Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Miracle Record

By P. Davis © 2005

I much like the interventions of God in the Bible; they speak of a God who does love his world. Though the miracles are not as often as we might imagine; Elijah, the chief of all prophets, had only eight miracles during his entire lifetime. We are reminded in the New Testament that there were three thousand deserving widows during the famine of Elijah, yet God took care of only one. In the Old Testament (the book to which we moderns look for miracles) His miracles seem few and far between; in fact we are often told that visions were infrequent. God has seemingly always been reluctant to stop the march of men through history. We may well ask "who is man that Thou art mindful of him", yet in some manner God cares far more for us than we deserve. He speaks to us through those rare miracles: the unusual, the dramatic moment, the turning of a point of history, or the revelation of some new mercy.
I do like the parting of the Red Sea for I can imagine the huge sea with immense walls of water on each side. The Bible tells us that the Israelites walked across on dry land. It was a very huge miracle indeed- far beyond the capability of anything that we might imagine. Pictorially the Israelites were baptized and redeemed as they began their journey of forty years of walking with God.
I think of the miracle of Elijah calling down the fire from heaven. What a light show that must have been! He scoffed and mocked the prophets of Baal all day long and at the evening sacrifice time he had his entire offering washed with four barrels of water three times. Thus the miracle again showed the redemptive cleansing of God for the twelve tribes of Israel. I have always wondered where the water came from. It was the end of a long three and half year drought. As one who always looks for the comedy of the scene, I have imagined that the water belonged to the king who was hoarding it. Elijah called on the mighty power of God so that the people would know that the LORD is God, and fire descended from heaven licking up the sacrifice, the wood, and the very stones themselves. What a mighty act of God!
And there is of course the great miracle where the sun stood still for Joshua as the Lord helped them fight their enemies. I have always wondered about the mechanism of the miracle of the sun standing still. What did God do to the sun to cause that to happen? What a mighty force of awesome power is exhibited in the one who created and is master of the sun! Or if that is not powerful enough for you, Isaiah prayed and the shadow went backwards ten degrees as a sign to the king Hezekiah. Did God indeed march the sun backwards ten degrees? What a marvelous and powerful one we trust in!
But perhaps my personal favorite miracle came when the doctor stood over the bed of my father telling him and me that something had happened beyond the explanations of science. For they had cut open my father's chest to find a burst aneurism and the aneurism was NOT bleeding. The doctor stated that he did not understand why my father had not quickly bled out and could not explain why he was living. To a son who had claimed the life of his father before God in prayer, those words rank as perhaps the sweetest testament that I will ever hear.
But the time of the year is upon us when we celebrate the greatest miracle of all. That God in the flesh would come into this awful world to redeem us is beyond our richest dreams. That he would come as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, signifying his future death, was almost unlooked for. Except for an old man named Simeon and an old widow named Anna, almost no one noticed the babe, the savior of mankind. Simeon declared himself ready for death now that he had seen the salvation of mankind, a light for the Gentiles to see by. The son of God was in the world and yet the world hardly cared.
In this season let us remember the Christ child who came to die for the ungodly. Let us lay aside our ungodliness in the coming year in hopes that someone might see Christ in us. For we may be the Anna and Simeon that live to see his second coming- a coming in which he will not be as an innocent babe, but rather as a roaring lion. And it will prove to be a coming when the time for many choices for people will be past. How much more should we be found working upon that day!


David said...

I am realy enjoying your earnest comments.

David said...

I know of other miracles. Nature is full of them. Right now I am watching teensy insects that I can barely see, running quickly upside-down under a limb outside my window. I definitely can't see their six legs. Yet they know how to run and never stumble, at least not while I'm watching them. How do they know how to travel? Their brain can't be as big as the head of a needle. They make decisions on where they want to go, and what they need to do at their destination and point of origin. Once, I had to do my best to outfox a cockroach and he got away! He outfoxed me! That's amazing. And if God made all life and intelligence on this teeming planet, what kind of a God are we dealing with???!!!!! And we are just a whisper of His power. Miracles are so mysterious to us, yet they are nothing to Him.
Take care, Pat. I really enjoy your posts.