Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Is God Content for All This Human Suffering to Continue?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

Has God made the world in such a way that evil has to flourish in it? Many Christian people have all but resigned themselves to believe that the devil just has to have his way in this sinful earth. Wars have to come, and all we can do is pick up the pieces by massive humanitarian relief efforts.

But maybe this fatalistic idea is not biblical. In Genesis 12, 13, and 15, God made promises to Abraham that in his descendants, that is, in Israel, "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). And the New Testament makes clear that Abraham's true descendants are those who believe in the Messiah, in Christ, the church (Gal. 3:29). And in the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses makes equally clear that God's plan for Israel was that they be the greatest nation on earth, "the head and not the tail" (Deut. 28:13).

There was to be no need in God's plan for the rise of such cruel world empires as Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome, no need for World Wars. The influence emanating from God's people through the Holy Spirit would restrain the evil that is in the world. "The remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many peoples, ... like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass," Micah said, and even Israel would be a disciplinary force among the nations--not because of political or military superiority but because of a genuine, highly respected moral authority (see Micah 5:7-9). To some extent this vision was realized in the time of Kings David and Solomon, and even afterward occasionally in the reign of Hezekiah or Josiah.

Let's not give in to the terrible conclusion that Heaven is content for all this massive human suffering to continue! Revelation 7:1-4 indicates that if God's people were to awaken and humble their hearts and proclaim the sealing message, "four angels" could restrain these evil passions let loose in the "four winds."

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 1, 1999.
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