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THE ORTHODOX FAITH:
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Is it 2000 year old,
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Godís Judgments.


It is perfectly clear to a Christian that for his piety, for his faith, he shouldnít expect a worldly reward of a pleasant life. The Saviour didnít promise earthly abundance to His faithful. Itís no wonder that the symbol of Christianity is the Cross and Crucifixion. However, human feelings are not alien to a person and the heart asks: why are the blasphemers rejoicing and prospering ó where is Godís verity?

This theme has been posed since time immemorial. Among the very first locations that it can be found is in ancient writings, particularly in the Psalter. The Psalter presents it passionately, in very audacious and bold exclamations: "O Lord, Thou God to whom vengeance belongeth, lift up Thyself, Thou Judge of the earth, render to the proud their desert. Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? They sprate, they speak arrogantly: All the workers of iniquity boast themselves. They break in pieces Thy people, O Lord, and afflict Thine heritage" (Psalm 94). "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride is as a chain about their neckÖ And they say, how doth God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?" (Psalm 73).

And in the same Psalm, the Psalmist himself answers his complaints and bafflement, as well as his despondency over the reigning evil. No, the scales of justice do exist and retribution does come in its own time. "Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places, Thou castedst them down into destruction. Howa are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumes with terrors." And the Psalmist repents for his former lack of faith: "So brutish as I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee." Now, his eyes have been opened: "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee" (Psalm 73).

The Psalter speaks not only of retribution to the iniquitous, but comforts those that are true to God and place their trust in Him. On the other hand, its thoughts can be summarized by the words of a Psalm: "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all" (Psalm 33:19) i.e. there will be afflictions, but they are transient. God bestows His goodness in the tranquil heart of those that are faithful to Him. "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues" (Psalm 31:19-20). The same joyous words fill the renowned Psalm 90: "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High."

And are there so few among us that after having endured various events in our lives, would not wholeheartedly repeat after the Psalmist, the whole of the 123rd Psalm:

"If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,

Let Israel now say ó Ďif it had not been the Lord who was on our side,

When men rose up against us,

Then they would have swallowed us alive,

When their wrath was kindled against us;

Then the waters would have overwhelmed us,

The stream would have gone over our soul;

Then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.í

Blessed be the Lord,

Who has not given us as prey to their teeth.

Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers;

The snare is broken, and we have escaped.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

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