You hear this question a lot from non Christians, and sometimes from Christians too. Why doesn’t God do something about all the suffering and evil in the world?
Recently in Australia there has been a lot of outrage over video showing the bad treatment of animals, (in particular cattle), which had been shipped as live meat exports from Australia to Indonesia. The video of how badly the animals were treated in some of the Indonesian abattoirs has a lot of Australians asking, “Why doesn’t the government do something about this?”
Of course the government could just ban the live animal trade all together. That would stop it.
But that would have some heavy consequences for the farmers here who had been growing their business and employing people, if it was suddenly stopped in a day. And it wasn’t them doing the mistreating of animals.
And I presume there would be a meat shortage in Indonesia, at least in the short term until they found another source.
So just stopping the trade wouldn’t actually solve the problem, it would just be that they were no longer Australian animals which were being mistreated.
So the government wants to make sure they don’t just do some knee jerk response but they take careful, well thought out, decisive action which will actually solve the problem.
The long term solution will probably include education of the workers involved along all the stages of the processing chain. It may also involve certification of plants and workers. It may involve restrictions on which processing plants can be used for processing Australian live cattle exports.
But implementing all this will take a long time. Years. In the end it should be the right solution, but it could take at least two or three years, and possibly even four or five.
In between, while we’re waiting for the plan to be implemented, a lot of animals will continue to suffer. A lot of people, especially animal rights activists, will be very distressed at the slow response of the government and they will be demanding a solution NOW.
But it will be rolled out one stage at a time. And it will not be rushed because it must be done properly in order for it to succeed.
And I think it is like this with God intervening to solve the world’s problems. He wants the proper solution, and the proper solution takes time.
In fact, God is doing something. He’s been doing something since the beginning.
He could have intervened the day Adam first sinned (about 6,000 years ago). But that was not the proper solution.
The proper solution involved God’s own son, Jesus, sacrificing himself after having lived a perfect life.
That also had to be done at a particular time. 2,000 years ago, 4,000 years after Adam sinned.
I don’t know why it had to wait so long, but clearly it did. Part of the plan involved God giving us “The Law” and giving us time to prove that we couldn’t obey it. Then Jesus did what nobody else could do. (He fulfilled the Law).
And the next stage of the solution is about to happen. Perhaps even this year.
Again, I don’t know when, and I don’t know why it has been 2,000 years. But God knows. And God has a plan.
God has no plan B. His plan A will work, and it will be perfectly timed.
Sometime soon Jesus will return and shortly afterwards he will reign on Earth for a thousand years. And then the plan will finally be completed. No more suffering. No more pain. No more death. No more crying. Ever.
Of course, just like with the animals, some people are impatient during the wait, because they hate the suffering. (So does God by the way).
But in the end, the solution will come. In the end we will all understand God’s perfect timing.
In the end we will say how awesome God is for bringing about such an amazingly perfect solution to all our problems. How incredibly wise he was to think of it, and how far superior his plan turned out to be than anything we came up with ourselves.