The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
I count about 18 times in the Psalms that David cries out to God, “how long?” How long will the Lord allow the wicked to rule? How long will God allow for evil to prevail on the earth?
From our earthly perspective, it can feel like an eternity; but all the earth’s history is only a heartbeat for God. While we struggle against evil, we can rest in knowing that God works all things together for good to those who love Him, those called according to His purpose, to be conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:28)
If you’re one of the family members of those Athaliah slaughtered, that may feel like shallow comfort. If you’ve lost a child, or suffered abuse, or been unjustly convicted, or in any way been the victim of evil, no good that God could bring from the circumstances will seem worth the pain you’ve suffered. This is where believing God’s promises over my own perceptions is vital. My perceptions have been wrong regarding everything from the color of a dress (blue/black or white/gold?) to the intent of someone’s words, so I’ll trust in God’s promises every time.
God didn’t introduce sin into this world; but He is taking what man introduced and redeeming it. To suggest that I know a better, more effective, more immediate way to do that is to suggest I know better than God how to be God. I’m wrong so often (see, I said it!) that I sure wouldn’t dare to offer guidance to God.
When I see evil in the world and wonder, “Lord, how on earth could you allow THAT? How could you ever work anything good from it, and what ‘good’ could ever make it worthwhile?” I’m immediately reminded of the cross. God took the most unjust, evil, heinous act against the most innocent, perfect Son, and worked through that to provide salvation for every person who has ever lived if they will believe. We can trust Him to redeem our injustices as well.