Why Wouldn't God Intervene?
Q. I kind of understand Christian thought on free will - that God won't force his love on us. But, let's say that I had a 2 year old getting ready to run into traffic. I would grab her and keep her from getting run over, right? Because I love her. Why doesn't God just intervene when we might be killing ourselves?
Besides, God chooses who will be a follower, whose eyes he chooses to open. God chooses you…not the other way around. So then why should I bother with these questions? Just maybe I was not meant to understand or to be part of some "divine plan."
Your questions are addressed in some wonderful resources we will list at the end. So we have provided a shortened version of answers here. But, thanks for asking! We brought some of these questions into Sunday School this week. They are questions we should all think about.
We are not Robots
God clearly created us as free moral agents with free will. He did not create us to be robots. We do not run around stupidly saying, "I love God. I obey God. I do everything God tells me to do."
Rather than give birth to a flesh-and-blood daughter who smiles and cries in response to you, would you rather own a robotic doll who smiles every time you look at her? I doubt it. God prefers "real" love, smiles, prayer, and responses, too.
You ask: How can we be "saved" if God chooses who will be saved to begin with?
Welcomed to Extra-Dimensional Thinking
Welcomed to the world of at least ten or more dimensions!
Humans live in only three and one-half dimensions - the one-half dimension is our ability to move forward into the future but our inability to move backwards into the past. The other dimensions have to do with height, width, length and so on.
For example, think of a helicopter hovering over a parade. The newscaster inside the helicopter can see the beginning of the parade as well as the last float. But bystanders alongside the parade can only see one group at a time. First they see the band marching by. Then they see the baton twirlers. Then comes the clowns, and the floats covered with flowers, and so forth.
Linear Events in History
On planet earth we experience linear events and linear history much like the floats in a parade as they pass by us one by one. We have no ability to see the beginning of the parade as well as the last float at the same time.
God Lives Above Life's Time-Parade
Only God lives in the helicopter above life's parade. The Bible tells us that God is the "One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity…" (Isaiah 57:15, ESV).
Still, Man is a Free Agent
God alone knows your future, your choices and decisions. At the same time that He knows your choices, you currently live in a temporal realm where you have the freedom to make choices for yourself.
In other words, you can "choose" to become a believer or not. You can choose whether or not you will ask questions, listen to the answers, and read materials which address many unbelievers' concerns. While God already knows what you will do, you have the freedom to make that choice.
Your question about why God won't intervene in your child's exposure to harm embraces several issues including free will, predestination, and the broad subject of pain.
Who Created our Destructive Machines?
Ask yourself who made cars? Ask yourself who drives cars? Who drives cars after drinking or taking drugs? Who made destructive machines that have the power to harm human life? If God is the cause of everything we do, where does our so-called freedom or choice fit in? Are we really robots after all?
How Far do we carry God's Intervention?
If we are free agents with the freedom of choice, how far do you want to go with God's intervention in your life? Should He kill you the next time you hate your Mom? Should you die the next time you tell a lie?
Really…should God stop all evil in the world? Wouldn't that mean wiping out you and me and just about everyone else on this planet? (Which, by the way, He will do in the not-too-distant future - Take a look at the destruction of our galaxy in 2 Peter 3:8-10, for example).
Do we believe in Quantum Physics?
Are you allowing for the concept that we are not alone in this world? Is it possible that there is evil out there - apart from men? Do you believe in the possibility of invisible realities with parallel worlds, dimensions, and universes? Do you read about or believe quantum physics?
Do we believe in Parallel Realities?
If so, can you entertain the possibility that there is a very evil creature who controls much of this world and the evil in it?
The Bible tells us this evil alien controls unbelievers (Ephesians 2:2), accuses believers (Rev. 12:10), murders and destroys (Rev. 9:11), is intrinsically evil (John 17:15), who lies and perverts the truth (John 8:44), and who entices people to do incredibly mean, despicable things (Matthew 4:3).
The Bible also tells us that… "without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV).
There are numerous books on apologetics or evidences helping to prove from science, prophecy, and other disciplines that God exists. But, to those who refuse to consider the evidences the Lord says they are "fools."
"The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1, 53:1).
For this and many other reasons, I pray the "seekers" among our readers will consider the evidence before they make final, fatal decisions.
There is a paradox when we speak of man's free will versus God's sovereignty over our lives. As long as we live in fleshly bodies we will be limited to time, space and matter. But, the day is coming when we will understand these paradoxes.
Bridges, Jerry. 1992. Trusting God even when life hurts. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Lewis, C.S. 1996 ed. The problem of pain. N.Y., Touchstone.
Muncaster, Ralph. 2004. Examine the evidence. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.
Ross, Hugh. 1999. Beyond the cosmos. Colorado Springs: NavPress.
Authors Valorie Emilio holds an MA in History from UCLA focusing upon early church history. Ken received his MA in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University and a V.O.M. Certificate in Persecuted Church Ministries from Oklahoma Wesleyan University.