Psalm 145:17-18 contains stunning truths:
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.”
I love these words about the goodness of the Lord. We all want a God who is righteous in all His ways and is faithful in all He does. We want a God who is near to us when we call on Him. We want a God who fulfills all our desires, hears our cries, and saves us. But do we really want to be people who call on Him in truth, and people who fear Him? Is that why we wonder if He is truly watching over us?
There is no Christian on earth who cannot be tuned into the prayers of the Afghanistan Christians. We can only imagine that they are calling out to God in truth and fear Him alone while they cry out to Him to save them. They want God to watch over their lives and the lives of their children and keep them safe and destroy the wicked. Will that happen in the way they desire and the way we are praying? No doubt there will be miraculous stories of God’s physical salvation. Will some who cry out and are heard by the Lord perish at the hands of the wicked? There is no doubt.
Can the Lord be righteous and faithful in all His ways if His ways allow the wicked to take the lives of those crying out to Him, the same ones He promises to be near and hear their cry? My only answer is that God is watching out for them in a very intimate and loving way. He may allow the death of His saints on earth but only as it accomplishes their individual purposes during their earthly lives. The desire for their lives to be spared leads to cries for salvation of their lives but may result in the salvation of their souls while they may perish at the hands of the wicked. How can this be the Lord watching out for them?
It’s so hard for us to understand the horrors of what God allows when it comes to the wicked. However, the wicked are destroyed in the actions they take. The wicked my survive on earth but their destruction is inside their souls and ultimately will be faced in their death. The nearness of God to those who cry out to Him for salvation of their lives and yet die will have salvation of their souls both now and for eternity.
My prayers remain steadfast for the Afghans and all who are oppressed by the wicked—sex trafficking, etc.—and I know that many will perish on earth. I pray they will feel God near and know He hears their cries and praise Him for their great salvation and know that the wicked are being destroyed even through the very actions of inhumanity they are taking against them. Wicked people do not take away my faith in my righteous, near, watching-over-me and all who are His, God.