Lord's Day Liturgy

How Long

There is a frequent cry among the prophets and psalmists asking the Lord, “How long?” God’s people see wickedness unchecked, enemies unhindered, troubles unending. “How long?” can be a complaint of faith. God Himself gives us such a question as a pattern for our prayers.

But men are not the only ones who wonder, and they are not the first. The Lord Himself asks this question to point out the unreasonable unbelief and disobedience of men.

When the LORD delivered His people from Egypt and had given them double manna on the sixth day, He told them not to collect it on the sabbath, they went out to gather anyway.

“And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?” (Exodus 16:28)

In Numbers 14 the Lord asks “How long” three times, all because of the criticisms and complaining among those who were afraid to enter the Promised Land based on the reports of the spies.

And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them? How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me?” (Numbers 14: 11, 27a)

Wondering why it seems God is quiet or inactive shouldn’t be a cover for why we are not attending to His Word already revealed and to His instructions already in front of us. It’s one thing to be impatient with God, it’s another to forget how patient He has to be with us.