It took 1,656 years from Adam to Noah before God judged this world with a universal flood and God waited 400 years until the iniquity of the Amorites was full before He destroyed the nations in the land of Canaan.
The northern kingdom of Israel lasted 271 years before it was taken away captive to the cities of the Medes and the southern kingdom of Judah survived 486 years before it was destroyed and carried off to Babylon.
The Jews returned in 536BC and 606 years later, in AD70, the Romans scattered the Jews among the nations.
Gentile nations have exhausted the patience of God. Babylon lasted 72 years, Persia 206 years, Greece 269 years and Imperial Rome 539 years before God sent enemies to destroy them.
The fact is that God is the King of nations and sovereign over all His creation. Hannah, the mother of Samuel prayed:
“The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth” (1Sam.2:10).
Scripture indicates that there is a day coming when the Lord will come in glory and power and He will judge the nations of earth as His patience runs out.
More than 4,000 years have passed since the Lord destroyed the world
with a flood and time is running out for this old world. The day of reckoning is fast approaching.
Why Does God Allow Wickedness?
Often we hear the cry, If there is a God in heaven, why does He allow such evil men to exist. Why does He not step down and destroy these vile men? It is the patience of God. He is not soon angry for His desire is to give men time to repent. He is
“longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2Pet.3:9).
Take the example of King Joram who reigned for 12 years over the northern kingdom of Israel.
Joram was the son of Ahab one of the wickedest kings of Israel. His mother was Jezebel, perhaps the wickedest queen who ever lived. Ahab built a temple and altar for the god Baal and his mother supported 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Ashtaroth, the sex godess. She was a whore and a witch and she slew the prophets of the Lord.
Brought up in such a home one would expect Joram to be evil yet God had compassion on him and many times sought to turn him away from the wickedness of his family.
Joram saw Ahab, his father die in fulfilment of the prophesy of Micaiah. Ahab’s idolatrous prophets said he would be victorious against the Syrian army but Micaiah spoke the word of the Lord and Ahab died in the battle.
Joram knew godly King Jehoshaphat, king of Judah and was related to him
by marriage. His sister Athalia had married Jehoshaphat’s son.
After Ahab died his eldest son Ahaziah, reigned for 2 years before he fell out of the window and was seriously injured. Probably at Jezebel’s suggestion he sent messengers to the god Baal-zebub at Ekron; a Philistine city, to enquire if he would live or die.
Elijah the prophet met the messengers and sent them back with the message that Ahaziah would die.
Ahaziah was furious and sent 50 soldiers to capture Elijah but fire came down from heaven and consumed the 50.
Ahaziah sent another 50 soldiers and the same thing happened to them.
A third 50 soldiers went and pleaded with Elijah for mercy. Elijah went with them to Ahaziah and told him that he would die, which he did and Joram came to the throne.
About that time the prophet Elijah was taken up and Elisha was given a double portion of the Spirit that rested on Elijah. Immediately Elisha began to perform miracles in the name of the Lord which the false prophets could never do. He crossed Jordan on dry ground, healed the waters at Jericho and when he was mocked by a crowd of children, two she bears slew 42 of them.
With such evidence of the power of God one would think Joram would turn to the Lord and serve him with all his heart but he only partially sought the Lord. He ceased to worship Baal but continued the worship of the two golden calves brought by Jeroboam from Egypt.
Still God was patient with Joram. The Moabites rebelled against Israel and Joram contacted Jehoshaphat. He had him agree to take their armies and suppress the Moabites. The Edomites joined them and they approached Moab from the south through the desert. When the three armies ran out of water Joram believed God was judging them but Elisha was present and he told them to did trenches and God would fill them with water. God did this for the sake of Jehoshaphat and the Moabites were defeated.
Then one day Naaman, the captain of the Syrian Army turned up at Joram’s door with a letter from Benhadad, King of Syria.
Naaman had become infected with leprosy and an Israelite maid who had been taken captive and srved Naaman’s wife, told Naaman that if he went to Samaria the prophet Elisha would heal him.
Benhadad sent Naaman to Joram and Joram sent him to Elisha. Naaman was told to dip seven times in Jordan and when he did he was healed of his leprosy. Joram could not help to be impressed by the power of God especially when Naaman testified:
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel”
If a heathen idolator could turn completely to the Lord, why could not Joram? Yet he continued with the worship of the golden calves of Egypt.
Next we find that Benhadad King of Syria sent his soldiers into Israel in order to capture King Joram. He gathered intelligence of where Joram
would be at a particular time and had his soldiers there ready to take him captive. But the Lord showed Elisha the plans of Benhadad and again and again he was able to warn Joram and thus save his life.
When this occured several times Benhadad suspected there was a spy in his camp who was warning Joram but one of his servants said it was Elisha who was warning Joram. So the order went out to capture Elisha who was in Dothan at that time.
When the Syrians surrounded Dothan God temporarily blinded them and Elisha led the blinded soldiers to Joram who fed them and sent them home to Syria with a clear message that the God of Israel was not to be messed with.
But Benhadad was a devotee of the god Rimmon and he decided to go up to besiege Samaria while there was a famine in Samaria and their food stores were empty.
People in Samaria were starving and two women agreed to eat their children.
Joram was furious and blamed Elisha. He ordered Elisha be put to death and sent soldiers to take him captive. However when they came to Elisha’s door he had a message from God that the next day an abundance of food would be available at the gate of Samaria.
Four lepers were located outside the gate and they went tinto the camp of the Syrians only to find the Syrians had fled. God had made them to hear a noise like an approaching army that terrified them and there was an abundance of food available at the gate the next day according to the word of the Lord!
Joram must have been impressed and so he called Gehazi, the servant of Elisha in and asked him about all the miracles performed by Elisha.
This was at the end of a seven year drought and just as Gehazi was telling Joram about how Elisha had raised the Shunamite woman’s son from death, they both walked in, returning from seven years in Philistine country because of the drought.
“And Gehazi said, My Lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. And when the king asked the woman, she told him” (2Kings 8:5-6).
Was there any need for additional proof that the Lord was the only true and living God? How many times must Joram see the evidence that the Lord God of israel was the only true God?
The patience of God had expired and Elisha was told to send a young prophet to Ramoth-gilead where the Israeli army was located and to anoint Captain Jehu to be King of Israel. At this time, Joram was back with his evil mother Jezebel in Jezreel recovering from wounds received in his latest skirmish with the Syrians.
When Jehu arrived at Jezreel, Joram went out in his chariot to meet him and Jehu shot him with an arrow.
Joram had had every opportunity to turn from his wicked idolatrous worship of the golden calves and had failed to repent and believe on the Lord alone. Judgment finally overtook him.
Joram stands as a solemn warning to all who procrastinate and who fail to seek the Lord “while He may be found and call upon Him while He is near” (Isa.55:7). There is a limit to the patience of God!