What Compells God to Intervene?

Rare and beautifully executed Engraved illustration of Moses and the Drowning of the Egyptians Biblical Engraving from The Popular Pictorial Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, Published in 1862. After Moses led his people through the Red Sea, the Egyptians drowned as the waters returned. Copyright has expired on this artwork. Digitally restored.


Divine intervention is when God steps in and miraculously changes the outcome of a situation. Divine intervention demonstrates the undeniable existence and power of God.

The contentious presidential election for the United States, with the many claims of fraud and illegal actions, has caused the entire world to intently watch the final outcome. For all people who want truth, law and order to prevail it appears divine intervention is the only hope. But what compels God to intervene in the affairs of humanity?

While there are many biblical examples of God’s  intervention in the affairs of humanity. Perhaps after the great flood, the most famous is His parting of the Red Sea so His people, the Israelites, could escape the pursuit of the Egyptian army. (Exodus 14)

Clearly the parting of the Red Sea provided the way of escape from harm for God’s people. But are there other times when God intervened and produced an outcome that brought harm? I think the answer to this is both “Yes” and “No.”

In the story of the Exodus, God lead His people from slavery by the Egyptians to freedom to worship Him in the promised land. Scholars estimate the trek should have taken the Israelites about eleven days. However, not knowing where the promised land was, they were reliant upon God who caused His people to wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Why would God intervene in the lives of His people in this way? Because there was a generation of unbelieving people who prevented the entire people from entering the promised land. In God’s wisdom, he caused His people to wander in the wilderness, until the unbelievers died off and His people were therefore purged from the sinful influence.

Similarly, Moses sent ten spies to scope out the land of Canaan and its inhabitants to get intelligence how best to defeat the people to take over the promised land. Eight of the ten spies returned fearful with reports that evoked great fear in the Israelites. In response, God intervened and caused the eight to suffer a plague and die. Of the ten spies only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. (Nu. 14) Then we read about the rebellion of Korah (Nu. 16) when God intervened yet again, causing the ground to open up and swallow Korah and all the households and people who belonged to Korah, followed by a fire that came from God to consume 250 men who despised God, followed by a plague that consumed 14,700.

The Exodus story also reveals repeated undisputed acts of God on behalf of His people, beginning with ten plagues God brought upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians without the Israelites being harmed, to God’s provision of water from a rock, bread from heaven (manna) and meat (quail) each day as they wandered in the wilderness.

For these reasons I believe divine intervention produces benefit for the faithful and harm for the rebellious. So, what would divine intervention look like for us in America, given all the evidence of rebelliousness and faithfulness we’ve seen in recent times? I believe more than any other time in our existence, our prayers must be for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, while we choose to remain in complete submission to His perfect wisdom.

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