WHY DOES GOD WAIT TO STRIKE?
And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Genesis 15:16
If I had to pick one thing that has caused me to stumble over God, it would involve the question of why he waits so long to judge evil. Those who are suffering at the hands of others cry out to God for deliverance. The pain is unbearable. The damage seems irreparable. The thought of it having no end seems unthinkable. God will do something, right? I mean, God loves and promises to protect His people.
It’s difficult to explain God’s reasons completely. Who can know the mind of God! But, there are hints that comfort me. This verse points at something weighty to consider.
The 400 years of Jewish slavery in Egypt is foretold to Abram. God reveals that He will not bring them out of slavery until the iniquity of the Amorites is complete. Amorites are the ones who possess Canaan, the Promised Land. Their heinous sins will grow slowly over the course of six generations. There will be a limit to what God allows. When their iniquity reaches the heights of notoriety, God will strike.
A couple of things I can conclude. 1. God does allow some evil to run a long course and that decision can hurt His people. 2. He waits to judge because His heart is merciful and doesn’t want anyone to perish. He gives all of us innumerable chances to hear His call and respond with repentance. 3. He allows evil to become blatant so that when He strikes, the message is clear about the consequences of sin. 4. With judgment, God’s power, justice, holiness, and glory are on full display.
As I think about my own life, only in hindsight do I understand a little of why God restrained justice for a long time. I learned about the nature of evil. The longer I suffered, the more wisdom became mine. When I was released to live again, and abundantly, I could see that freedom came right on time. It was a knowing in my spirit. Many of my questions still remained though. But the real test was whether, in the middle of pain and unanswered questions, I could still say that God is good and does all things well. I had to say this by faith, with no visible evidence, and through many tears.
When you and I don’t understand, we can know that He does and has good reasons for how He chooses to rule. In the end, heaven will reveal that God loved every one of us perfectly.
I pray right now for every one who is suffering under the hand of evil. Increase their faith. Restore their trust. Resurrect their cries for deliverance. Oh Lord, judge the wicked and come to the aid of Your people. Amen