As a follower of Jesus, I have often prayed,  “Your kingdom to come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” I wonder how long a holy and righteous God will tolerate our indifference to him.  Have we rejected the light that has been given us? The voices of “antichrist” seem more vocal and dominant.  The display of “the rainbow flag” calls into question the creation story, while discrimination against those who live under the Lordship of Christ leads to believers being “canceled” by zealous opponents of biblical truth. 

I ask, “How long will God keep silent?”  Are we beginning to see his judgment in the unraveling of our culture?  I don’t know.  But along with the prophet Habakkuk, I ask, “How long, Lord, must I call for help but you do not listen?”  I wonder how prevalent this cry is among God’s people today?  Are we too blind and deaf to not see God’s hand of judgment in current affairs?   I wonder!

Isaiah asked the people of God, “Who talked you into the pursuit of this nonsense, leaving me high and dry, forgetting you ever knew me?  Because I don’t yell and make a scene do you think I don’t exist.”  God accuses them of looking to “no-gods” for help.  “I’ll go over, detail by detail, all your ‘righteous’ attempts at religion, and expose the absurdity of it all.  Go ahead, cry for help to your collection of no-gods: A good wind will blow them away.  They’re smoke, nothing but smoke.” (Is. 57:11-12 – MSG). 

While it may seem that God is disinterested, there will come a time when He will break forth.  Isaiah uses the vivid image of childbirth, in describing God breaking through: “I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself.  But now, like a woman in labor. I will cry and groan and pant … I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way.  I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them.  Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them” (Is 42:14-15 NLT).

I find this image compelling, when I consider the distress and confusion believers have as they see the influence of the gospel diminishing, as the pollsters tell us Americans are becoming less religious, and as we follow the “no-gods” of the current day.  Even though God seems to be indifferent, the time will come when He suddenly break into history in a profound way.  

What is the advice Isaiah gives?  We are to wait.  This is expressed in three different ways. 

  1. “I will wait for the Lord who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob.  I will put my trust in him” (Is. 8:17).  While the predominant sentiment might be indifference to God, we trust in his sovereignty over history and wait. 
  2. “Yes, Lord walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desires of our hearts” (Is. 26:8). While God seems silent, we deeply long for God, waiting for him, because our hearts are set on Him and find their delight in him.
  3. “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Is. 64:4).

We wait, knowing that God will act in his good time.  “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’  Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” (Rev. 21:5).  He calls us to patience.