Secret legislation being passed by those we entrust to represent us is superseded by the the latest tyrannical abuse of power by the Supreme Court. The President curtails another of our freedoms, and the another.
And nobody in power rises to oppose them.
Christian Americans are increasingly disillusioned. This is not necessarily a bad thing if it is causing them to repent of their trust in princes. As Psalm 148:3 counsels us, “Put not your trust in princes,in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”
But for the present generation of American Christians, such aberrations in government are a relatively new experience. Where once they had hope in voting in new leaders, they know see that even those they elect turn against them once in office.
It is easy to begin to feel as though one is living in the mind of the writer of Psalm 10:
“1 Why, O Lord, do you stand afar off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the LORD.”
Those in power are no longer held accountable. And where they once lied and feigned innocence, they now grow increasingly bold and arrogant in their crimes. Bankers and politicians are found to have committed obvious crimes, but are never held accountable. Even charged with a crime.
All the while the average citizen is held to the letter of the law. All the while fully 50% of the nations prisons are filled with people accused of crimes related to the War on Drugs. All the while those in positions of financial power are pillaging the population and growing disgustingly rich.
The problem is not that God has not heard the cries of the oppressed. And we know that. None of us really think our God is deaf, unconcerned, or preoccupied.
We simply don’t like his Providence. No man is really comfortable with how God runs things. After all, that would require us fully acknowledging his sovereign rule. And our helpless, unworthy, sinful state.
But that may be an unfair and unkind assessment. For it appears that even the psalmist is so concerned about the state of affairs that he take his concerns to God, in Psalm 10. It is surely human and creaturely to be confused. After all, we cannot think like God. Our mind is not his mind. Our thoughts are not his thoughts. We don’t know the end from the beginning, nor do we have any power to change the course of events between the two.
Ultimately our despair is not fully attributable to our mortal and limited nature. It stems from our sinful nature. We don’t trust God. Or we don’t believe he is fully in control. And we don’t recognize that each of us is equally guilty of sin before his holy eyes.
If God is all knowing, and he is. If God is all powerful, and he is. If God is good and nothing but good, and he is, then we need not despair. If there is an apparent delay in judgement, or a perceived slowness in his caring response to the helpless, it is because we do not have the wisdom to see that his current means and method of response is ultimately the perfect and good response to the situation.
Accepting that, the psalmist is able to conclude his prayer and petition on a high note . . .
“16 The LORD is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”
We, likewise, should rest in knowing that the Lord is king forever. That he hears our concerns and notes the behavior of the wicked. That he will support us in our trial and bring justice. In His time. In His manner. And it will be the perfect timing and manner.
God knows all about the very corrupt nature of our government. He knows all about the slide of our society into increasing wicked lifestyles and the vacuity of our new system of values. He sees the utter sinfulness of our concern over a lion killed in Africa and our lack of concern for babies torn from the womb. He has heard the blood of those babies tryout to him for relief and justice.
God will respond. That is never in question. God will justly punish evil. He has punished it upon the cross, for for that trust in Him, and he will ultimately and finally punish it for eternity. And, as he deems best, he will punish it in this life. The Bible is filled with examples of that justice. His patience is not without limit.
We can postulate to no end the possible reasons for his delay. And to postulate them serves no good purpose for it suggest that we are of like mind with God. What we can and should do is to recognize that this kingdom is not the Kingdom of God. It is the fallen world, cursed and condemned. In it we should not seek heaven, for heaven it will never be.
The Christian can rest in knowing that his final and ultimate citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. While we walk this earth we are graciously accorded the presence of his embassy here—the Church. And our ambassadorial mission is not to reform the world, nor look to princes and the their institutions as the solution to the problems that plague mankind in this life. We are to look first and only to the Lord.
He has heard the cries of the afflicted, Christian. And if by God’s design, the Church is to undergo persecution here, in the land that we love, he will hear our every cry, as well. But rest assured that there is no weapon lifted against us that can triumph over his plans for us. There is no evil in Washington DC that can separate us from the love of God or thwart the glory he has planned for himself and for those who love him. There is nothing, not one event, that escapes his attention nor frustrates his providence. We’ve trusted him for our salvation. Can we trust him to run his Universe?
Pray for our leaders. Pray for our nation. Pray for the Church. Pray that God’s spirit would move upon our hearts and that he would grant us repentance. Pray that he would direct the King’s heart like a watercourse.