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“Why doesn’t God wipe out evil now?”
It’s a big question. Many of us have wondered, “Why is God taking so long to fully restore all to Him and His kingdom? Why doesn’t God just speak the needed words and wipe out evil immediately?
Jesus explained why, in a parable. He told the parable of the Wheat and the Tares, and after he told the parable, he then explained specifically to his disciples what each part of the parable meant. Jesus didn’t do this for all of his parables and teachings. There are only a few, where it is recorded, that Jesus told a parable, and when the disciples didn’t quite get it, Jesus then went back and explained each part of the metaphor.
Here is the passage for this, in Matthew 13.
“Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'
And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' The slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?
– Now there is our question being asked. The servants asked, “Do you want us to go and remove the evil plants now?” –
But he said, 'No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the harvest, I will say to the reapers, 'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
Now if you are on the Gospel Life Learning website and reading or listening to this from the blog, then there is a picture. If you are listening through a podcast host, then I will put a link to the website with the blog and the photo so you can find it later and also see it.
When you see the picture, you will see a stalk of wheat, and then – next to it - a tare, side by side, before they are ripe. It is very, very difficult to tell them apart. One of the main things to notice is that the wheat is a little 'puffier;' the fruit of the wheat is larger than the tare. However, as the two plants are growing it is very, very hard to tell which is which – which is the wheat, the good crop, and which is the tare, the useless crop. Now, once the wheat is matured and is ripe, you can tell which one is a tare. You can tell much better because the wheat limps over when it is ripe.It is very flexible and it limps over when it is ripe, but the tare - it sticks straight up.
Still, what does this mean? Well, further down in Matthew 13, starting at verse 36, Jesus actually explains.
“Then he left the crowd and went into the house. And his disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the wheat and the tares of the field.' And he said to them, “The one who sows good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the age.”
So why doesn't God just wipe out all evil right now?
Let’s take this teaching and make it personal. The parable tells us that the tares have been sown by the enemy right among the wheat in the field. Some translations say the bad seed has been added right in the midst of the wheat. And don’t we all see that now in our fields and in our sphere of influence? I am currently facilitating a Bible Study and nearly each one of the women in the group have shared that they are dealing with something that has been sown in their fields right now. They are dealing with tares and they don’t know what to do with the tares. Do I deal with this directly right now? Or do I wait for a time for maturity and see how this works out?
See, we have families, and our friends, our communities and our work places. These are our fields we tend to. And we all know people in our family or amongst our friends, in our work places and in our neighborhoods and communities – we all know people who are not ready for the harvest. So let’s really think, if God were to wipe out all those who have rejected Him as of right now – who would potentially be gone that we know and love? When you look at it from that perspective, it’s easier to see the other perspective, God’s perspective, and why He wants to wait for more time.
The Bible tells us that God is patient, not wanting any to perish and all that is possible to come to salvation and reconciliation with Him. That is in 2 Peter 3:9.
Also remember, even though it seems like it is taking so, so long – remember 2 Peter 3:8 that time is different for God. This passage tells us that a thousand years is like a day to God. You know, I used to hear that when I was younger and I just did not “get it.” I though, “That is a wonderfully, almost poetic way of describing God and time, but it doesn’t make sense because a day is measurable, right?” A day is 24 hours and it is always 24 hours, and a day is a day, and a week a week, and a month a month and a year a year. However, now that I have lived only 4 or 5 decades, I DO get it! When I was a child, a year felt like….well a year, or even longer! It was a long time to wait! But now, after living 4 or 5 decades, a year goes by so fast! Time goes by so fast! The weeks just fly on by. A month feels like a week. A week feels like a couple of days. A year feels like 3 months. And 10 years feels only like 2 years. So as we get older, there is a perception and an undeniable experience that time goes by much faster. So if that is true for us humans; how much moreso is it for God who has lived for eternity! Yes, I get it now. A thousand years is like a day for God who is eternal. It makes sense now.
Our entire lifetimes are mere seconds in comparison to the time we have in eternity.
God's timeframe is not the same as ours. And this parable explains why he is patient to remove the tares; why he is patient to not have the harvest right now. He is giving everyone as much time as possible to find Him. He does not want to start the separating process too early. He is patient. He is patient for our friends, our family members and loved ones, for those in our neighborhoods and communities. He is patient for everyone, and He is patient for us. Thank God for that.
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If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ.
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Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans