything beautiful in its time"; [Ecclesiastes 3:11].

Yes, things look bleak. Yes, evil is rampant. But God is doing a work. He is not surprised by what is happening. He is not panicking or trying to figure out what to do next. He has had a purpose and plan and has been preparing it from the beginning of time. And in the end, it will be perfection.

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