Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rationalizing Miracles

About three years ago when Dru and I were reading his nightly Bible story we read about Jesus turning the water into wine.  I explained to him how a miracle was something only God could do and not something that he or I or anyone else could do.  After we finished reading the story he very promptly told me that he knew how Jesus turned the water into wine.  Wanting to know the secret to the miracle I asked him how Jesus did it.  He told me to take the water, put purple coloring in it and add some sugar.  Sounds like he had his directions for making Kool-Aid and changing water into wine a little mixed up.  But what he was doing at a very young age is what people will try to do with every miracle they find in the Bible.

When we, as believers in Christ, look at the miracles God did in the Bible do we try to explain them away?  I heard a pastor friend tell me how he was taught in seminary, the place he was supposed to receive biblical training, that Moses and the Israelites didn’t pass through the Red Sea on dry land.  The professor said the “correct” translation says they crossed the Sea of Reeds, a marshy swamp, and not the Red Sea.  How about more modern miracles?  Do we as believers in Christ, dismiss or rationalize the miracles we see everyday around us as coincidence?  At my home church one Sunday we had an elderly man suffering from the effects of a stroke who came forward for prayer and to be anointed with oil because of a sore that had developed on his leg.  The following Wednesday night at church he shared with the church that in the shower on Tuesday he looked and the sore was completely healed.

The entire purpose of a miracle is for God to work in a supernatural way to provide an outcome that only He can produce.  It does not matter what man says about God’s provision through miracles because that does not change the fact that God did perform the miracle.  The pastor friend of mine answered his seminary professor with a “Praise God!  That means He drowned the Egyptian Army in only a few inches of water!”  We must remember that God is the final authority on miracles and if His word says He did a miracle, then He did it!  For our modern and enlightened minds coincidence is an easy explanation for miracles but it’s been said that “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.”  Was it a coincidence that the man’s leg was completely healed just two days after having a special prayer said and being anointed with oil?  I don’t think so.  I think it was God providing a particular outcome that only He could after the man asked in faith to have his church and deacons pray for him.  We must remember too that coincidence means we have left things to chance and would mean that God is taken out of the situation.  When God performs a miracle He may choose to remain anonymous, but He is very much present.

The Bible is faithful to teach us that God shows us His awesome power and His provision for us through the miracles He performs.  Psalm 77:14 tells us “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”  Job 37:5 tells us “God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.”  As we think of God’s miracles we need to keep one thing in mind.  The greatest miracle that God performs on a daily basis is when a new believer is brought from spiritual death to eternal life.  If God has worked that miracle in our life then we can look with faith at the miracles He worked in the Bible and in our daily lives to see that He truly is a miracle working God.  

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