Questions: God, what's keeping Him?

God? What's keeping Him?

Vain treatment of symptoms.

Go aside please. Let me try. 
There they stand together, bent under the opened bonnet of their car, halfway on the shoulder. Go aside, please, and one is pushing the other in order to be able to see what is the matter. Meanwhile all have got dirty hands, but the motor still does not run. 
What is keeping that patrolman? He at least knows how a motor is working and what should be done in this case. 

Go aside, let me tell it. 
One politician is pushing the other one aside. Psychologists, sociologists, economists, professionals and amateurs, they are pushing one another away to be able to proclaim their opinion as the one and only solution for the problems in the world. Meanwhile the motor is running badly or not. 
After thousands of years of fiddling the world has not improved essentially. As soon as one problem seemed to be settled, another one announced itself and today the extent and complexity of the problems even bewilder the greatest minds. 
What's keeping God? 
If He exists and if He is love, why did He not stop those planes, that hit the world trade centre? How can He admit so many terrible things to happen in the middle east? Why does He not intervene? What is keeping Him? 

There are many systems and isms:

Feudalism Communism Anarchism
Liberalism Maoism Socialism
Capitalism Sadism Egoism

The advocates of those systems recommend them with loud voices as being the only and infallible solution of the problems of the world. But the fiddling according to their advices and systems leave the most essential alone: men. 
Then amidst those voices another voice is heard from above, the voice of God, saying: Repent ye. 

We can be fiddling and cleaning a petrol engine till nightfall, if the sparks are defective, new ones will be needed. 
We can possibly point to many things in the world, that are wrong and ought to be changed or handed differently, but the source of the problems is man. God does not treat symptoms, but treats the cause. Therefore Gods message is: Repent ye. 
Several know, that men ought to be changed. They say: improve the world, starting with yourself. But though it sounds well, it does not work. It would perhaps be easier to improve the world, than to improve ourselves. We could as well tell a zebra, that a skin with the pattern of a giraffe would be nicer for him. 
God does not say: improve yourself, but repent ye. 
That means to turn back to God and no longer run away from Him. We say: What's keeping God? 
God says: What 's keeping you? 

Again and again we are occupied intensely wit various happenings and developments around us. The media are giving them upon our plates in ready to eat chunks, so that we see so many things, except ourselves. 
We see failures, unrighteousness, abuses, miseries, corruption, need, deceit and terrorism. We get excited, start an action, we protest and make a collection and still feel our impotence. He, who finally can be held responsible, is God: What's keeping Him? We ourselves however keep out of range. 

Did you consider God being a kind of insurance against all harm, one failing in his duty towards us, if he does not take away our needs? 

When the water pipe in your house is leaking, do you hope, that that the plumber will hand you many buckets or do you expect, that he will repair the defective pipe? Would he be worth his money, if he tried only to fight the consequencies and let the leak spout? 

Do you expect God to take away all sorrow and need, but let the cause untouched? God knows the needs and sorrows much sharper than we do, but He sees the source of it all as well, man. Do you realise, what you are saying, when you ask "What's keeping God?" What do you think He should do, when He would intervene? Rather give a radical and effective solution, I suppose. Well, He can do that, for He knows exactly where the shoe pinches. We are the cause of all misery upon earth. We made it a revolting province in God's creation, we think to be free and able to act against His will and without Him, we work all kind of mischief and then call God to account. 

What will the patrolman do, when he has tried the car? He will not hesitate to throw away the old sparks. 
What will the plumber do? 
He will not hesitate to replace the old lead pipe. 
What would God do, when He would answer according to our challenge? He would sweep away revolting, sinful and daring men. That is expressed in the sentence, you perhaps remember: "who shall come to judge the living and the dead". 

God knows what man is, what you are, a sinner. 
You know it yourself, for your conscience tells you that. 
God knows as well, what we produce: murder, hate, fornication, theft, slander, deceit etc. 
We criticise and denounce so many faults, but keep silent about ourselves. God however does not keep silent about our sins. We say: What's keeping God?, but do not realise, that we are asking God to intervene, are asking for judgment. 
Judgment of what? 
Judgment of all and everything, that's wrong, judgment of ourselves. Or do you suppose, that you can escape? 
The Judge however has not yet come and is asking us: What is keeping you?

A rank injustice.

In the beginning of our era, a man, accompanied by soldiers, went along a road, bearing a cross. Obviously he had been sentenced to death. Crucifixion was the usual way of execution with the Romans. 
A roaring crowd followed. The enemies of that poor man had succeeded in prevailing on the Roman governor to sentence him to death, though he had said, more than once, that the man was innocent. 
For his enemies that had been a problem as well. They wanted to have a charge or an indictment in order to be able to get rid of him, but they could not find anything against him. For money however anything can be got and therefore they had hired liars to accuse him. In retrospect they could have saved that money, for the governor had not been impressed by what they charged him with. He knew too well, that he was accused only by reason of envy. The man had become very popular and too many people liked to hear him. The upper clique could not bear that. Therefore: away with him. 
At last the governor had given in, hearing their threats. The soldiers had no problem with that. They took him into the Praetorium, and gathered unto him the whole band. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And they platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spat upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the robe, and put on him his garments, and led him away to crucify him. 
And they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, The place of a skull, and they gave him wine to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted it, he would not drink. 
And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots; and they sat and watched him there. 
And they set up over his head his accusation written, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 
Then are there crucified with him two robbers, one on the right hand and one on the left. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, he trusteth on God; let him deliver him now, if he desireth him. 
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

In Psalm 42 his complaint is as follows: As with a sword in my bones, mine adversaries reproach me, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 
And in Psalm 22 we read: O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou answerest not; And in the night season, and am not silent.

So you are not the first one asking what is keeping God. Jesus Christ had much more reason than anyone to ask that. He really was innocent and had been delivered into the hands of an unjust judge for envy only. And though that judge declared Him to be innocent, He was crucified, his enemies, the soldiers and the passers by mocking Him. With such injustice the question "What is keeping God" is fully in place. 
God kept silent. 
But that has been terrible. Yes, indeed. Nothing has been so awful as the sufferings of this innocent Man. Many have been crucified in the course of time, one guilty, another innocent. But this One….. He truly was innocent, but nobody so laden with guilt as this One. Not with his own guilt, but with the guilt of men, numerous, even his enemies. 
He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5 and 6). God kept silent. The work on the cross had to be done and to be finished, the work of reconciliation for sinners. The guilt of them, that could not pay themselves, had to be paid. Jesus Christ has finished the work and paid for sinners. 
God kept silent for our sake. In order there would be salvation for guilty sinners, salvation by the blood of the Innocent, Jesus Christ. 

What's keeping God, seeing all injustice and misery? 
What's keeping God, seeing your sins? 
What's keeping you, when God is calling you through the gospel: repent ye?. 
No, He has not yet come to judge the world. If you did not yet repent, his coming would have been everlasting perdition for you. But now you still have some time to repent, but how long?

A world in rebellion.

He had come, not to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him. He is the Son of God, but has become a man by birth out of Maria, of King Davids seed. So He is a twofold King: Son of the most High and Son of David. But He was rejected. He got no throne, but a cross; they even did not allow Him to live: Crucify Him! 
After his death and resurrection, He went to heaven, where He receives from God his Kingdom. Before He suffered, He told about it in Luke 19:11-27: 
A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said unto them, Trade ye herewith till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent an ambassage after him, saying, We will not that this man reign over us. 

That is the situation in the world in which we live. It is in rebellion against Gods king, Jesus Christ. They even crucified Him. But when things go wrong, people call "what's keeping God?", and "if God is love, how can He tolerate such things?". 
But what can we expect but misery, now that the good Ruler and King has been rejected? Man has chosen the devil and rejected God and many are highly indignant, when that leads to serious results. They crucified Him, that God sent as a Redeemer, the only One, who could bring justice and peace. Can we then be indignant, when misery, injustice, war and crime rule in the world? Why do we grumble about illness, disasters and wickedness bringing suffering upon men? Could we expect better things after saying NO to God and his Son? We better ask, what we have to expect if we go on rejecting God. 
The answer to that question we find in Luke 19, verse 27: these mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. 
So the end will be judgment. But no doubt people think that to be injustice as well. God ought to show mercy, accepting that we crucified his Son, even when we are daily slamming Him in the face by our curses and other behaviour. 
The world, the whole kingdom is in rebellion. The King has been rejected and is waiting in heaven till his enemies are laid as his footstool. Till that moment we are indignant, that He does not help the rebels to build a kind of paradise here, so that they never would need God anymore. People forget, that paradise or not, judgment would after all come! 

He has come, but not to give us in our sins a good life. He came to bear our sins, in order to open the door to salvation. People refuse to take God into account and are striving for a paradise, retaining their sins. But a way in sin and without God, be it seemingly a way through or to paradise, is the sure way to hell.
God wants to give forgiveness of sins, eternal life and a mansion in the heavenly home of the Father. Therefore one needs to repent and accept Jesus Christ as the Saviour. Confess your sins and believe the gospel: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him. He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

With our question: If God is love, how can He…….. we are calling God to account. But is God accountable to us, because we delivered ourselves and the world that was entrusted to us, to the devil? Is God accountable for the scandalous behaviour of men? Are we not following our own will and pretending to be our own boss? We ignore God and say that He does not exist and that we are free to do what we like. We deceive and steal, we murder, live our life sexually to the full, we abort and divorce and make a track of misery and destruction. But if we judge things to be right, they are right. For we accept no one above us and have our own norms or no norm at all.

So nothing has changed. The devil instructed men to do what he liked and to ignore Gods command. They listened to him and listen to him till now. The devil is reigning and we feel and see it. That will come to an end, when Jesus returns to judge and to reign. But that is still future. He still is the rejected One. 

Some think, that God nevertheless can be held responsible, for "God reigneth over the nations" (Psalm 47:9).

Thy kingdom come.

That the Lord is reigning we find more than once in Scripture. But in the Lords prayer Christians are praying for centuries: thy kingdom come. Obviously God is not yet reigning.

  1. We should realise, that man abandoned obedience to God and chose for obedience to the devil. By doing so he entrusted himself, his posterity and the creation that was under him to that wicked one. It is not amazing, that the consequences are awful, like we see day by day.
  2. On the one hand the devil is reigning in the world, on the other hand God has not abandoned the world with everything living upon it. In his reign as Creator and Sustainer He still gives food to men and beasts, keeps his creation and goes on to fulfil his plans, which at last will lead to the reign of his anointed One, Jesus Christ.
  3. The reign of the Man Jesus Christ they rejected. They crucified Him who, according to Gods promises, shall reign as the King out of the house of David. To that reign point the words in the Lords prayer: thy kingdom come. That will be after his return to the earth. Then the reign of satan will end. He will bring peace, and justice will reign. Then the curse, which is upon creation, will be lifted. 
    Till that time the world is in rebellion against God and all human beings suffer under it.
  4. There is the reign of Christ over them that believe. But that is no reign in the open. It is a hidden kingdom, existing only in the Christians, that accepted Him.(Christians in the past often wrongly tried to establish the kingdom of Christ in this world with political or military means, before Christ has returned. That has been very wrong and rejectable.)

Putting things right.

Surely, Jesus, Gods anointed King, will return. Then He will put things right. But when He will do so, He will do it thoroughly. All rebellion against God will be annihilated, all enemies will be judged and all injustice be driven out. As long as you complain about the misery and faults in the world, but did not repent, you are standing on the side of Gods enemies and what will happen with you, when He will put things right? 
Exactly, He will do it well and not pass you. When sinners will be judged, you with your sins will be among them. No escape. 

Acknowledgement and acceptance.

It is right to acknowledge, that much is going wrong in the world. The thing first of all necessary however is the recognition, that with us there is much wrong and that in our heart and life things should be put right. 
How can that be attained? 
We cannot change ourselves, cannot make our past undone and cannot pay our guilt with God. 
God has known that. 
He therefore sent his Son, Jesus Christ to this earth, in order to bear our sins and to pay on behalf of us with his own life. He died for sinners, to give them life. 
We ought to acknowledge that:

  1. we are sinners,
  2. Jesus Christ died for us, the Righteous for the unrighteous,
  3. it is true, that whosoever believes in Him, has everlasting life.

Finally we have to kneel down and accept Him as our Saviour and Lord. 
God is persuading you to do that, for He loves you.

Why do believers suffer?

The whole world lieth in the evil one and Christians feel that they still live in that world. Moreover the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it. The whole creation therefore groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but we ourselves also, till the moment that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. 
As long as a Christian is upon earth, he is part of this creation and is groaning as such, waiting for the redemption of the body (the only part of a Christian that has not yet been redeemed.) In this body are still working ageing, illnesses, weakness etc. But he knows, that God uses those things for his good, to teach him more to trust God, to put aside his own will, to be patient and await the coming of the Lord from heaven and much more. 
A whole book in the Bible is treating this subject, the book Job. He had as many or more questions as we, but in the end he kept silent and recognised, that God and not man has to decide and to guide and that God steered his life to bless and purify him. 
If you are a Christian, pray, that the Lord may teach you to say: thy will be done. That will be your peace in times of oppression. 

About the suffering of believers much more could be said. That however is not the aim of this article.