Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. (Ecclesiastes 8:11-12)
In His Time
Evil abounds in the world. There is a moral frustration that so much wickedness fills the news page. Innocent people gunned down by distraught coworkers on live television. What once was thought as places of safety and security have become war zones of death. Religious fanatics behead dozens of people, raping and murdering thousands. Heroes of men come from perverted lifestyles that honor that which is against nature. The halls of government are filled with the corruption of greed, power and lusts. Why is there not justice for evil?
It is difficult to see what is going on in the world and not desire a tinge of righteous judgment as in the days of Abraham witnessing the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah. It comes to mind. There is also the strong desire to utter the common phrase in the early church, “Lord come quickly.” Yet the world continues and evil has its way.
Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. The evil that spreads like a cancer across our communities is not new. It has been around from the time Eve took of the forbidden fruit. The son of David pondered the same question we ask ourselves today, “Why does God not do something?” What we must understand is that God is not unaware of the suffering of men but He does things in His own time. We see evil and require speedy judgment. God sees the same evil and declares His righteousness in His own way.
If everyone knew the judgment of the Lord against evil there would be no sin. The reason men rebel against the law of God is there is no immediate penalty (often) for sin. Not seeing the consequence of their actions men plunge headlong into unrighteousness. It would be fair to assume that if the flames of Hell were attached to every evil deed sin would not be a problem. Let’s suggest the law of Pavlov. When every sin was accompanied by a “dip in Hell” it would be doubtful anyone would engage in sin. Because the judgment of God is not felt immediately men feel free to do as they please. Sadly this does not change the judgment but only delays it.
For the righteous there is hope that reward comes not in this life but the life to come. There are many injustices in this world. The judgment will be a day of bringing all matters of unrighteousness to the bar of God and penalty will be meted out in full. For the godly this will be a day of joy. Evil abounds but righteousness rules.
The problem of evil is not a necessary problem; it does not even exist for the unbeliever. (David E. Trueblood, Philosophy of Religion, 1957)