I’m deeply grieved by what I see today. I fully realize that evil has existed since the Garden of Eden, and I also know that past civilizations have exhibited the same wickedness, or worse, before their demise.
However, three things make today unique in history:
The convergence of biblical signs pointing to the coming time of tribulation
The rapid growth of godlessness and violence in our nation and world
The wide acceptance by so many churches of sinful and shameful behavior
The foremost evil that saddens my heart is abortion. Scripture teaches that life begins at conception, but in America we not only murder these precious children, but sell their body parts.
Then there is the epidemic of sex trafficking. Just as with abortion, the most innocent among us become the victims of heartbreaking violence. To make matters worse, pedophilia is taking the same route to acceptance in our culture that homosexuality took years ago. They are making the same arguments and promoting this hideous behavior under the banner of love. Sadly, they are gaining acceptance in many places.
In addition, our country is divided as never before. Conservatives and those who hold biblical values are harassed and chased out of restaurants. Politicians threaten violence against our President and those who support him. Violence erupts on our streets as Antifa seeks to suppress opposing viewpoints through force, much like the KKK did in the past.
If you are like me, you sometimes wonder, “Where’s God in all this? Does He not see the ever increasing wickedness and bloodshed?”
The Lord responded to my questions by turning my attention to the book of Habakkuk, named after a prophet who ministered in Judah shortly before Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem and took the people captive.
The Lord Sees
As I read the first chapter of Habakkuk, I again saw the eerie similarity of the prophet’s remorse to what I see today. Notice his complaint in verses 2-4:
“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.”
Habakkuk saw the evil around him in Judah and asked the same basic question so often on our minds, “Where are you, Lord? Do you not see the evil, violence, and injustice?”
God’s answer to the prophet in verses 5-11 likely surprised him. Not only did the Lord see the wickedness and perversion of justice in Judah, He told him that judgment was on the way. “Look to the nations, and see,” the Lord told Habakkuk. God was bringing the Babylonians against Judah because of her sins.
In a similar way, I believe the Lord might say this to us today, “Look to the nations and see the many, many signs of the quickly approaching tribulation. Judgment is on its way; it’s only a matter of time.”
God sees the evil and violence to our most vulnerable, and I believe it grieves Him more than it does us to see innocent lives destroyed before they even have the chance to take a breath.
God’s Judgment Will Surely Come
Habakkuk, however, was not too pleased with God’s answer to him. How dare He use the godless Babylonians to punish His chosen people? Does He not know the extent of their great violence and wickedness? (See Hab. 1:12-2:1)
The Lord responded by assuring Habakkuk the Babylonians would not escape His wrath. He would bring judgment against them as well. Notice the words of the Lord in Habakkuk 2:3, “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
I believe God revealed His plans to the prophet for the near term as well as for the distant future. This becomes clear in His promise of a glorious future time when the earth will be “filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (2:14). We still wait for this glorious day.
Do you see the connection to today? God’s judgment will surely come; He will deal with the violence, immorality, and evil all around us. At times the Lord’s response to these things indeed seems slow, especially for those of us who are eagerly waiting for Jesus’ appearing.
It seems like a long tiring wait, does it not?
In His mercy and patience, God is waiting until He has no other choice than to send judgment, until He has given our nation and the world as much time as possible to repent and turn to Him.
Delay or no delay, I believe Jesus is coming soon. At times I’m surprised we are still here. At other times I recognize God’s patience, and realize I cannot even hazard a guess as to when He might be coming for us.
However, one thing remains constant. If you have not yet put your trust in our wonderful Savior for the forgiveness of your sins, now is the time to call upon the name of the Lord. Please turn to Him in faith while you still have time. When Jesus comes for His church, He will do so quickly!
Jonathan C. Brentner