Back in the not so good-old days in The Sixties, some Advant-guard Theologians were shaking up The Pius establishment by declaring, as Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche had, that "God is dead", one enterprising pastor caught a ride on the publicity bandwagon by declaring, "God is not dead; he's only asleep!" To substantiate his claim, he cited various pervasive evils in our society that no self-respecting god would permit if awake. The "drug culture", the "sexual revolution", violence in the cities, and certain other blemishes on the face of our culture as exhibits A through Z. To prove that God -- if still in the business of being God -- had, at least "nodded off".
Similarly in Psalm 59, David assumes that God's apparent absence or apathy in the face of evil is that God has fallen asleep at the switch. But David skates periously close to heresy when he demands of God, "Rouse yourself, come to my help...awake and punish the nations." (Psalm 59-v4, 5)
But our God is not dead, nor does He sleep. As another Psalm asserts, "He who keeps you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:3-4)
The Philosopher Rabindranah Tagore, and Indian mystic, was once so appalled by the suffering children on the crowded streets of Calcutta, that he lifted his tear filled eyes to heaven in the reproach, "God, why don't you do something about all of this?" and he reported that the answer came to him from Heaven: "I most certainly have done something about it; I made you!"
As President Kennedy said so well in his Inaugural Address, "We continue asking His blessings, asking His guidance, but mindful that here on earth, we must make His work our own."
If evil thrives where you live, who is it that is really asleep? The world that is asking whether or not God is alive or dead...can only find its answer in us!