Someone in r/AskReligion asked why G-d isn’t so present openly today, like He was a while ago. I’ve actually been thinking about this, and came up with my own answer (which of course, I specified was my own answer). What do you all think of it? Make sense ish?
Jewish here. This is just my interpretation, idk if its widely held or whatnot, but anyhow:
In Exodus, the Jews are taken out of Egypt with huge miraculous plagues & miracles. They travel through a split open sea, and hear G-d at mount Sinai. These people were very much seeing G-d. However, they still had a slave mentality, and worried about their own basic needs more than they had faith in G-d. At every little inconvenience (ie meat, water, dead sea) they freak out. They complain, say they’re going to die. They have valid concerns, but they didn’t have faith G-d would provide that. This is accentuated by the sin of the spies, who gave a slanderous report about the land – they had no faith that they would prevail.
So, G-d decrees another 39 years of wandering in the desert, so that this “slave mentality” generation would not be the ones to inherit the land. Instead, a generation grows up where everything is provided by G-d. They have food fall from the sky, pillars of cloud and fire to follow, and water flowing from a rock. They have had these things their entire lives, and constantly see God.
Yet, this is contrasted in the last year of wandering. In this year, Moses gives his farewell speech before he dies. He spends much of it warning the nation to not forget G-d when they go into the land of Israel. Why would this happen? He talks about how, in the land, food is going to be a result of your work, but you cannot forget that your ability to work came from G-d. G-d’s future for the people was one where he wasn’t as directly present, and Moses was warning them of this new lifestyle to come.
I think you can say that the torah shows that ideal situation is for G-d to not be as directly present. Indeed, that is the way we are expected to live as a nation. It’s just that when we were walking in the desert, we really had no way to provide for ourselves, so only then did G-d step in. There are plenty of things we did on our own; for example, we built the Mishkan (portable temple) all on our own, and many agree that the initiative for the spies was by the people.
So you can say that its not that one time we had miracles, and now we don’t, it’s that we are living the ideal situation. Why would it be the ideal situation? Well A) G-d said so. B) It makes it more challenging to be religious, which can be a good thing, perhaps. C) This is what I think is a great point: it puts more focus on the people. If we expect everything to be openly handled by G-d, where does that leave our sense of responsibility? Where does that leave our self – esteem that we can be the best servants of G-d we can be? Focusing more on ourselves allows us to serve Him better.