I used to play Dungeons and Dragons. I have trouble bringing myself to playing it now because D&D tends to bring out certain irritating personalities. People like me pore over the rule books to make sure that everything is being done correctly. Most people don't read the rules all the way through before playing Monopoly; I willingly have paid $20 for a 300 page book of rules. I'm insufferable.
Even worse than rules lawyers are munchkins, people who try to win D&D by poring over the rule books looking for loopholes. This is idiotic because D&D can't be won, it goes on and on, week after week, until the gaming group falls apart. In any group, there's at least one of these chumps.
Lightfoot the Halfling Rogue and Grok'thahal the Half-Orc Barbarian and Iskander the Human Cleric have interesting relationships and problems and frailties and backstories (somehow, each one is an orphan), these three are trying to tell an interesting story, but they're stuck playing with Bob the Elf Jesus who just wants to roll dice, kill everything, and get a lot of make-believe treasure.
One of the explanations for why God isn't more evident in the world is that he's leaving us alone to tell our own story. He works in mysterious ways or watches us from a distance because if he were to interfere, he'd ruin our free will, he'd be like Bob the Elf Jesus who just charges into the kobold den, dual wielding battleaxes and somehow casting fireball at the same time, while Lightfoot and Grok'thahal are hatching a plan and Iskander is expressing the pathos of his emotional crises. Jesus isn't like Bob the Elf Jesus.
I think there's something to this explanation, honestly. We need to live in an orderly nature that has rules for our actions to be meaningful. We need to be able to sin to be redeemed, there had to be a tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden.
Using the Elf Jesus problem to explain why the world is the way it is now, why we don't see big, verifiable miracles, is flatly unbiblical. God, evidently, didn't mind eroding Paul's free will with blinding light. He didn't seem to care too much about the Egyptian army's free will when they were drowned in the Red Sea. Jesus didn't seem to think that feeding the 5,000 would spoil them and make them irresponsible and lazy.
There are 1.2 billion people who are malnourished. If God were to drop manna from heaven all over the world, that might impede my free will, but he'd save 35,000 kids from dying today. I wouldn't mind my free will being a little degraded in this manner. If God were to just drop manna on Zimbabwe, there would still be plenty of needy people for the world community to practice showing compassion to.
Saying that God doesn't do big miracles because he doesn't want to squelch our free will is a cruel pat answer, like telling cancer patients they need to pray harder, or telling someone crippled by worry that their problem isn't the thing that's worrying them, it's their lack of trust in God.
I suppose that God could be real and good, even given the state the world is in. The Elf Jesus explanation is simplistic, unbiblical, and cruel, though. God's quietness is a serious problem that deserves more sober consideration. We're prone to look at the exodus from Egypt or the stories of the judges or the story of Jesus. What are the scriptural explanations for God's apparent absence in the time of slavery before the exodus, or the chaos between the judges, or the Greco-Roman occupation?