Editorial: Leave room for God’s wrath
That’s what Darren Osborne, a 47-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, yelled after he plowed into pedestrians near a mosque in north London, witnesses say.
One man died and nine people were hospitalized after the assault, which followed attacks by extremists near London Bridge and in the city of Manchester, England. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for those atrocities. The mosque attack appears to be retaliation for the previous acts of terror in the United Kingdom.
We shudder to acknowledge it, but Osborne’s words reflect a darkness that we secretly harbor as we watch report after report of Islamic terror in Europe.
They hate us. They seek to enslave us, to destroy us. Don’t they deserve to die?
At times like this, we’re thankful to serve a God who doesn’t give us what we deserve.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed,” King David writes in Psalm 103. God is “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
“He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”
How, then, should we respond to injustice? The apostle Paul gives counsel in Romans 12:17-19.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.’”
These words do not fade or lose their meaning with age. They are not subject to circumstance.
God’s truth does not change.
The longer we live, the more time we spend in Scripture, the more we realize there truly is nothing new under the sun.
We mourn for the lives lost — for those deprived of days in which they might have encountered and been transformed by the life-giving power of the cross. We pray that their families may know the comfort of Christ and that the hardships they endure will point them to the Way.
As we wait for God’s justice, we must do everything in our power to share his Gospel with this lost and dying world.
May God shine through us as he continues to deny us what we deserve.
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