There once was a man, an evil man.
“What would you do if someone tried to do this to your family?” asked the evil man.
“I’d shoot him dead.” replied the one he spoke to.
The conversation ended and evil went into the house where much evil lived. Here evil sold his girls into the hands of more evil, as his son was made to witness.
Many would ask, “Where is God? How can He allow this to go on?”
God says, “thou shalt be cut off forever.”
One day the evil man was arrested, thrown in jail, and forgotten for 60 days. Justice moved slowly. The court failed to charged evil and released him. That very day evil walked the road to find his children. Before he made it ½ mile, evil dropped dead, cut off forever. Justice prevailed.
Like this account, many children suffer today from sex trafficking, physical, sexual, and mental abuse in their own homes by those who are supposed to love them. It is easy to wonder where is God?
When God’s children suffer unspeakable persecution around the world at the hands of evil, where is God?
Through the prophet Obadiah, God pronounces judgment on the evil nation of Edom for their persecution of their brother nation, Judah. When they should have been helping Judah, Edom joined in the victories of their enemies, treating them cruelly. God spoke these words:
- “Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen:
- thou art greatly despised.
- The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high;
- that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle,
and though thou set thy nest among the stars,
thence will I bring thee down,
saith the LORD.” (2-4)
“For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee,
and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (10)
Justice is promised and hope given.
“But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness;
and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire,
and the house of Joseph a flame,
and the house of Esau for stubble,
and they shall kindle in them, and devour them;
and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau;
for the LORD hath spoken it.” (17-18)
Esau, Edom had passed the line of no return. The Lord offers the nation no hope, no place to be found in the coming kingdom. Christ will completely avenge His children Israel, even as He avenges the His persecuted children.
The words God spoke through Obadiah ring true today when Jesus says,
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me,
it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea…
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones;
for I say unto you,
That in heaven their angels
do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
For the persecuted and suffering in Thessalonica Paul encourges them to hang in there when he says;
“for your patience and faith
in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God,
that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God,
for which ye also suffer:
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God
to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
And to you who are troubled rest with us,
when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,
and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
who shall be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
when he shall come to be glorified in his saints,
and to be admired in all them that believe…”
The test arises when we are tempted to take our own vengeance. When our children played pranks on me, I teased them with a smirk and said, “You’ll never know when, nor how, but I will pay you back.” Most of the time the threat was the payback. But the Lord assures us, He will have His day against evil. It’s not a threat but a promise.
This is why He tells us:
avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written,
VENGEANCE IS MINE;
I WILL REPAY, saith the Lord.
THEREFORE IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER, FEED HIM;
IF HE THIRST, GIVE HIM DRINK;
FOR IN SO DOING
THOU SHALT HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.
Be not overcome of evil,
but overcome evil with good.”
Not only is Christ our avenger, He is our reward.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted
for righteousness’ sake;
for their’s is the kingdom of heaven…
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad:
for great is your reward in heaven…”
We are called to remember men are not the evil one only the conduit for the evil one to work through. That is why we are called to love our enemies and those who would persecute us. Let’s let the love of Christ overcome the evil. And while we’re at it, let’s remember to pray often for our persecuted brothers and sisters and for the children, even as Paul prayed for the persecuted.
“Wherefore also we pray always for you,
that our God would count you worthy of this calling,
and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness,
and the work of faith with power:
that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
may be glorified in you,
and ye in him,
according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.
Persecution has not come to our country yet, but what if it did? Where will you find strength to stand? Know your God and you have nothing to fear.
Honestly I will be glad when I finish with the minor prophets of judgment. I’m like most people, I want to hear good news. Yet, I know both sides have to be told.