Where is God When We Need a Miracle?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the sovereignty of God lately. There’s always the classic question that if God is all-powerful and completely good, why does He allow pain and suffering in the world?

yom kippur katanMy traditional answer is that we live in a broken world. From a Christian point of view, the world is broken because of “original sin”. From that point on, not only was every single person born automatically with a “sin nature,” the natural tendency to do evil, but the world itself was flawed and out of synch with God’s original intent.

Further, people weren’t capable of fixing themselves, let alone Creation all by themselves. Only by coming to faith in Jesus could we as individuals be saved, and only by Christ’s second coming can the world be saved.

The Jewish point of view is a bit more nuanced, at least as I’m able to understand it. From that perspective, Adam and Havah (Eve) were created with a natural tendency to do good. They could still do evil if they chose (free will) but they naturally did good. When they chose to disobey God by eating of the Tree of Knowledge, their tendencies to do good and evil were balanced within them. In other words, it was just as likely for them to choose evil as to choose good (I’m sure I’m not getting this exactly right, and I expect helpful comments will be appearing by the by).

Jews also don’t believe they don’t need an intermediary to atone for them. In ancient days, when the Tabernacle, and then later the Temple stood, once a year on Yom Kippur, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to offer atonement for all Israel. There was also an offering for the atonement of the seventy nations (representing all humanity).

In modern Judaism, each individual provides for his own atonement by sincere teshuvah (repentance).

(You can read more about Judaism’s views on original sin at Jewish Virtual Library and Aish.com>)

Also, while the Messiah is expected to rise, redeem Israel, conquer all her enemies, and bring a time of peace and justice for the world, the concept of Tikkun Olam or “repairing the world,” states that each human being can repair just a small part of the world by doing good. Jews do this by performing the mitzvot (commandments), and Gentiles do this by also performing the mitzvot incumbent upon us (and we have a lot fewer commandments to perform compared to Israel).

But so what?

arguing with godGod is all-powerful and He is not bound by the laws of nature or subject to any limitations at all. If He so desired, couldn’t He fix everything right now?

I suppose He could.

We’re supposed to trust Him. We are supposed to bring all of our worries and woes to Him and accept the promise that He will take care of us.

But plenty of devout Christians and Jews die of cancer every day. Plenty of devout Christians and Jews have starved to death, have been persecuted, and you can’t tell me that of the six-million Jews who died in Hitler’s Holocaust, all of them were sinful and none of them were deeply devout and devoted to Hashem.

But if that’s true, how can we depend on God? Maybe He’ll arrange for someone’s cancer to go into remission and maybe He won’t. Maybe He’ll save our loved ones from suffering and death, and maybe He won’t. How can we know?

We can’t. That’s the faith part. And even when He doesn’t help, we are supposed to trust that whatever happens is for the best? It sure doesn’t feel like the best, does it?

On the other hand, maybe we’re missing the point.

Let’s take hunger and starvation as an example. According to Action Against Hunger, 1 in 8 people worldwide won’t get enough to eat today. The number of hungry people in the world exceeds the combined populations of the U.S., Canada, and the E.U. And about one million children will die this year from hunger-related causes.

Why does God allow this horrible suffering to go on, and on, and on?

If God didn’t create humanity as sentient, self-determining beings with free will, He probably wouldn’t. He probably wouldn’t have to. The world would most likely work the way He designed it to work.

But He did create us and we are here and we all make choices.

We could choose to make hungry and starving people a priority and help them, or we could choose to believe other things are more important.

Oh sure, most of us don’t have the skill sets to even attempt to cure cancer or establish world peace, and most of us as individuals can’t stop world-wide hunger, but each individual can choose to feed just one hungry person.

We can donate time, food, and money to our local food bank. We can give money to charities who send food to nations experiencing a famine, we can choose to do a lot of things to help those less advantaged than ourselves.

jewish charity
Photo: Reuters

We can choose to do good, and even doing a little bit of good makes the world a better place. I think God expects us to do that. I think that’s why God doesn’t just transform the world into a perfect place with a miracle.

We are supposed to be the miracle. We can’t save the world, but we can help fix a small piece of it. Imagine what the world would be like if we all fixed one small piece of the world. It still wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be better.

11 thoughts on “Where is God When We Need a Miracle?”

  1. It’s good to do your part to help the world. There are many African countries facing famine including mine. The choice of picture with the little children has me a bit ticked off though 😥

  2. This is a really thought provoking post, and I really like your question, “Why does God allow this horrible suffering to go on, and on, and on?” I don’t really have an answer to that, just a comment based on something that I read earlier this week in a book titled “Speaking Christian” by Marcus J. Borg. He examines words to see what they mean today compared to what them meant in Biblical times. He pointed out that in the Old Testament, “salvation” meant among other things “liberation from economic bondage” and so there were laws to help protect people from hunger, like how the land would return to it’s original family in the Year of Jubilee and thus giving them the ability to grow their own food again. That part left me wondering, “When will we ever listen?” Anyway, that’s a bit of a ramble, so thanks for this thoughtful post.

    1. What you’re saying about the Torah provided for the needy is true, and the Christian principle of doing charity is taken from the Jewish principle. I don’t think we can understand a Christian faith without at least attempting to view Jesus and Paul within their original Jewish context.

  3. Peace be to all and a good health
    Hello Guys,
    And Transition comes, and followed by the 2nd Covenant Division Period of the God Plan, which is known as the Hour Judgment of God or the Parousia Period or the 2nd Advent Period. Which already begun in 1994 after the Messianic Period in 1993! With an only an Hour Set Period in God Count or 41.5 years in our time conversion. But the problem, the world and their religion do not know this whole Plan of God, its concealment and even its revelation was revealed even before the Messianic Period and took placed, and inspite of our intention that others may know it but unluckily they ignore and even rejected us up to date. Which we like it very much, so the prophesy of Yeshua Messiah must take effect and will not overcome by our information! So, to believe or not, we are all now already in this Ultimate Covenant Period of the 2nd Advent of God. Which we already wasted half an hour of this Hour Set Period to its end! Anyway, this is already a “Grace Extention and the Last Call of God,” which God have it also Plan it at his own Will for the 2nd Advent Period, is to save those other Israelites that were not sealed by Yeshua Messiah, which A. Paul term it as the LEFTSEEDS. And for more clarification, this were elaborated in the concluding revelation letters of A. Paul and A. John in Rom. 9:1-33, 11:1-35, 1Cor. 15:1-58, 1Tes. 4:1-18 & Rev. 7:1-18. Which according to A. Paul, this 2nd Advent is a “Short Work made by God,” Rom. 9:28. And by God mercy, he gave hope to those LEFTSEEDS or Dead in Christ or Slept in Christ, Rom. 9:29 and 1Tes. 2:19.. (this were those Israelites that were still living but were not only sealed by Yeshua Messiah, which for a very long generation period of their dispersion in many different gentile nations, they now all resemble as  CROSSBREED Gentiles. Which to A. John terminology this is the Great Multitude from all nations, Rev. 7:9..)

    So, this were those priority peoples written in this Plan to be save by Christ at his now 2nd Coming Period! So, they maybe grafted again to the Original Vine, Rom. 11:20-25. And remember, this Promise Covenant Plan is applied only to the Covenantal seeds, Rom. 9:7-8. With a condition to BELIEVE that Yeshua die and live again, 1Tes. 4:14. And the procedure that they must work out or is the same first meaning of by Caught in the Cloud procedure, which is also similar produre done by Yeshua in his Messianic Period. Because they must also work out their Spiritual Character Development before they can be gather in the Caught in the Cloud’s second meaning, as explained in 1Cor. 15:50-54. That thier Spiritual Mortal Body must transform in to the Spiritual Immortal Body, together with those already Spiritually Immortal Body of those still remaining Messianic, to meet in the air and meet the Lord and so shall be with the Lord forever more, 1Tes. 4:14-17! And also read the brief elaboration of the New Covenant Plan of God which will be work out unto the end, 1Cor. 15:23-24. And is it not, we are also very near to its end? And the world is still not ready to this! 

    Do thou still remember of what we have shared, not to mixed up your acquired false teaching knowledge, it is because the Word of God which is the truth is holy, which came from God that is holy and the Word of God will only enter and only stay in ourselves, if thou really very clean. For the scriptures is very clear: God is Holy and so also thou must be holy! And the procedures were all written in the Body of Christ, which is New Testament gospel book. Which many ignore and even rejected it.
    May our living lord God Bless us all.

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

  4. When I saw the title I immediately thought you wrote this for me. Faith in the fire. 5777-Jubilee, I was sure Aiden would get better, maybe walk with assistance. Hmmm…too long story, 3 hospital stays, from my viewpoint, no miracle. Feels like Amalek is winning the battle. But Hashem is faithful. He sent my cousin to stay with me in the hospital. I had no idea how much I needed her until she was there. I have had two friends invite me to bible studies. Oh! How I need fellowship! It is true. Yeshua said he would never leave us nor forsake us, even when we don’t know it. He is there. Praise the L-rd, He will always be at war with Amalek. Tikkun Olam! Shalom!

  5. Peace be to all and a good health
    Hello guys
    This is a quotation from the Book of Enoch 1, which was prophesies ever since Enoch time and to be fulfill at our present period, which is now really happenning in this present Parousia Period. Which they really do not know this WARNING of Enoch. Thats why we are informing this quotation to those who believe that Yeshua Messiah is a literal man, that cause them to idolotrous faith.

    Chapter 97
    1. Woe to them who act impiously, who laud and honour the word of falsehood. You have been lost in perdition; and have never led a virtuous life.

    2. Woe to you who change the words of integrity. They transgress against the everlasting decree;

    3. And cause the heads of those who are not sinners to be trodden down upon the earth.

    4. In those days you, O ye righteous, shall have been deemed worthy of having your prayers rise up in remembrance; and shall have deposited them in testimony before the angels, that they might record the sins of sinners in the presence of the Most High.

    5. In those days the nations shall he overthrown; but the families of the nations shall rise again in the day of perdition.

    6. In those days they who become pregnant shall go forth, carry off their children, and forsake them. Their offspring shall slip from them, and while suckling them shall they forsake them; they shall never return to them, and never instruct their beloved.

    7. Again I swear to you, ye sinners, that crime has been prepared for the day of blood, which never ceases.

    8. They shall worship stones, and engrave golden, silver, and wooden images. They shall worship impure spirits, demons, and every idol, in temples; but no help shall be obtained for them. Their hearts shall become impious through their folly, and their eyes be blinded with mental superstition. In their visionary dreams shall they be impious and superstitious, lying in all their actions, and worshipping a stone. Altogether shall they perish.

    9. But in those days blessed shall they be, to whom the word of wisdom is delivered; who point out and pursue the path of the Most High; who walk in the way of righteousness, and who act not impiously with the impious.

    10. They shall be saved.

    11. Woe to you who expand the crime of your neighbour; for in hell shall you be slain.

    12. Woe to you who lay the foundation of sin and deceit, and who are bitter on earth; for on it shall you be consumed.

    13. Woe to you who build your houses by the labour of others, every part of which is constructed with brick, and with the stone of crime; I tell you, that you shall not obtain peace.

    14. Woe to you who despise the extent of the everlasting inheritance of your fathers, while your souls follow after idols; for to you there shall be no tranquillity.

    15. Woe to them who commit iniquity, and give aid to blasphemy, who slay their neighbour until the day of the great judgment; for your glory shall fall; malevolence shall He put into your hearts, and the spirit of his wrath shall stir you up, that every one of you may perish by the sword.

    16. Then shall all the righteous and the holy remember your crimes.

    (Note: Questor, you may check this in your Enoch Book and so you may inform to others.)

    LOVE : New Jerusalem – Holy City

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