Number 15


When the man Lazarus was sick in Bethany his sisters sent a message to the Lord Jesus which said, "Lord, behold, He whom Thou lovest is sick" (John 11:8). Their appeal was based upon His personal love for one who was then in great need, and while it did not immediately work out as they had hoped, it did come to a happy conclusion for all concerned.

Today, we live in a world that is sick unto death. Its condition is obvious and its desperate needs are manifest realities. It is beset with complex maladies and malignancies that threaten its destruction, and the ministrations of those who would alleviate its sufferings seem only to add to its miseries. To "save the world" has become the purpose of many, but the attractive, simplistic remedies now being proposed by its would-be healers are nothing more than the old, quack remedies offered under new labels. Science has not saved it, education has not saved it, organized religion has not saved it. This has caused some to abandon all hope.

The world needs to be saved. Its desperate needs must soon be met or this world, this order, this system, this ecology will perish. In view of this the God-fearing man is inclined to cry out to the One who made this world and say, "Lord, that which you love is sick" (John 3:16). Yes, the world that God so loved that He was willing to give His only Son in relationship to it is desperately ill. Many of His people are now asking what He will do, or what can He do in regards to its present needs.

There is a wide disagreement among men as to what it is that the world needs or what should be done to cure its present ills. They admit it is sick but differ as to what will cure it. And since man is a part of it and the prime cause of much of its troubles, we need to ask what it is that will cure mankind of its hate, its greed, its selfishness, its fierceness, its lusts, its treachery, its pride, its envy, its murdering instincts, its thievery, its drunkenness, and the rest of the catalog of sins and crimes which so adversely affect the world today.

The Bible-taught man can answer this question without hesitation. What the world needs now is divine intervention. It needs a supreme miracle of the kind that God alone can perform. It needs divine action that will cure its ills and restore it to health and happiness once again.

The world needs no adverse action that will compound its troubles. It needs no pouring out of divine wrath. This would bring its destruction but not its salvation. It needs someone big enough and great enough to intervene in its behalf, and to intervene favorably. Yes, the world that God loves is sick unto death and it is not unreasonable for us to expect that He will intervene in its behalf.

The most unrecognized and unappreciated message in the Bible is that over and over, again and again, in the Old Testament and in the New, God has promised and declared, that He is going to intervene, perform the miracle that needs to be performed, and do whatever needs to be done in order that Jesus Christ may stand and be honored in all His glory as the Savior of the world (John 4:42). "God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17). "The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14).

The reason that this great truth of divine intervention is unknown and unappreciated is because that men have been blinded by the idea that when God acts it is only in wrath, and the idea that God's next great act is the removal of all His people from earth. This is called "the rapture", a term not found in the Scripture. Of this it can be said that it would not help the world at all. It would only compound its miseries. God's people are not the cause of the world's ills, and it would not help if we were all removed.

Others, ignoring altogether the divine order and timetables, are blinded by making the second coming of Christ to be the next great event. Those who face up to all that Scripture has revealed in regard to the second advent know that this would not help the world at all, since it is emphatically declared that when Jesus Christ returns He comes "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 1:8). And since these shall be punished with "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess. 1:9), we can truthfully say that the worst thing that could happen to mankind is for Christ to return while the world is in its prcsent condition. There are today so few who know God and fewer still who obey the gospel of Jesus Christ that the overwhelming majority of mankind would be wiped out. Thus, if the people of God were removed by a rapture and the balance be destroyed, the earth would be swept clean of all inhabitants. I, for one, cannot believe this. Is this the best that the Savior of the world can do? No, He can intervene, He can inject Himself into the affairs of men, He can reverse the flow of history and turn it to Himself.

If we take our stand upon the promises of God, if we believe He will do what He has said He will do, then divine intervention will become a positive part of our faith and it will become our blessed hope. Let us consider a few of these promises that are found by the hundreds. They begin to appear in the Psalms, a sadly neglected book in our day.

* All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and He is the governor among the nations. Psalms 22:27,28.

This passage is both a promise and a prophecy. In its interpretation we need to recognize that "All the ends of the world" means all the people of the earth, even those living in remote places. "Shall remember" means that a communication direct from God will be imprinted on their minds. "And turn unto the Lord" means they will be turned unto the Lord. This reverses mankind's attitude toward God that began with the entrance of sin and will persist until God turns him around. "All the kindreds of the nations" means the different kinds of families or people that make up a nation. These have ever been a source of strife and conflict, but after God intervenes they are seen bowing before Jehovah. This is accomplished not by the minority triumphing over the majority nor by the majority subjecting the minority, but by all being brought to acknowledge the kingship of Jehovah.

"For the kingdom is the Lord's" means the government belongs to Jehovah. In order for this to be true, He will have to take to Himself His great power and govern. When He assumes sovereignty, then that which is true by right (de jure) will be true in fact (de facto). He will then be the governor among the nations. This entire passage speaks of divine intervention. This is what the world needs now. And just think how much better this would be than for God to take all His people out of the world and destroy those who are left.

Another great promise, entirely ignored by most expositors because it does not fit into their ideas of the second coming of Christ, is found in Psalm 64. In this remarkable Psalm there is presented a picture of great wickedness that is described as an "insurrection of the workers of iniquity", a phrase that perfectly describes what we are witnessing on earth today. This insurrection is stopped by divine intervention, and this is promised in a declaration that is as important as any promise in God's Word:

* But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. Psalm 64:7.

This arrow is God's truth. It will make known who God is and what God is. It will reveal to all men His attitude toward all iniquity. The result of this divine action is declared. The workers of iniquity will lash themselves with their own tongues. A flood of self-condemnation will flow from their lips (Psa. 64:8). A universal awe and recognition of God will come upon all mankind. They will unitedly declare that this is a work of God. They will logically consider the work He has done. The righteous will be glad in the Lord. They will trust in Him, and all the upright in heart shall glory (Psa. 64:9,10). Read this Psalm. Memorize it. Bind it to your heart. This is our hope. This is our blessed hope. It will become your hope if you incorporate into your thinking God's message in this Psalm.

Promises of divine intervention at a time when iniquity is about to triumph are so numerous that it is difficult to decide which ones to present in the space of this study. However, one of the most emphatic ones is to be found in Isaiah 59:19. In this passage which begins by presenting the results of divine action we find then the promise, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."

It should be noted here that this is a great work of the Holy Spirit, and it is not the personal return of Christ to the earth. All who examine this passage will have to admit that the words that speak of the enemy coming in like a flood are most applicable to the present time. Every day we are witnessing the onrush of diabolical evils which preceding generations would have said were impossible for civilized men. What the world needs now is divine action that will stop this flood. Divine intervention is our present and most positive need. We need to pray:

Arise, O God, plead Thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth Thee daily. Forget not the voice of Thine enemies: the tumult of those who rise up against Thee increaseth continually. Psalm 74:22,23.


Issue no. 015