Divine Intervention? Yes and No
The truth of the titled question is explained in this article I have adapted from Joel Hayes. He explains from Scripture the extent and limits of God’s interventions today, during “the dispensation of the grace of God.”
God intervenes today by dispensing the far-reaching blessings of the Cross-work of Christ.
Just ask yourself, didn’t God intervene when He called you by His gospel of grace?
- Didn’t God intervene when you were convicted by His Holy Spirit and you chose to embrace His gospel by faith? (Eph. 2:8-9)
- Didn’t God intervene when the Spirit indwelt you and baptized you into “His body” the moment you believed? (1Cor. 12:13)
- Didn’t God intervene when He identified you with His Son, crucified your old man, turned you into a new creature, made all things new in your life, and freed your soul from sin’s dominion? (Rom. 6:3-14)
- Didn’t God intervene even now each time He teaches you through His Word by the Spirit? Or when He strengthens your inner man by His Spirit when you study His Word?
- Is it not by the intervention of God that we feel within ourselves all that joy and peace in believing, abounding in hope, which is through the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13)?
- Is it not intervention that we even experience “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22) in our lives? Are we not participating in His active, ongoing intervention within each of us when we allow ourselves to be filled with His Spirit?
- Is it not the work of intervention on God’s part when Paul tells us in Eph. 3:20 that we are “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”?
- Is it not by God’s intervention that we are also made “able to stand strong in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10)? Is it not divine intervention when His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10)?
- Are we not operating in a constant state of divine intervention within each one of us when we are walking in His Spirit? Is it not by the intervention of God that we can, as Paul tells us, be filled with all the fulness of God (Eph. 3:19)?
- Doesn’t God Himself intervene in the affairs of this world when He works through the saints, using the foolish things of the world to confound the wise and the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty and the base things of the world, and things which are despised, to bring to nought the things that are?
- Is God not intervening when He works through His saints by His Spirit to minister to one another? To encourage one another? To edify one another? To build one another up? Or when one of His saints shares the gospel with an unbeliever?
- Is it not divine intervention any time His will is accomplished through His believers here on this Earth?
- Is it not continual divine intervention on the part of God by the Holy Spirit to restrain the mystery of iniquity at work today (2 Thess. 2:7)?
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he [God] who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2 Thessalonians 2:7 (KJV)
- Is it not also divine intervention that we’ve been given the spirit of power, the spirit of love, and the spirit of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)?
Considering the above, it is an undeniable, irrefutable, Biblical fact that God today is intervening in this way every day. Yet, God does not foreordain negative evil happenings to punish evil men in the world nor that of wayward believers. Yet we know awful injustices and evil acts occur in our lives as they do among all mankind.
How can this be? The answer is that God uses the law of sowing and reaping in dealing with all men. Under grace, God does not supersede man’s Free Will, rather He permits the natural consequences of our bad choices to occur. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Gal, 6:7-8 (KJV)
So, God does not react to man’s failures and evil works nor to those of the believer. He just lets the law of sowing and reaping produce the normal consequences man’s choices, trusting that they [we] might learn. Yet, the Calvinists will tell you that God is causing everything to happen. They think God caused that Coronavirus to happen and God has ordained everything the governments are doing right now.
What about those awful natural occurrences that happen to all men, such a tornado, hurricane, or an accident, etc.? The Bible refers to these as ‘chance occurrences.’ Consider Eccl. 9:11 concerning ‘time and chance.’ “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Notice how the wisest man who ever lived did not write that “time and chance” happens on rare occasions or happens only to a select few but that “time and chance happeneth to them ALL,” happening to everyone. Some would try to argue that Solomon didn’t mean “chance” but meant “time and occurrences.” Do you know what “chance” means in the Hebrew? It means “chance,” ‘a chance occurrence.’
Moses spoke of the chance occurrence of a bird’s nest in Deut. 22:6? Did you know that the young man who told David of Saul’s death in 2 Sam. 1:6 spoke of how he “happened by chance upon mount Gilboa”? Did you know that the Lord Jesus spoke of chance in the story of the Good Samaritan? In Luke 10:31, Jesus spoke of how “by chance there came down a certain priest [of Israel] that way…”
Paul also spoke of chance in 1 Cor. 15:37? He wrote, “And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain…” He’s not saying that if you plant a seed it may grow into a wheat or some other grain. He speaks of chance here in the sense that we hope that that planted seed will germinate into that particular grain, which may or may not happen. Not all seeds will always germinate into a plant. This illustration was used to make the counterpoint that, unlike the chance of seeds germinating, there is nothing iffy about us believers being resurrected in our heavenly bodies.
The Biblical view of God’s sovereignty is that He is the supreme authority over all things but He leaves room for free will and chance in His creation while maintaining His supreme sovereignty over all things. This is a far higher view of His sovereignty than Calvinists allow. God leaves room for chance and the free will of man.
So, what does it mean if a believer gets the Coronavirus or any other sickness out there? Does this mean that God somehow ordained before the foundation of the world that that saint will get the Coronavirus like the Calvinists are teaching? That is complete heresy. Did God know before the foundation of the world who will get that virus? Certainly. But His foreknowledge does not mean He’s foreordained everything what will happen. He only foreordained how He would respond to our free will. Everything that is happening now is simply the result of living in a sin-cursed world or of what Paul calls “the sufferings of this present time.” (Rom. 8:18)
I know what some out there would say, “I don’t think that Coronavirus was a natural phenomenon. I think that virus was a man-made bioweapon.” So, what if it was? Man in his free will making poor decisions is all part of the sufferings of this present time. Governments in their free will making poor decisions is all part of the sufferings of this present time. God has told us repeatedly that He leaves room for chance in His creation, which includes man in his free will being … free to make bad decisions that cause suffering.
Are you going to deny the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself when He spoke of how “by chance there came down a certain priest that way…” in Luke 10:31? If you get a virus, did God cause you to have it? I’d submit to you that it’s all chance, and it’s on you to do everything you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones. Are you going to accept blindly every medical advice you hear because you think that it’s somehow God’s will for your life or are you going to do your due diligence to make informed decisions about your health and the health of your loved ones? Because of chance, because of man’s free will, it’s on you to make the best decisions for yourself and your family.
I have no problem telling God that I want to see someone recovered from an illness, but I keep everything in perspective. Is God going to supernaturally give some doctor wisdom that doctor didn’t possess before? No! Is God going to betray the free will of that doctor to force that doctor to make precise moves in the surgery room so no mistakes will be made? No! If I prayed for someone to get better and they got better, does that mean God intervened? Let me ask you a question. How do you know that God didn’t already foreknow that that person would heal naturally and He did nothing? None of us can ever claim any intervention about a healing because if we knew that it was intervention, then we’d be walking by sight and not by faith. We are not meant to know, and it’s our job to pray about everything and walk in faith, and regardless of the outcome, you are to always thank and praise God. The freedom that comes from accepting the fact that chance exists in His creation, is that you now know that God is not to be blamed for all the problems in your life. We don’t live as unbelievers and Calvinists do, blaming God for everything.
Portions Adapted from: Joel Hayes July 5, 2022 https://supplyofgrace.com/2022/07/05/divine-intervention/