How long, Oh Lord

Original article written as an encouragement to farmers at the height of the farm invasions in Zimbabwe on 29th December 2002.

This question was the subject of most earnest prayers of many righteous men. How long is it that wickedness should seem to prosper? Jeremiah cries out to God,

Jer 12:1 “… Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease …”

Habakkuk echoes that cry,

Hab 1:2 “How long, O YHWH, will I call for help, and You will not hear? I cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ Yet You do not save.

1:3 “Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists, and contention arises.

1:4 “Therefore the law is ignored, and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice comes out perverted.”

David suffered for many years under the unjust rule of king Saul, but when he had the opportunity to kill Saul, he refused to do so. He rather entrusted justice into the hands of God than to take matters into his own hands. Yet he still cried out,

Psa 13:1 “A Psalm of David. How long, O YHWH? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?

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