Saturday, October 19, 2019

Questions from a skeptic: Part VI - Where is God’s direct intervention?

The better question is to ask is, “Where does God not intervene directly?” According to the Bible, Jesus is intervening every single moment. If he were not holding the universe together (Col 1:17, Heb 1:3) then the universe would disappear. However, that is probably not what you mean. You may be looking for God to intervene in preventing diseases, war, and calamities. Unfortunately, there is no way to really see if he is intervening or not unless he tells us that is what he is doing. Throughout the Bible, he tells when he has intervened. Examples are when he protected Jerusalem from Assyria by killing 180.000 enemies of Judah (2 Chron 32:21). He rescued Peter from prison (Acts 12:7-11). 

We also see God intervening at times when he answers prayer. These are most often seen in miraculous healings. Personally, I’ve seen our babysitter healed from a brain tumor. I saw a man healed of a hip disorder at a church service when he stopped using his cane. I watched this guy for months to see if the problem reoccurred and it didn’t. God doesn’t answer every prayer for miraculous healing for his own reasons and he knows what is best in the long run. 

You must also understand that God either brings or allows diseases, wars, and calamites. He states this clearly in Isa 45:7 “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” Because God is good and holy, he does these things for various reasons that we can’t always understand because we are not omniscient. He has told us that his goal is to work all things for the good of those who love him so that we will become like Jesus (Rom 8:28-29). Some of the trials we face in life are there so that we will develop the character God want us to have and become more Christlike (Rom 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:6-7, 13-14). When we view things from his viewpoint this begins to make sense.

However, his biggest intervention is when he came to the earth in person of Jesus Christ and then died on the cross to take away our sins. He continued to intervene by raising Jesus from the dead proving that Jesus was indeed our Savior. He continues to intervene by saving people out of their sinful condition when they trust him. 

I hope that these answers make sense. Many people have struggled with these questions over thousands of years. Many theologians have tried to answer them for just as long. I pray that these answers will be thought provoking and spur on even more questions or debate over these. I would welcome the opportunity to respond to them as well. 

So far, my skeptic has declined to ask more questions. He didn’t like the answers I provided. I hope that some of these may be beneficial to my readers.

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