Who’s in Control?


How can God have control over the world if we have choice? I can choose to kill myself and God won’t make a miracle to stop it, therefore I have control. And He doesn’t. How is that?



  1. I certainly hope and will assume that your question is purely philosophical and not a practical one in which you are considering such a choice!

    The statement that God is in control of the world is correct. The statement that you (and every person) have the ability to freely choose any option available to you is also true. So, the question is: Who is really in control?

    The answer is, of course, God. He created everything in existence, including every person, and He can certainly do with His creations as He wills. I am speaking not only about events such as earthquakes and tornados, which are actually normally referred to as “acts of God.” But He is also in control as it relates to a person’s free will to choose as one desires.

    “In what way is He in control of our free will to choose?” you may ask. God is in control of allowing us to have free will to choose. As we learn in Ethics of our Fathers, “All is foreseen, and permission is granted.” Please note the word “granted.” This means that God gives us permission to choose with the gift of free will that He gives us. Without His granting us this gift of free will to choose our path and actions, we would be like robots.

    We are not able to see “behind the scenes,” so to speak, but it certainly appears that He gives us this control to choose to do as we wish — at least nearly all of the time. In the case of a person wanting to take his own life (God forbid!), God may choose to intervene in what a way that might appear as either miraculous or “natural.” There are many anecdotes that tell these stories. Or, He may very well allow the person to succeed in accomplishing the outcome he chose.

    Either way, God is in control.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team