Psalms 60: Is God Involved?
Psalms 60 contains two great verses at the end of it, and I want to call your attention to it right away.
Psa 60:11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
Psa 60:12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
Think about it. Any help that we get from humans is basically in vain if God is not involved in the process. Similarly, through God we shall do well. Verse 12 talks about being valiant. We will be brave, and we will triumph over our enemy because God will knock them down for us.
That is interesting. It speaks of a God who is actively involved in the world. If God is in the business of knocking down our enemies, it is not like He was a giant clockmaker who started it going and let it run. I know that we certainly don’t know everything about God, but we can see God working in the world.
This brings us to an interesting topic. Miracles are controversial things. If you read the Jefferson Bible, you will know that it removed the miracles. The Enlightenment was not a good time for people who believe in miracles.
This explicitly contrasts with the God that we are presented with in these verses. In one hand, we have a God who is behind the universe yet is intricately involved, and on the other hand we have a world that cannot have any kind of divine intervention. Turning water into wine cannot naturally happen, so we must write off the miracles and assume that the account is untrustworthy.
I like how GK Chesterton talks about this dichotomy in Orthodoxy (which I did write a review of here).
“It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore” (92).
Is it not possible that everything that we see is indeed a miracle? We see patterns in nature and certain facts that seem to follow other facts, and we automatically assume causation. However, what if everything is a miracle in and of itself? From our human perspective, we would never know the difference to be quite honest. We would only see things happen on earth and marvel because they do happen just like we do now.
I think that this is where Deism falls apart. If we want to believe in a supernatural God who does indeed exist, we cannot rule out miracles. Like we read about in Psalms, we believe that God is still involved in the universe. He is not just sitting watching the hands go around the clock. All of that being said, I do believe that Deism does have some things right like believing in the existence of God and God as the creator of the universe. I also value their commitment to reason and the fact that God gave that to humans. However, I have a hard time thinking that there is indeed a creator God who would set everything in motion but never be involved.