Miraculous, But By Whom? (Part 1)
Note to the readers- due to space and the desire to be Biblically thorough on this delicate subject, this article will be divided into several parts as needed. The first part provides a look at some Biblical "behind the Scenes" information and some popular, but clearly mistaken beliefs. Then next month, I hopefully can provide the Biblical insights on these.
Often times in a person's lifetime, we are aware of what some people refer to as "Divine Intervention" or "Destiny" others simply say things like we were "lucky" or "an angel was watching over you." Some things are so hard to explain that the term "Miracle" is often mentioned as an explanation for what happened. Still others use the word "coincidence" for something that they can't explain. As usual, it is best to know what does the Bible say about those truly "special" moments.
While most people wouldn't deny the existence of a spiritual dimension, with spiritual activity, there are the typical, but misconceived ideas about such things as well. One such is the mistaken idea that any and all "Miracles" and "phenomena" are done by God. One only has to look at the Bible, in the Old Testament Books of Job and in Exodus, to see that some "miracles" and "phenomena" are actually done by the forces of evil!!! In the first two chapters of Job, the Word of God shows us that in one day, Job lost all of his children and all of his possessions, and then the next day, he lost his health as well. These were the direct results of "miracles" caused by Satan. In Exodus, chapters 7 and 8, we can see that Pharaoh's magicians could imitate some of the miracles that Moses and Aaron were doing. Although limited in their abilities, the magicians did change their staffs into serpents, turned the water into blood and cause frogs out of the water, just as Moses had done. Both examples, underscore precisely the motive of why miracles are done in the first place and the spiritual battle that wages behind the scenes. Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary describes "miracles” as some historic event or "phenomena" which appear to violate natural laws but which reveal God to the eye of faith at the same time. And just as miracles are meant to make one aware of God, Satan whom Jesus called the Father of lies, showed his ability to deceive in both examples as well. In Job's case, Job's own wife (and best friends, like most people today) didn't perceive the reality of who was doing the miracles when she said to Job, "... Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die," (Job 2:9) obviously having no clue about what's going on. Likewise, the magicians’ imitating God's plagues, is simply an attempt to negate the awesomeness of God's power and thereby leaving many that God was trying to reach, to react as Pharaoh did because of them. Thus we see that before each of Moses’ miracles, the Lord would show His heart by saying, "... In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD...” or ".... Let my people go, that they may serve me..." And after the magicians finished, we see that because of their enchantments, Pharaoh's heart hardened against the Lord. (See Exodus for details)
So here we are in the year 2004 and has anything changed? We know Satan and his forces continue their efforts to diminish the glory that is due to God alone. And we know that the Bible says that God never changes. He is still the same God that wishes people to serve Him. But did you know how serious God desires to be your God? The Bible tells us, "Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth." (Deut. 6:14,15) A jealous God? Yes, read on - "..... For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." (Deut. 4:24) And there are more verses that say the same, ".... for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." (Exodus 34:14) So we can see that spiritual battle for souls continues, with the only difference being that today the deceptions are greater and more realistic to us as we live them. Jesus warned that, "... great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. " (Matthew 24:24) And lest we forget, Paul tells us that Satan can even masquerade as an "Angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14).
What's my point? Here are several of the reasons that prompted this article. When my brother passed away recently, I was told, "we have another angel to pray to and watch over us." More recently, we had witnessed a phenomenal month or so, in which we heard about our favorite QB's father, who passed away, as to be providing some sort of "Divine Intervention" along with a "Packer rosary" to help our favorite team. Recently a coworker wrote "Hi" in the snow to our boss that passed away this fall, fully convinced that he sees it. What does the Bible say about all of these ideas? Next month we'll be good "Bereans" and provide some Biblical answers that might shed some light on this subject.