Why does God do this and that?


#1

Hi I’m in a bit of an intellectual tough spot, and I have a couple of questions.

If God knows us better than we do, and thus knows our hearts, why do we have to pray to Him when He can just sort us out without the need for us going to Him (typically for prayers of petition and repentence)

Why does God appear to be silent or lazy? Sure, He is active in ways such as the Sacraments, but I just feel compelled to say ‘oh do it yerself!’

Why did Jesus insist that his nature be kept a secret when he and his apostles went around towns? I.E. Why did he keep quiet and not openly proclaim himself to be the Son of God/Man until right at the end?

I’m not in a faith crisis, I still believe. I’m just a bit ‘hmm’ puts hand on chin in a thinking stance about it. I’m curious and agitated, rather than angry and risking Heresy or Apostacy.

Thanks for your help!!


#2

let me try to help with the first Q.

Admittedly, God knows all things, our needs and the future. But He created us to love Him and others, and it is an act of love to offer prayers for our friends, and even for ourselves. Hence, God nevertheless takes into consideration our prayers as He acts. Admittedly, He has seen the prayers of all creatures from the foundation of the world, but in us praying for one another, we are loving one another to a greater degree than if we didn’t pray.

does that help?

I’m not sure about the fact that Jesus didn’t want His divinity revealed. Is Jimmy Akin around?


#3

Perhaps what we’re asking for is not in accordance with His will. God knows what’s best for us in the long run, so when we pray for the wrong thing, often what we receive is much better than what we asked for, but it may appear as silence. We won’t know until we reach Heaven all the times this happened.

The more you pray, though, the more you find your prayers becoming aligned with His Will, and you start to see prayers answered all the time.

From my experience, one prayer that gets answered swiftly, and sometimes in spectacular fashion, is asking for God to help you see your sin. . . :o

Peter Kreeft says of prayer,

In fact, I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.

From Angels (and demons) What do we really know about them?


#4

Why does God appear to be silent or lazy? Sure, He is active in ways such as the Sacraments, but I just feel compelled to say ‘oh do it yerself!’

Must admit I smiled when I first read the above. I don’t understand, sorry - do what, Himself?

Why did Jesus insist that his nature be kept a secret when he and his apostles went around towns? I.E. Why did he keep quiet and not openly proclaim himself to be the Son of God/Man until right at the end?

I think of it this way. Jesus was certainly an intelligent young man and had seen what speaking up had done to His cousin, John, and at the very start of His own public ministry - and He was treading the exact same path i.e. speaking up and against the Jewish authority of His day. Perhaps He realized that if He did give the central core of His overall message, that he too would wind up executed before He had an opportunity to convey that message in full? There are probably other speculative type understandings too - perhaps The Father simply said “Not until I say so” - I really dont know for sure…and even perhaps there is something that is more of a reliable source and authority, such as one of The Church Fathers or something or someone in that line has made a statemetn on your question. Certainly when he first spoke “unless you eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you will not have life in you”…many walked away from Him, and so much so that He asks his apostles “Will you go, too?”

Blessings and regards…Barb
PS Very interesting thread!


#5

God brought the Jews out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea, led them by a pillar of fire/smoke, fed them with manna every day, and yet they still turned away from Him in large numbers. Jesus Himself performed many miracles in the presence of the Pharisees, and all they did was plot to kill Him. My point is, it doesn’t matter if God is “visible” or “invisible”, humans have a fallen nature and will turn away from Him regardless. God wants us to come to Him, to seek Him out, and He will hopefully be more revealing of Himself the closer we get to Him.


#6

If God knows us better than we do, and thus knows our hearts, why do we have to pray to Him when He can just sort us out without the need for us going to Him (typically for prayers of petition and repentence)

A couple of quick and dirty answers to this question are:

  1. Free will

  2. It is quite possible that God’s plans involve contingencies.

To expound, God won’t necessarily act without our permission, not because He can’t, but because He respects our free will. We are totally capable of rejecting Him, to the point that we spend eternity as separated from Him as possible. Some of the things God could do without our asking could very easily negate free will.

At the same time, God may have decided that He won’t give until and unless we ask. Consider “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find (Matthew 7:7)”. And there are two reasons I can think of for why God would arrange things in this fashion, the first being free will as I mentioned before.

The second, though, is humility. In our lives, how much pride do we take in being able to do it ourselves? How much literature is there out there about being a self-made man? How often do we look down on those who need friends/family/government aid to bail them out of difficult situations? In that case, how much do we have to humble ourselves to approach God and admit “Lord, I need help. I cannot do this on my own. Please provide for me. My life is in Your hands.” To put it contrapositively, when we do not ask, we essentially say to God, “I don’t need your help.” In some cases, that’s not necessarily the problem (I don’t think I need to ask God’s aid for mowing the lawn), but there are definitely things we need His help for, though we may not realize it. But in order to receive that help, we must be willing to humble ourselves and ask.

Why does God appear to be silent or lazy? Sure, He is active in ways such as the Sacraments, but I just feel compelled to say ‘oh do it yerself!’

I’ll agree with some other posters: do what Himself? Fix the world’s problems? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, cure the sick?

For God acting in such ways, the answer I have one again deals with free will. We chose to find out how bad things could be before we decided to see how great things can be. When we were presented with the choice of “The School of God’s Everlasting Glory” and the “The School of Hard Knocks”, we chose the latter.

To some extent, all the suffering we see in the world is there to show us how bad things are when we choose something else over God. But then, there’s also the notion that there is true merit in suffering. So maybe God doesn’t act for those two reasons.

Or maybe God doesn’t do anything because we haven’t ask Him to!

Why did Jesus insist that his nature be kept a secret when he and his apostles went around towns? I.E. Why did he keep quiet and not openly proclaim himself to be the Son of God/Man until right at the end?

If I walked up to you, and to be honest, you probably don’t know me from Adam, and claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God, your Redeemer, would you simply say, “Okay, great!” or would you react with maybe an ounce of (rightful) skepticism?

If I understand rightly, in Jesus’ time there were a bunch of false prophets that rose and fell practically overnight, claiming to be the Messiah, claiming to be the Voice of God. If Jesus just presented His claim without any justification, He wouldn’t have appeared any different from all the other charlatans out there. So he kept quiet, worked a few dozen miracles, taught, spoke, gathered a following, and only when He had padded His resume–so to speak–He finally revealed to a small select the truth. In other words, Jesus let people start to draw their own conclusions, and when they had more or less figured it out (with the help of the Holy Spirit), then He affirmed their conclusions.

In a way, the answer to this question partially answers your previous questions, as well. Jesus didn’t directly reveal Himself right away because people would have immediately rejected Him out of hand. And even when people had all the confirmation they needed to see He was indeed the Son of God, many of them still rejected Him. And if people were willing to reject Jesus when they had dealt with Him face to face, how much easier is it to reject God’s direct intervention in our lives today?

Consider how uncommon miracles are. On one hand, God doesn’t work many miracles because there are plenty of normal means to accomplish His goals. On the other hand, maybe there’s the concern that if we’re inundated with miracles, bad people (or even devils) will slip something into the mix that seems miraculous and really corrupts the followers.

To pick a completely non-real-world example out of a hat, suppose God is willing to provide us with the miracle of revelation at the drop of the hat. Because it would be so common, we could actually grow to expect many people to talk about their own particular revelations. What then, if someone didn’t really have a revelation, but maybe had some interior agenda, and started spreading false teachings? Granted, the problem could be fixed with God constantly intervening with additional revelation, but given human nature, everything would quickly devolve into a massive, confusing jumble.

So specifically, Jesus didn’t immediately announce who and what He was, because such an effort would be self-defeating.


#7

Very interesting and thought provoking post to read, Cairone…Thank you:thumbsup:


closed #8

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.