Why Doesn't G-d Do Open Miracles Now?
Larry Kahaner from McLean, VA wrote:
I was reading my son Bible stories and he asked a simple, child-like question: "Why doesn't G-d use his power to punish bad people the way he did in the Bible?" He was referring to the stories of Passover, Noah's Ark, the destruction of Sodom and others. Then it turned to the Nazis and why G-d didn't help the Jews by simply destroying the Nazis. I was flustered for an answer as to why we don't see G-d's great powers the way they did in the bible. Any thoughts?
Dear Larry Kahaner,
A very deep question. Why does G-d seem to allow evil, and bad people to do bad things to good people. It boils down to, "why is there evil?"
I think the answer is that G-d doesn't "like" to do open miracles. The word "world" in Hebrew, "olam," means "hiding." That is, G-d made the world as a place to hide from us, so that we can get reward (in the next world) for finding Him.
To do this, G-d needs to allow evil to flourish, for a short time. If lightning struck every time someone did a sin, no one would deserve credit for being good, because there would be no other choice.
So, what's wrong with that? As I mentioned before, G-d made this world as a place to hide in. That way, someone who truly wants to be good will be good, and someone who doesn't, won't. Then, G-d will reward the good person for being good, not because he was forced into it, but because he chose it.
So, although G-d did great miracles, like splitting the sea, and the ten plagues, He only did them for that specific generation. No other generation ever saw so many wonderous miracles. This was sort of a one-time deal, in order to teach that G-d is really there, is the Creator, and is in total control. From then on, though, G-d wanted people to use their free will to believe in G-d and follow the commandments, and not because they were "forced" into it.