How Long?

How Long?
by Pam Clark (

Isaiah 6:
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered:
“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man, The land is utterly desolate,
12 The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.

We hear the promises of God and look around and ask, O Lord, how long? How long will it take until things get better? And what in the world does this verse mean, and why would it be like that?
The Lord is contending for hearts. He is not impressed by gimmicks and charms and charmed words. He is after the spirit of a man.

Proverbs 16:2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.

Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.

God is dealing with the spirit, the countenance, the attitude of our heart. Many can hide many things behind a facade but the reason for the facade is beheld by the Lord. Some hide sinister plots, and some hide what they believe to be their inadequacies. God sees and discerns and expects us to be bold towards Him.

As part of the older generation now, I can remember America when even the unrighteous feigned having compassion for people, even when it was not really there, out of fear that others might think that they were not compassionate. It was held to a higher standard than we see today. As you know, there is great spiritual warfare in leadership circles, especially in government but it goes to business and church politics as well.

But society – Christian or not – looks to its government for domestic leadership and God sees the spirit of it all and weighs it. Even the religiously devoted can miss it. Patience is definitely a virtue there because the effects of what happens in governmental decisions can take some time to manifest. Many movies are made about the intrigue of it all.

But we see the corruption today and say, “O Lord, how long?” How do we turn our nation around, or our society, depending upon our burden. Well, the obvious answer is to please God and it begins with the spirit of a man.

Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

It is obvious that God puts a premium on humility, for a number of amazing reasons, and it must be understood right to work. It is not the same thing as humilation although some do find it through that process, but it is not the only way. It is not the intended way, for we are called here to humble ourselves and no healthy mind wants to hurt or destroy themself.

I have a point here. WHY would the Lord make the statement that “all the cities should be laid waste” (etc.) until He would move upon the land to heal it? It is because He is looking for compassion!

Today we call it Love; in times past, it was called Charity, and it was a big deal. It is more than just a feeling, for when Jesus was moved with compassion, good works came with it.

Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.

Matthew 14:14 And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.

Matthew 18:27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

Mark 1:41 Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.

Here you see that Jesus had a governmental burden, a healing burden, a forgiveness burden, a deliverance burden, and a teaching burden. It’s very important for us to understand these and incorporate that compassion into our own lives and areas. One way to humble ourselves is to see our need and respond as the Lord would – as we take up our cross and follow Him, carrying His burdens for others.

If we reject the humility that God seeks for, we will neglect the greater things and we will be judged, even corporately. Jesus overcame through love/ charity /compassion and so must we. And the Scriptures say of the final judgments:

Revelation 22:10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.
11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

It is a choice. I pray we all make the right ones.

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