So the LORD said, ‘I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.’
– Numbers 14:20-21
It’s been a tough day in God’s world.
The images from television and Internet have been especially sobering. Across the planet, hate reverberates across the airwaves as man’s inhumanity to man intensifies.
There’s only so much a person can take. On a day like this, it’s easier to turn away than to watch the carnage. Post a recipe on Pinterest. Go shopping. Shut out the darkness.
Sometimes the silence from heaven itself seems deafening. Can’t God see what is happening? Doesn’t He care about the innocent men, women, children, and animals being destroyed every day? Where is God as the earth plunges toward destruction?
In Numbers, we are told the people of Israel had barely been delivered from the Egyptians when the complaining began. As they stood on the brink of the Promised Land, they feared the giants in the land more than they trusted God. So they plotted rebellion.
This breach of trust provoked God so much, He threatened to destroy them and start over with Moses. Moses interceded successfully in their behalf, but not before we are given a glimpse of the tremendous effort with which God holds back His hand from judgment.
God really cares about us. His great heart is broken by the wickedness He must endure every day. He longs to end the conflict and see justice reign on earth. It would only take a word.
But He waits.
His patience is seen as indifference. His long-suffering is viewed as impotence. His silence is interpreted as nonexistence.
And still, He waits.
He waits because it gives Him no pleasure to destroy His creation. He longs for His lost world to understand this. He reaches out to us with the gift of life.
Think He doesn’t feel our pain? Look at His hands.
Don’t be discouraged by what you see happening around you. The day is coming when all the earth will hear His voice. He has sworn by His own name that in that day, the earth will be filled with His glory. He will wipe our tears away, and justice will reign.
Until then, believe God cares about the suffering. He is at work in our lives, healing and strengthening and comforting all who cry out to Him. With us, He yearns for the day when His glory is released.
With Him, we wait.
But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and faithfulness.
– Psalm 86:15