“Why doesn’t God do something?”

10 02 2014

For a couple of years now I’ve been working through the “For Everyone” Bible study books. The New Testament ones are by Tom Wright, the Old Testament by John Goldingay. The first one I ever did was Matthew for Everyone. Advent was approaching and it seemed a sensible place to start!

As I say, this was a couple of years ago now, but in that book there was one devotional that really struck me, and stayed with me. At the time I posted it on facebook, but then it was so hard to find last month when I wanted to dig it out for team devotions at work! I’ve found it again, and thought I’d share it with you on here.

The passage it’s based on is Matthew 13 vv 24-35 – The Parable of the Weeds

I don’t really want to reproduce the whole thing a) ‘cos it’s a bit long for a blog post, and b) copyright stuff, so I’ve just pulled some of the bits that stood out to me, and then the bit that really stuck with me is in bold at the end.

“Would people really like it if God were to rule the world directly and immediately, so that our every thought and action were weighed, and instandtly judged and if necessary punished, in the scales of his absolute holiness? If the price of God stepping in and stopping a campaign of genocide were that he would also have to rebuke and restrain every other evil impulse, including those we still know and cherish within ourselves, would we be prepared to pay that price? If we ask God to act on special occasions, do we really suppose that he could do that simply when we want him to, and then back off again for the rest of the time?
These parables are about waiting, and waiting is what we all find difficult.”

“At the heart of the parable of the weeds is the note of patience – not just the patience of the servants who have to wait and watch, but the patience of God himself. God didn’t and doesn’t enjoy the sight of a cornfield with weeds all over the place. But nor does he relish the thought of declaring harvest-time too soon, and destroying wheat along with weeds.”

“When today we long for God to act, to put the world to rights, we must remind ourselves that He has already done so, and that what we are now awaiting is the full outworking of those events. We wait with patience, not like people in a dark room wondering if anyone will ever come with a lighted candle, but like people in early morning who know that the sun has arisen and are now waiting for the full brightness of midday.”

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