This is the world God has made.
This is the world that is still going on. He doesn’t
walk away from the mess we’ve made of it. Now he lives, almost
cheerfully, certainly heroically, in a dynamic relationship with us
and with our world. "Then the Lord intervened" is perhaps the single
most common phrase about him in Scripture, in one form or another.
Look at the stories he writes.
There’s the one where the children of Israel are
pinned against the Red Sea, no way out, with Pharaoh and his army
barreling down on them in murderous fury. Then God shows up. There’s
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who get rescued only after they’re
thrown into the fiery furnace. Then God shows up. He lets the mob
kill Jesus, bury him ... then He shows up.
Do you know why God loves writing such incredible
stories? Because he loves to come through. He loves to show us that
he has what it takes.
It’s not the nature of God to limit his risks and
cover his bases. Far from it. Most of the time, he actually lets the
odds stack up against him. Against Goliath, a seasoned soldier and a
trained killer, he sends . . . a freckle-faced little shepherd kid
with a slingshot. Most commanders going into battle want as many
infantry as they can get. God cuts Gideon’s army from thirty-two
thousand to three hundred. Then he equips the ragtag little band
that’s left with torches and watering pots.
It’s not just a battle or two that God takes his
chances with, either. Have you thought about his handling of the
gospel? God needs to get a message out to the human race, without
which they will perish . . . forever. What’s the plan? First, he
starts with the most unlikely group ever: a couple of prostitutes, a
few fishermen with no better than a second-grade education, a tax
collector. Then, he passes the ball to us.