Waiting Patiently for an End of Wickedness
THE matter of patiently waiting has a direct bearing on the question many lovers of righteousness ask: “Why does God permit wickedness?” There are some who argue that wickedness proves that God is not deserving of worship. According to them, either God is unable to stop wickedness and therefore is weak and so not deserving of our worship; or he is unwilling to stop wickedness and therefore is not just and good and so likewise does not merit being worshiped.
What about these objections? Are they sound, incontrovertible? By no means! Jehovah God has a due time to end wickedness. His Word tells us that he had a certain time to destroy the wicked in the flood of Noah’s day. (Gen. 6:3) He had a certain time for freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. That is why he did not at once destroy Pharaoh and his military might when that Egyptian king refused to let God’s people go. As God himself told Pharaoh: “For this cause I have kept you in existence, for the sake of showing you my power and in order to have my name declared in all the earth.”—Ex. 9:16.
Similarly, only when God’s due time came did he send his Son to the earth: “When the full limit of the time arrived, God sent forth his Son . . . that he might release by purchase those under law.” Truly, “for everything [God has] an appointed time, even a time for every affair under the heavens.” How wise it is therefore for us to wait patiently for God’s time for things to take place!—Gal. 4:4, 5; Eccl. 3:1.
ASSURANCES THAT WICKEDNESS WILL END
That God will, indeed, bring an end to wickedness he makes clear in his Word. Why, from the very beginning he gave a prophecy that righteousness would triumph, when he told the Serpent, Satan the Devil, that his head would be bruised by the seed of the woman, which seed proved to be Jesus Christ.—Gen. 3:15; Rev. 12:9; Rom. 16:20.
Thus God repeatedly assures us by means of his psalmists: “Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; . . . but the meek ones themselves will possess the earth.” “Come, you people, behold the activities of Jehovah . . . He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.” “All the wicked ones he will annihilate.” And in the Bible’s last book we read that Satan and all his agents will be destroyed and that, not only wickedness, but even sorrow, pain and death will be done away with.—Ps. 37:10, 11; 46:8, 9; 145:20; Rev. 20:1–21:4.
Not without good reason therefore does Jehovah God tell us to wait patiently for him: “Keep silent before Jehovah and wait longingly for him.” Rather than rising up violently against wicked conditions, as so many are doing today, leave it to Jehovah to straighten out matters. As the prophet Jeremiah said after the destruction of Jerusalem: “Good it is that one should wait, even silently, for the salvation of Jehovah.”—Ps. 37:7; Lam. 3:26.
AIDS TO WAITING PATIENTLY
What will help you to wait patiently for Jehovah to act and to end wickedness? One great aid is hope, based on faith. To the extent that our faith is strong our hope will be bright. To keep our hope bright we must keep refreshing our minds on God’s promises regarding the future. Another aid is to appreciate the wisdom of waiting patiently. To chafe frustratingly or to take matters into one’s own hands can only make matters worse.—Rom. 8:24, 25; 12:19.
Another great help is joy. “The joy of Jehovah is your stronghold.” Joy gives one strength. It was joy that gave Jesus Christ the strength to wait and to endure. And even as hope is built on faith, so joy is built on appreciation. To the extent that you appreciate God’s goodness, your present blessings, the pleasures of association with fellow Christians, the privileges of telling others the truths of God’s Word as Jesus did, you will have joy and be able to wait patiently.—Neh. 8:10; Heb. 12:2.