Why Doesn’t God Intervene?

19. Why doesn’t God Intervene?

As I look at the violence and persecution of the world today, at the ethnic and sectarian strife, I long for God to intervene. Surely he could put these things right at a single stroke.

Christians, of all people, should be encouraged, because – as Chapter 6 suggests – God’s promise to deal with evil follows hard on the heels of the sin of our forebears, Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:15). The woman’s future offspring is a person; He will crush the serpent’s head.

‘But why not at once?’ we ask. The answer is that for God in Christ to right all the wrongs of the human race at a single stroke would mean wiping out the human race at a single stroke. Many people long that violence and pain could be banished – but the answer to our question is itself a question:  ‘How righteous are YOU? What risk have you of being wiped out with the rest of the evil-doers, if God was going to end the troubles just like that?’

The Bible teaches that God is going to act at a single stroke. In fact it keeps warning us that he will (Zeph. 1:2, 18; Rev. 20:10, 14). But when it happens, it will be on a day and at a time known only to him (Matt. 24:36). And it will be the end of the world.

Meanwhile we are presented in the Scriptures with a God of amazing patience, ‘not wanting anyone to preish, but eveyone to come to repentance’ (2 Pet. 3:9). No action at a single stroke, then, because of the great numbers of people who would go down under the judgment required to set the balances straight.

So God waits. He works. He agonises. He grieves. He sends messenger after messenger, prophet after prophet. Doctors and aid agencies too. He’s not required to! But out of love he persists. Many of these emissaries are rejected. It is a pattern of his mission (Heb. 11:32-38). Finally the Lord comes in the person of Jesus…still working, loving, wooing. He suffers hell’s agonies himself, on the Cross.

There is God, the greatest sufferer in the universe.

The Bible teaches us that God has acted once and for all in Jesus Christ, in dealing with our greatest problem – unforgiven sin. On coming to Christ and his Cross, men and women are forgiven, even of the most hideous antisocial sins, for he has endured the divine judgment in their place, provided they repent and believe. There are many who refuse his offer.

We are still being given time – that is the situation. And while believers can never afford to be complacent, we can certainly be confident, because we know the end result. It is going to happen, as prophesied. If you have a strong view of the future, then be assured that the present will make sense. It is only if we have an inadequate view of the future that the present will seem meaningless.

The Top 100 Questions: Biblical Answers to Popular Questions by Richard BewesExcerpted from The Top 100 Questions: Biblical Answers to Popular Questions by Richard Bewes (Christian Focus, 2003)


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  • http://www.withoutalabel.me Kim

    This is a great post, it really got my gears turning! I have to say that I pray that I am one of the ones that are saved and forgiven for my horrible sins. I know that I am not good enough, however, I also know that the reason that Christ died on the cross was because none of us will ever be good enough. Therefore, I am good enough to continue to fight the good fight even if I know, in essence, I will fail for I can never achieve perfection. This may be one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn in my life, that I can never achieve perfection no matter how hard I try. I beat myself up daily because I am a perfectionist and know I will never be good enough but by the grace of God I have realized that this is no way to live and I continually give my life over to the almighty King of Kings daily, sometimes hourly. I feel that perfectionism has plagued our world and so many people are blind to the fact that perfection cannot be achieved, no matter how hard you may try, because there was only one perfect person to walk this earth and that person was Jesus Christ.
    I see the things “signs” you are talking about daily and it gives me hope, I know that may sound sick in a way, because it makes me realize the coming of the Lord is coming nearer and nearer and it gives me chills to think that he could return in my time. How great is it that we might be able to experience such a wonderful sight, sound and feeling in our lifetime. I know many Christians that do not believe in the Rapture however I am not one of them. I whole heartedly believe that the Rapture will happen, maybe not in my lifetime, but I think that it WILL happen!
    I would like to clear up a misunderstanding I have of your post. You stated {The Bible teaches that God is going to act at a single stroke. In fact it keeps warning us that he will (Zeph. 1:2, 18; Rev. 20:10, 14). But when it happens, it will be on a day and at a time known only to him (Matt. 24:36). And it will be the end of the world.}
    Now, when you state that it will be the end of the world I have to say that I disagree with you because I have searched my bible hi and low and I cannot find a singe statement saying that there will be “an End of the World.” The only verses that come close are the ones speaking of the signs of the times and the End of THE AGE, (Matthew 24:3-14, 36, and most of Luke chapter 21) I have seen some bible translations where they say the end of the world instead of the end of the age, but they are basically saying the end of the world as we know it. Is this what you are meaning when you say the end of the world? I would just like to be on the same page as you, it does not mean that we have to have the same point of view at all for I know so many Christians that do not feel the same way as I do about the rapture or “the end of the age” and that is totally ok with me as long as we all know that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
    As far as the topic of this blog post, Why doesn’t God intervene, I have some thought as to why the Lord may “allow” certain negative things to happen. I think that what Anne Graham Lotz said it best in an interview with Jane Clayson the morning after the terrorist attacks and I thoroughly agree with her on this. Basically it went like this Clayson asked, “I’ve heard people say, those who are religious, those who are not, if God is good, how could God let this happen? To that, you say?”
    Lotz replied, “I say God is also angry when he sees something like this. I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we’re sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life. We put our trust in you. We have our trust in God on our coins, we need to practice it.”
    I don’t know if I could have put it better myself. So, one reason God doesn’t intervene is that God is a gentleman and when he is asked to leave somewhere or something he does. Another reason why God doesn’t intervene is that great little thing we have been given called free will. It is because of us and our actions why God doesn’t step in, we are a wicked group of individuals who do whatever we darn well please and never think of putting our creator first. I’m not saying that we all are completely hopeless, don’t get me wrong, I am merely stating that most of the world does not give credit where credit is due. Unless you put your creator first and give him full credit and full control, your creator will not perform the miracles that may be needed to help a situation. So, until each and every one of us put him (God) first, this world will continue to be a petri dish of evil. I for one am ready for the Rapture of the church to come to save us from the evil’s of this world!
    Thank you so much for writing this post and I wish you many blessings!
    Kim McPherson

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      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this post.

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  • paul

    meanwhile, north

    korea goes on without knowing God….Millions and millions of people in Africa die of starvation and crimes against humanity .. How can God sit there and do nothing……If my daughter was starving I would be the first to go to her aid. Our god sits and does nothing