IF THERE’S A GOD, why doesn’t he show himself—or at least say hello?
Most Christians would love it if God paid them a visit. They’d pummel him with questions.
And if God is omnipresent—as the Bible implies—why not show up? He could appear to all seven billion humans at once.
Why he doesn’t do that is a confounding mystery. Christians, as well as non-Christians, would really love to replace faith with fact. They’d like some answers, too.
But even in Bible stories where God does show up, in one way or another, he’s not big into answering questions—especially “why” questions. Of all the people in the Bible who deserved a “why” answer, Job is probably at the top of the list. He had done nothing wrong, but he lost his health, wealth, and family.
Job asked God why.
God showed up, as the Bible says he occasionally does—sometimes in physical manifestations, though more often in dreams and visions. But instead of answering Job’s question, God himself asked a heaping helping of questions. Such as:
- Have you ever told the morning to wake up, roll out of bed, and hit the ground running?
- Can you squeeze rain out of a cloud?
- Were you the one who taught the lion how to hunt? Job 38:12, 34, 39, author’s paraphrase
Questions like those, some Christians say, suggest that God does reveal himself and talk to us—through his creation.
The apostle Paul explains:
The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse.
Romans 1:19-20, THE MESSAGE
The God who made the world and everything in it . . . . doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!
Acts 17:24, 27-28, THE MESSAGE
Beyond this, many Christians say God still reveals himself in personal ways, as he did in Bible times. Sometimes in mystical ways: visions and vivid dreams as dramatic as some in the Bible. Sometimes in miracles that confound even unbelievers. And often in “coincidences” so incredible that it would seem to take more faith to believe they happened by chance rather than by a Higher Power.
Excerpt from Stephen M. Miller’s Bible Snapshots; question 1 from the feature Ten Tough Questions Atheists Ask.