I once worked with a retired Catholic priest. He told me, “God helps you. It may seem like he’s not there, but every once in a while, when you need it most, he reaches down and dips the tip of his finger in the water of your life, and from there you can see the ripples.” I must admit it’s a very poetic and beautiful metaphor. But I don’t buy it. Praying doesn’t do anything, and I’ve never seen evidence of supernatural events in my life. Studies have even shown that prayer has no positive impact. But what does the bible say? Does god help us when we need it?
I previously did a post on prayer contradictions in the bible, but this takes things a little further than that post.
*In the New Testament Jesus doesn’t really teach that god will help people. He’s more concerned with people following him.
But there are also several cases where god has not intervened on behalf of people who are in trouble and plea for his help. God fails to deliver from enemies. He fails to deliver from suffering and hostility. He refuses to stop people from being enslaved. He refuses to rescue peasants from Judah’s wickedness. He hides himself from people being robbed. He refuses to pardon children for their parents’ sins, even when they pray for it (or great, great grandparents’ sins). He won’t save people from violence and destruction. And finally, he withdraws from those who seek him out.
Judging from the entire span of human recorded observation, if god exists it’s much more likely that he falls into the latter category of not giving a shit. I wouldn’t put your money on god in times of need. Even if you seek him out he’s not going to listen, and even worse he’ll probably withdraw from you. The good news is that if he’s not going to help, that gives us more of a reason to get off our asses and do things ourselves.