Why Does God Not Prevent the Collision?
IT IS obvious to the thinking person that, to the Creator of the universe, the earth is a very small thing. The nations of earth are therefore insignificant in comparison with Him. Could he not therefore swerve them from their collision course or step aside to avoid the clash? Is he acting as a bully, with his superior power, to let the collision take place?
No. Within the requirements of his own dignity and justice, God cannot prevent the collision. He has allowed time for the nations to try all sorts of man-rule. He has let them go, providing evidence over thousands of years of history, proving that the nations cannot govern the earth in peace. Nevertheless, they want to go the way they are going and God is holding off from interfering with their freedom of action until his exact time comes.
However, the nations themselves could have turned voluntarily from a bad and disastrous way. They have had the opportunity. God has shown the nations the way to go. Even pagan rulers have some measure of God-given conscience, as one of Christ’s apostles explains:
“For whenever people of the nations that do not have law do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them and, between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused.”—Rom. 2:14, 15.
Now, as to the nations called Christian, they are even less excusable, for they have the principles of right government and of justice clearly set before them in God’s Word the Bible, and they profess to be bound by its laws. But they have to a great extent rejected Bible principles.
In the light of these facts, God is not arbitrary or hasty in dealing with the nations. No one can accuse him of acting against a righteous nation. Rather, he has always followed the principle he states at Jeremiah 18:7, 8:
“At any moment that I may speak against a nation and against a kingdom to uproot it and to pull it down and to destroy it, and that nation actually turns back from its badness against which I spoke, I will also feel regret over the calamity that I had thought to execute upon it.”
God has shown the nations that he is the rightful Owner of the earth. He says: “The whole earth belongs to me.” (Ex. 19:5) Man could not be on the earth if God had not put him here. The nations themselves recognize their right of ownership, jealously guarding territory that they have taken over by purchase, discovery or conquest. But they refuse to recognize God’s ownership rights. They deny his authority to set the standards by which nations should conduct themselves.
But God has let the nations know that there is a time limit to the exercise of their authority, and that earth’s rulership is to be exercised by his Messianic King. (Ps. 2:6-8) Contrarily, the nations prefer to have the earth continue to be divided up into hundreds of conflicting governments, with wrest, national jealousies, strife and wars. Instead of willingly acknowledging that their governments have not brought happiness to their people and instead of asking God to take over earth’s rule, they continue to use the same old political methods to hold on to their rulership. They could avoid colliding with God if they were willing to submit, as he kindly warns them:
“And now, O kings, exercise insight; let yourselves be corrected, O judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear and be joyful with trembling. Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed and you may not perish from the way.”—Ps. 2:10-12.
GOD ACTS FOR BENEFIT OF EARTH AND MAN
Meanwhile, the governments of earth really show a condemnable lack of concern that the earth is being ruined, becoming more unfit for human habitation day by day. They admit that crime, pollution, threat of earth-wide starvation and many other bad circumstances are out of their control. Many believe that a third world war could occur at any moment, practically depopulating the earth. Yet in spite of these things their principles or methods of operation remain basically the same. They still engage in political intrigue, diplomatic lying and international spying.
So, as would any owner who cares for his property, God is not going to stand idly by and see the earth destroyed and made uninhabitable. He would be remiss, indeed, to let such a thing happen. He would not be acting in trueness toward those who hate the corruption and the disgusting things taking place in the earth and who want better living, right living. Knowing the path the nations would take, he foretold that there would be a time for calling a halt, saying:
“The nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give their reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Rev. 11:18.
Actually, God, by his firm action for right principles, takes a positive course opposite to that of the oncoming nations, so that there is a collision head on, as the only way to stop the nations from forcing all humankind completely into self-made oblivion. He does it primarily to settle the issue of sovereignty in his own favor. But he also remembers those who want righteousness and justice and who will accept his sovereignty.
As a consequence, we can be happy that God does have almighty power at his disposal and that, even though in comparison with the universe this earth is very small, he takes an interest in humans upon it. We can be glad that God is willing to turn his attention to and exercise his great power toward this small planet for the everlasting welfare of its inhabitants.
But is the corrupt political rule of the nations God’s only reason for displeasure? No. There are even stronger reasons, as the following discussion will reveal.