But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. 1 Thessalonians 5:4,5
A lot of intelligent, well‑meaning folks have been asking themselves just what part God plays in the affairs of life today. When they see what is happening in the Middle East, Moscow, Beijing or Washington, they wonder who is really running the world. At first glance, they are prone to think that God may have created the world and then left it to mortals to run.
George Bernard Shaw had something like that in mind when he said that he wasn't sure whether or not there is life on other planets, but if there is, they must be using earth as their insane asylum. Yet, if you will take time to investigate the situation more carefully, comparing the historical record with the prophetic statements of Scripture, I think you will come to the conclusion that behind the affairs of earth is the divine power that guides the destinies of nations and the events of nature as well.
The Old Testament, particularly, shows the direct intervention of God in the affairs of the nations, which helps us to accept the fact that God hasn't abdicated his responsibility today. Ancient history confirms the prophecies of old, such as the rise of Alexander and the subsequent division of his empire, the defeat of Babylon by the Medes and Persians, the rise of the Roman Empire, the eventual coming of Jesus Christ, and accurate details of His life, death and resurrection.
If you are one of those who just can't see where God fits into the picture today, it may well be because you have missed several tell‑tale signs: (1) You have missed the fact that God chooses to work through human beings to do His will. The story of God's dealing with the world is written in the biographies of people‑‑Moses, David, Elijah, Ruth, Mary, Paul and the twelve disciples. All of these are people who helped to shape the destiny of the world. Just as surely, God uses individuals today‑‑whether good or bad‑‑to fulfill His direction in the world. (2) You have also missed the fact that God normally works through orderly process.
There have been times when God miraculously intervened in history. Such an event took place in 1588 when winds blew the Spanish Armada on the rocks, allowing the survival of a struggling little nation called England. Again, in 1941 when the fog descended at Dunkirk allowing the evacuation of the Allied Forces, God intervened, many believe.
When God intervenes in the affairs of men we say that it is an act of God; yet in most cases God works in nature through orderly process, which in itself is a great miracle. Consider the fact that the law of gravity keeps the planets in their elliptical orbits day after day.
Finally, if you are one of those who just can't see how God is guiding the helm of planet earth, take a look at what has taken place in our generation: the establishment of the modern state of Israel, the thrust of the scientific world allowing the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecies concerning knowledge and travel, and finally the prophecies of Peter and Paul regarding the moral and spiritual corruption which will precede the end of the age.
Pick up a modern translation of Scripture and begin to search out passages such as Matthew 24 and 25, 1 Thessalonians 4, and I Timothy 4, which tell us what to expect as we draw to the close of our present age. You will be amazed as the prophets of old picture the events that are taking place in our generation.
Resource reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28