Judgement as Mercy- by Larry Elliott

Judgement as God's Mercy
Written by: Larry Elliott

Scripture is filled with the words of God's people imploring him to act when he is seemingly unresponsive to injustice, personal terror, and evil.

"Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1, an oft repeated query in the Psalms!)

“O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save?” (Habakkuk 1:2,3)

Even Abraham questioned God’s inactivity in providing the promised son to he and Sarah, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” (Genesis 15:3)

Job longed for the days when he saw the good hand of God on him, “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness…”  (Job 29:2,3)

These and a host of other desperate cries to God inhabit the scriptures and the question remains, “Does God really care about anything that is going on in this world?”

The recording period for the 2019 World Watch List shows some staggering figures regarding persecution of Christians in the top 50 countries for persecution as follows:

  • 1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide.
  • 4,136 were killed for faith-related reasons – 11 per day.
  • 1,266 Churches or Christian buildings were attacked.
  • 2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned.

You cannot go through personal crisis, persecution, and injustice without crying out to God. If you have ever been in a personal crisis (and who has not) you know how it drives you to the only One who has any control over the circumstances. You have some experience, some understanding of these saint’s struggles. Where do these prayers go? What good are they? Is anyone listening?  

Several times in Revelation we see the phrase, “the prayers of the saints” (5:8; 8:3,4) What exactly are these? How do they influence the end of times? Does God even care?

The prayers of the saints, you and I and a myriad of God’s faithful followers over the course of centuries, cry out for God to bring justice, to save us, to vindicate us. Certainly God often answers in personal and perfect ways but it is also clear that these prayers have been stored up for an ultimate, cosmic judgement – noted prominently in these final judgements.

At the risk of seeming trite, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) Knowing the extent of the brutal, destructive, bloody judgement to come, the mercy of God holds for the time of his choosing and apparently “the prayers of the saints” will be reviewed!
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