The Longsuffering of God
How wondrous is God’s patience with the world today. On every side people are sinning with a high hand. The Divine law is trampled under foot and God Himself openly despised. It is truly amazing that he does not instantly strike dead those who so brazenly defy Him.
Why does He not suddenly cut off the haughty infidel and blatant blasphemer, as He did Ananias and Sapphira?
Why does He not cause the earth to open its mouth and devour the persecutors of His people, so that, like Dothan and Abiram, they shall go down alive into the Pit?
And what of apostate Christendom, where every possible form of sin is now tolerated and practiced under cover of the holy name of Christ?
Why does not the righteous wrath of Heaven make an end of such abominations?
Only one answer is possible: because God bears with “much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.”
And what of the writer and the reader?
Let us review our own lives.
It is not long since we followed a multitude to do evil, had no concern for God’s glory, and lived only to gratify self. How patiently He bore with our vile conduct!
And now that grace has snatched us as brands from the burning, giving us a place in God’s family, and has begotten us unto an eternal inheritance in glory, how miserably we requite Him. How shallow our gratitude, how tardy our obedience, how frequent our backslidings!
One reason why God suffers the flesh to remain in the believer is that He may exhibit His “longsuffering to usward” (2nd Peter 3:9).
Since this Divine attribute is manifested only in this world, God takes advantage to display it toward “His own.”
May our meditation upon this Divine excellence soften our hearts, make our consciences tender, and may we learn in the school of holy experience the “patience of saints”, namely, submission to the Divine will and continuance in well doing.
Let us earnestly seek grace to emulate this Divine excellency. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
In the immediate context of this verse Christ exhorts us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us.
God bears long with the wicked notwithstanding the multitude of their sins, and shall we desire to be revenged because of a single injury?