Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Is The Meaning Of "The Lord Is Not Slack Concerning His Promises"?

 One of my favorite movies is The Shawshank Redemption. One of the most memorable characters in that movie was the warden of Shawshank prison played by Bob Gunton. In the warden's office is a plaque that covers his wall safe. The plaque reads, "His judgement cometh and that right soon."

Photo by <a href="">Tengyart</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>
Let's be honest, most of us who are believers and have experienced the love and mercy of the Lord would like to see God unleash his fury on those that we deem as wicked. In fact, we would like to see His judgement come right now, right soon.

But since the Lord Jesus made the promise to His disciples that He would one day return to Earth to receive them to Himself (John 14:1-3) it has been a pretty long wait, over 2000 years.

So the question is often asked "why is it taking so long?". The fact that it has taken a long time, at least by our standard of time, has prompted many to scoff at the promises of Christ's return. The most famous passage in the Bible concerning this truth is found in Second Peter, chapter three and verse nine... 

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.

This verse is Peters answer to the mockers and scoffers. But what does it actually mean?

If we go to some of our favorite Bible sites and look at the definitions of this King James word we discover that the word "slack" can mean slow, hesitant, loitering and delayed. Peter makes it clear, God has taken His time but it doesn't mean He is slow, or hesitant, or delaying, or loitering. In fact, as far as God is concerned, everything is right on time. Let me explain.

Acts 17:31 in the New Living Translation says, "For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead.”

God is going to send His Son to this earth to execute judgement and rescue His people and it is a "set day" an "appointed day". God is not slow, He is intentional. This date is set in stone, it isn't a moving target. God is not slack, slow or hesitant. He is patient, waiting for the appointed day.

Another reason that God is not slow or hesitant is because we are not viewing time the way that God views time. In that third chapter of Second Peter and verse eight we are told that a 1000 years is like one day with God. If that is the case, and I believe that the Word of God is truth, then in God's economy of time it has only been two days since Jesus was crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended into Heaven. Mock and scoff all you want, it's only been two days!

Peter urges his readers to "be not ignorant" of this amazing fact. God is not slow, He is not loitering. It's only been two days, cool your jets! Judgement is coming and it's coming right soon.

Finally, God is not slack because He is merciful. Peter says that God has allowed this time between His promises and His judgement because He is merciful and He desires all men to be saved. 

Men should watch their words. Men should refrain from mocking God because God is counting time differently then us, He has appointed a set day when He will return and He is a loving and merciful God who is waiting patiently for mankind to receive His Son.

I love Henry Wadsworth Longfellows song, Christmas Bells. The last stanza makes my heart sing when Longfellow wrote...Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; God is not dead nor doth He sleep; the wrong shall fail, the right prevail: with peace on earth good will to men!

What does it mean that God is not slack? He doesn't slumber, He doesn't sleep, He is not indifferent, He doesn't lie about His promises, He isn't hesitant and He is not loitering in Heaven. He is an exacting and perfect Being who will keep everyone of His promises to the last detail. 

His judgement cometh, and that right soon!

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