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Allowed to Grow Older

Posted on April 30, 2023 | No Comments on Allowed to Grow Older

There’s a saying in the vernacular (Tagalog), “Ang masamang damo ay matagal mamatay.”Translated literally, “Bad grasses (thorns and thistles) live longer.”This refers to the perception that wicked people or bad guys outlive their righteous counterparts—which has no statistical or scientific basis. You would also hear people say, “Ang bait mo naman, sana kunin ka no ni Lord” (“You’re so kind, may the Lord take you to heaven”). These messages seem to indicate that longevity rests on whether you are good or bad, preferably the latter, if you want to live longer.

But these two sayings are the opposite of what’s really happening. In fact, mortality data reveal that those who had lived the ungodly way die younger, either because of involvement in crimes or due to abuse of their health. They got killed when they got into trouble or died from diseases because of unhealthy living.

What then are the basis of the sayings? Normally they say, “Bad guys fight eye to eye while the good guys offer the other cheek, which would give advantage to the aggressors, the former in most cases.” This makes the righteous die defending or die a martyr’s death, while the wicked survive even if it’s in jail.

Now, let me bring you to a text in the Bible that is somewhat related to our topic and would probably provide some explanations. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) This text talks about God’s mercy, His patience towards mankind, that He would give them chances to repent and to make up for their wrongdoings. God would always give another opportunity and won’t easily give up. He demonstrated it in His dealings with His people in the Old Testament and even spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for all of us (see Rom 8:32), so that our lives can be spared, our sins can be forgiven.

God’s patience is going to continue until man has come to the point of destroying himself. He could not spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when their rebellion reached a certain point. He did not spare the old world during the time of Noah when He had to execute judgment. While He is a God of mercy, He is also a God of justice.

We know that a time will come when mercy will no longer plead and justice will be dealt. In the 18th chapter of Genesis, Abraham bargained with God about Sodom’s fate. He questioned, “Are you going to destroy the righteous along with the wicked? Supposed there are 50 righteous people within the city, will you spare it for the righteous within the city?”He appealed to God’s fairness. Patiently (as if told the proper thing to do), He answered, “If I find in Sodom 50 righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.”Afraid there might not be 50, Abraham bargained for a lower number-45, 30, 20 and finally 10. And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”If you know the story, there weren’t even 10 righteous and Sodom was destroyed. God saw a point past which iniquity and rebellion could no longer be allowed to continue because He is a God of justice.

God’s patience is one of the divine attributes that lasts to our day and to this moment, but we should take heed. His judgment drew nigh and if we open our eyes, the signs of the times are becoming more visible.
Meanwhile, as men continue with their wicked ways, the disciples could be heard saying, “Let’s call down fire,” but Jesus would say, “You don’t know your spirit. I came not to destroy, but to save.” (Luke 9:56)

In the meantime, God’s mercy continues. Wicked people are spared. They’re not cut down yet. They are given a little more time.

Somehow the mercy and the patience of God blend with His justice and judgment, and we have redemption. Maybe that’s why many wicked people are allowed to grow older, to live longer, so that they could repent and mend their ways, and accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. This reveals God’s love!

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