Hashgacha Pratis, or personal intervention, is very different. This refers to Hashem’s personal involvement in a nation’s or a person’s life. It includes Hashem actually supervising directly, watching over and taking care of the needs of those individuals.
General intervention is a given; it is something Hashem assures to all of creation as a birthright. Personal intervention is quite different; it must be earned. By dint of being the children of the Avos, the Jewish nation merits personal intervention – provided they keep certain conditions. One of these is that they must recognize Who runs the world. In this regard, it functions on a continuum. The more a person trusts in Hashem, the more, if it could be, Hashem feels an obligation to take care of that person, and the more Hashem will be directly involved in that person’s life. It is almost as if Hashem says, “How can I not take care of him, he relies on Me, he trusts in Me.
This seems to be the answer as to why the “merit of their belief in Hashem” was so pivotal at Krias Yam Suf. In terms of the objective weight, there is no comparison between the merits of the Avos and their current trust in Hashem, but trust in Hashem operates on a different level. It alone can be the reason Hashem will save a people. It was almost like Hashem was saying, “How can I not take care of them? They trust in Me. They rely on Me. I have to save them.” And that trust alone was reason enough to split the sea.
The Reward for Trust
This is a powerful lesson to us concerning the effect of trusting in Hashem. While we are obligated to act in the ways of this world, we are equally obligated to trust in Hashem. We have to go out and do our part, follow the laws of nature, knowing all the while that exactly that which Hashem has decreed will come about – no more, no less, no sooner, no later.
However, the amount of our trust in Hashem will directly affect how much Hashem will intercede on our behalf, and this may have a huge difference in many situations. For example, there may be times we don’t deserve receiving that which we need. Whether it’s health, success, or sustenance, it may well be that according to the letter of the law we don’t warrant special assistance, and certainly don’t have the right to ask Hashem to intervene on our behalf. In that situation, it may be our trust in Hashem alone that will bring us Hashem’s help. When we rely on Hashem and trust in Him, Hashem, if it could be, feels almost obligated to take care of us.
Trust in Hashem is the basis of our belief system. It is also one of the most comforting thoughts a human can come to. And it is also one of the most effective ways for us to secure Hashem’s direct involvement in our lives – even in a manner we might not otherwise deserve.