The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty. … The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled. – Isaiah 2:12, 17 (NIV)
A good friend of mine has a fixation with expiration dates. She reads labels fastidiously and will not use a food product one day after the expiration date printed on the label. Furthermore, she is painstakingly careful about refrigerating certain food products once they are opened. She insists that after a container of ketchup is opened, it must be refrigerated.
I don’t have an iron stomach, but I’m not as meticulous about discarding every food item after its expiration date as my friend is. I view an expiration date as the date after which a food product may no longer be at its peak of freshness, but not necessarily as a date after which the food product is totally useless. And even though I think refrigerating ketchup after it’s been opened is probably a good thing, pouring cold ketchup over hot french fries just doesn’t suit my palate.
Expiration dates are not necessarily expulsion dates, as far as I’m concerned. Every deadline is not necessarily a drop-dead deadline.
Except when it comes to God’s providential timetable. According to Isaiah, God has set a definite day to correct every human corruption and to bring down every bastion of human injustice. Not one iniquity born of hubris will stand after that day of reckoning.
For all of us engaged in the fights to establish peace and justice, it’s reassuring to know that our efforts are not in vain. The reigns of evil are only seasonal. Trouble always comes with a definite drop-dead date of expiration.
Lord, for faith in your righteous sovereignty beyond even the best of my human effort, I give you praise. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.