What is God Waiting For: Romans 9:22-24
“22) What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23) And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24) even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.” Romans‬ ‭9:22-24‬
We now come back to where the book of Romans started in Romans 1:18-20; “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… so that they are without excuse.”
The Bible teaches that throughout history God has been very patient with the ungodly for several reasons. First, He is patient because he wants to give them an opportunity to repent and come to salvation. (2 Peter 3:9) The Old Testament book of Jonah and Nineveh is a great example.
Second, He is patient because He uses the ungodly as a teaching tool and example of His righteous judgement on sin. (See Romans 9:22 and 2 Peter 2:4-6) The big three Old Testament examples are 1) the fallen angels of Genesis 6, 2) the pre-flood civilization that perished, and 3) the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Third, He is patient with the wicked because He wants to illustrate the surpassing riches of His glory and goodness He has in store for His own. (See Romans 9:22-24) Maybe King David serves as an Old Testament example of this principle. God blessed him despite his shortcomings because he sincerely sought after God.
With that in mind, we now need to survey the bigger question Paul is asking; “Is it ok for God to use the unrighteousness to display His glory, power, love and grace for His own people?” Keep in mind, just like with Pharaoh in Egypt, God also levels His judgment against their false gods! He exposes them.
Or as some ask; “Why doesn’t God just wipe out the wicked and remove sin from the earth?” What is He waiting for? Well, He has a future plan to do just that, but in the meanwhile I believe He wants to preserve the dignity of free will. God wants people to love Him because they want to love Him and not because they have no choice. So, we come back to Paul’s question; “Is God justified in letting the wicked and the righteous openly interact in the world?”
I say, “Yes!” That’s what makes the Bible so profound. It is the story of good and bad; right and wrong; the true God versus many false gods. History is “His story!” The Bible exposes the folly of evil and the glory of good. God is well within His bounds to let history unfold and remove the mask from sin and Satan. The life of every human tells a story much bigger than themself. Learn to read those stories.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global