Who and when does God punish? Baasha was punished for his idolatry but only after he had died and then again only after a long reign of 24 years (I Kings 15:33). The punishment of Omri for idolatry was also ‘delayed’ till the reign of his son Ahab. However, Hiel (v 34) was punished with the death of his two sons at exactly the time that the prophecy foretold (Joshua 6:26).
2 Inasmuch as I lifted you out of the dust and made you ruler over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made My people Israel sin, to provoke Me to anger with their sins.
God set rulers in the world to implement His law for man.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Romans 13:3,4)
What some rulers have done today is to decriminalize a sin so that judgment by man as a minister of God can be avoided. In Western society, adultery, fornication and homosexuality are no longer crimes against society.
Much has been made recently by opinion shapers in Western media of the ‘injustice’ the famous mathematician and World War II hero Alan Turing suffered in the 1950s as a result of his homosexuality – although Turing helped to break the Nazis secret code, he was prosecuted and sympathisers claim that he committed suicide as a result of his inability to cope with the stress.
This matter is used often to gain sympathy for homosexual behavior. The not so logical implication is that homosexuality is not wrong because a homosexual contributed tremendously to society. However, even today, most people would not use such an argument if Turing were a pedophile. While man’s views on what is criminal changes, God’s law remains the same to those who continue to believe in Him. And God’s punishment remains the same to all, even if they deny His existence (II Timothy 2:11-13).
And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled in complacency,
Who say in their heart,
‘The LORD will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’ (Zephaniah 1:12)
These people reject God’s moral law by denying the existence of God or by moulding God into their own nature. But God will judge them on the Last Day (Zephaniah 1:14-18).
Although God will leave the judgment of this wicked world to the Last Day, in the church that He loves and bought with His own blood, He judges even now so that the leaven will be removed and prevented from further spreading (I Corinthians 5:6,7).
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
Should we then, as sons of God, despair that God would judge us first but leave the wicked and immoral of the world to “set their mouth against the heavens”? (Psalms 73:1-16) No, because there should not be any desire for us to behave like they do. No, because judgment will surely come upon them (Psalms 73:17-20). No, because it is far better to have God with His chastisement than without God in the fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrews 12:7; 11:25).
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. (Psalms 73:25)