How Long?

David Bast

Read: Revelation 6:9-11

How long before you will judge and avenge our blood? (v. 10)

Walking through the old market district of a city in eastern Turkey, my guide mentioned that all the shops and businesses around us had once been owned by Armenians. A century ago a majority of the people in that region were Armenian Christians; today almost none are left. My companion lowered his voice and added, “There are deep caverns north of the city where they say the bodies were thrown.” In Turkey one does not allude to such things except in a whisper.

What is the mission of God in a world of such horrors: genocide, persecution, exploitation, sex slavery, poverty, terrorism, and corruption? Jesus said that his mission was to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45) and to build his church (Matt. 16:18). So we proclaim the gospel to the world and invite people everywhere to become followers of Jesus.

But followers of Jesus must also witness to and work for the coming of God’s kingdom, God’s reign of justice and peace here on earth. The Hebrew prophets called it shalom–the state of things where all is right, where humans and even nature itself flourish together in joyous harmony.

I was talking with someone about our struggle to understand all the evils of life. He said, “I don’t ask God why anymore, I ask him when. When are you gonna come and fix things?” We may be sure that God will; meanwhile, we join him in working on the fix.

—David Bast

Come, Lord Jesus!