Why Does Not God Intervene?

A STATE OF chaos and revolution has existed within various countries of the world ever since the ending of the Second World War and the peace-making mechanism of the United Nations came into being. The semblance of peace which does exist in many parts of the earth is still maintained to a great extent by sheer force of arms on the part of the more powerful nations.

The recent intervention by the United States through the use of NATO air strikes in what was once the country of Yugoslavia is feared by many as an involvement which may draw the United States into another Vietnam- or Korea-type situation. However, most will admit that something must be done to put an end to the awful carnage which is raging there. The United States seems genuinely interested in promoting peace and security within small nations, and takes the view that when nothing else will accomplish this, not to hesitate to intervene by force of arms.

Only under unusual circumstances do the people of any nation welcome intervention by another nation, especially by means of armed force. Whatever the viewpoints of nations might be, we have seen much in the way of intervention within the last fifty years, some partially successful and some with disastrous results. To those who are taking military action such as air strikes or landing troops on the soil of other nations, the word intervention describes a justifiable act which, in the long run, will be good for the people involved. They regard it as being necessary to prevent the complete breakdown of law and order, and ultimate control by invading or revolutionary forces.

As followers of the Master, and students of the Word of God, it is not within our province to decide who is right in matters of this kind. To us the whole world situation gives evidence that man, with all his technical and scientific knowledge and advancement, is failing to govern himself in a manner to assure peace, security, and happiness for all. Human selfishness has driven man into a situation from which he is unable to extricate himself. Some are trying one method, and some another; but ultimately all will fail, and we will have the climax of what the Prophet Daniel describes as “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.”—Dan. 12:1

There are millions in the world who profess to believe in God and in his ability to help them. However, it has not occurred to most of these that God will ever actually do anything to straighten out the tangled affairs of the nations, and of the world in general. They do not know that God has promised to intercede in human affairs to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. And even if they were aware of this, their faith in his wisdom and power to accomplish any permanent results would not be strong enough to enable them to believe it. They look at secular history and observe that in the past God has not interfered to establish peace, and they ask why we should expect him to do so now.


From Biblical history, however, we learn that in the past God did intervene in human affairs. An outstanding example of this was the case of the Flood in Noah’s day. Prior to the Flood, as the Bible explains, the world had become desperately wicked. The imaginations of men’s hearts were evil, and “that continually.” (Gen. 6:1-5) Divine intervention at that time resulted in the destruction of the entire human race, with the exception of Noah and his family. These, following the instructions of the Lord, were brought safely through the Flood, and formed the nucleus for a new world.

There was divine intervention in the affairs of a nation when God delivered the Hebrew people from their bondage in Egypt. Pharaoh learned that he could not hold out against the God of the Hebrews, although he tried desperately to do so, finally losing his life in the attempt. The reason for this intervention is apparent. The Hebrews were God’s chosen people, the children of Abraham. God had promised Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed by his ‘seed’. Since Jesus was that true ‘seed’ of promise, it was necessary that the descendants of Abraham survive on the earth until Jesus, the Messiah, came. The bondage in Egypt might well have ultimately destroyed this people—hence God’s intervention to deliver his people.

Many examples of divine intervention on behalf of individuals come down to us from the ancient past. Daniel was saved from the mouths of the lions. (Dan. 6:1-28) The three Hebrews were delivered from the fiery furnace. (Dan. 3:1-30) However, God did not intervene to save Jesus from death, because his plan was for his only begotten Son to give his life as the Redeemer and Savior of the world. (John 1:14; 3:16) During the course of his earthly ministry, Jesus, by the power of God, performed many miracles, and later the apostles also performed miracles—temporarily intervening in the lives of those who were healed.

But since the days of the Early Church, neither the world nor the professed people of God have witnessed much in the way of outward demonstrations to indicate that God is paying any particular attention to what is happening in the world. God’s own people, by the eye of faith, recognize his dealings with them along spiritual lines, but they are allowed to suffer and to die even as the rest of the world. So the worldly viewpoint is—and this viewpoint is shared by churchianity in general—that we are not to expect that God will ever actually do anything to help the world out of the tangled mess into which human selfishness has plunged it.

Generally speaking, the people of the churches seem to think that the world will go on indefinitely with mankind struggling as best they can to rule themselves. Their effort is to influence governments to enact better laws, and in other ways to improve the moral tone of society. These have long since discarded the idea of Christ’s return and the establishment of his long-promised kingdom. In other words, the people of the world generally, and those of worldly churches, do not believe that there will ever be divine intervention in the affairs of men.


Those who do not know the plan of God as revealed in the Bible are not to be blamed for their lack of belief in divine intervention as a solution to the world’s problems. After all, as we have noted, it has been a long time since humans have seen much visible evidence of the mighty working power of our God in the affairs of men. The Lord takes this into account when, through the Prophet Isaiah, he says, “I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself.”—Isa. 42:14

Yes, God has ‘refrained’ for a long time from interfering in human affairs to any visible extent. This explanation is associated with a prophecy in which we are informed that God does. not propose to refrain forever from interfering with the downward course of human selfishness. Verse 13 of the chapter reads, “The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.”

God is unlimited in his methods of accomplishing his purposes. His intervention in human affairs in Noah’s day was by means of a flood of waters. Now that we have reached the end of another ‘world’, the time is at hand for the establishment of the long-promised Messianic kingdom. Although different methods are employed than at the time of the Flood, one of these, as indicated in the prophecy just quoted, is for God to allow nations and armies to pit themselves against each other in order that they might destroy themselves—and so also destroy the imperfect social order of which they are an integral part.

Another prophecy, one in which the present social order is symbolically described as “the earth,” reads: “Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy [Hebrew, zeal].”—Zeph. 3:8

This and other prophecies indicate that in the final phase of this Armageddon struggle, God, in his own way, will reveal his hand in what is taking place, and that then the nations will recognize his intervention. In this final phase of the prophetic destruction of the symbolic earth, we find that the people of Israel will figure very prominently. This is brought to our attention in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.

This prophecy indicates that at the time of its fulfillment the returned Israelites will be well established in the Promised Land, and that aggressor hordes from the north, under the leadership of a symbolic character named “Gog” will attack them. It will be then, when the situation for his ancient people looks hopeless, that God will intervene on their behalf. Concerning this we read:

“It shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him [Gog] throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”—Ezek. 38:18-23

As this prophecy reveals, when the horrendous event which it describes occurs, all nations will have their eyes opened to discern that this defeat of Israel’s enemies was accomplished by the Lord. They will then know that the God of heaven has intervened on behalf of his people. The prophecy speaks of “an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone,” which the Lord will use to disperse the enemies of Israel. These expressions may well be symbolic of whatever forces the Lord may use at that time. Details of prophecies are seldom understood until they are fulfilled. But the important consideration at the moment is that the Lord will intervene in human affairs, and when he does, all nations will know the significance of what has taken place.


The defeat of Israel’s enemies marks the beginning of Messianic kingdom authority throughout all the earth. This will be the climax of that foretold “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation.” (Dan. 12:1) Jesus referred to this as a time of “great tribulation,” a tribulation so great that unless it was halted all flesh would be destroyed. (Matt. 24:21,22) But Jesus assured us that this time of tribulation would be brought to an end by “the elect”; that is, Jesus and those who will be associated with him in the spiritual phase of his kingdom—those who will live and reign with him a thousand years.—Rev. 20:4,6

Isaiah 2:2-4 is a marvelous description of the establishment of the Messianic kingdom. In this prophecy the kingdom is symbolized by a mountain, and the various governments of the world as mountains. The prophecy reads: “It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established [Margin, ‘prepared’] in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

The Lord’s ‘mountain’, or kingdom, will be a ruling house, made up of the sons of God—Jesus and those who have suffered and died with him that they might live and reign with him. (II Tim. 2:11,12) This ruling house of sons will dominate in all the affairs of men, as denoted by its being established in ‘the top of the mountains’, and ‘exalted above the hills’. Through divine intervention this new government will be firmly established to rule over the peoples of the world, and they will voluntarily flow into it.—Micah 4:1

By that time the peoples of all nations will have learned the futility of their own efforts to establish peace and security. They will know that the world cannot go on indefinitely under the constant threat of destruction by nuclear weapons of war. They will learn that an uneasy peace maintained by the superiority of arms is not really a worthwhile peace, so they will be glad for this new government, the kingdom of Christ, to exercise authority over them.

Many people shall say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.” (vs. 2) They will then know that their own plans and ways have failed, so they will want to learn the Lord’s ways, and they will agree to walk in his paths. The ways of the Lord will then be made plain, for ‘the law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem’.—vs. 2

And when the people recognize the authority of Messiah’s kingdom over them, and seek to walk in his ways, they will beat their ‘swords into plowshares’, and ‘their spears into pruning hooks’; and they will ‘learn war no more’. (vs. 3) This simply means that divine intervention in the earth will result in the end of war and the preparation for war. It will be God’s solution to the basic human problem of selfishness, for the people will also be reformed in their hearts, and will delight in the ways of the Lord, the ways of love.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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