Meditation for 04/10/2019
“You sent miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to the day. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles your performed among them. They became still-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.” (Nehemiah 9:10, 17)
Ezra described the Exodus event as signs and wonders. “Signs” (Hebrew ‘toh) covers a wide range of meanings from physical marks and military standards to season indicators and physical indicators for spiritual realities. Most often “signs” are miraculous divine actions pointing people to God. Such signs may seem quite ordinary occurrences to people not expecting divine signs. Such signs should lead people to know and trust God.
“Wonders” (Hebrew mophet) is used only in a theological meaning in the Old Testament. Most often wonders refer to God’s actions for Israel in Egypt during the Exodus.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Abba let us walk in confidence and faith, that when You tell us You will do something, you will in fact do just that. Help us not to assume “how you will do anything,” but let us be amazed at how you do anything and everything. Amen.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Do not be lukewarm, but fervent and boiling over!”
“A great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick.” (John 6:2)
John emphasized Jesus’ miracles as signs revealing Jesus’ glory, His magnificent divine presence. Such revelation leads disciples to faith. The feeding of the 5,000 is one of the first of seven major signs to John’s Gospel prior to the resurrection. Such signs were not overwhelming proofs adopted by all people who witnessed them. Some people simply sought further miraculous works for their own selfish needs. Some wanted the sign power used to restore political power and domination to Israel. Some saw the signs as blasphemy and sought to kill Jesus for them. Only faith could recognize Jesus’ divine glory in the signs. In His glory we see Him as He is—the only Son from the Father. This glory is not revealed in political power but in the sacrificial death on the cross and in the resurrection. In Jesus we have the best that God can give us. He surpasses all other revelations. Religion which does not center in faith in Christ is false because it ignores God’s Best.
Miracle, Vocabulary: (Matthew 16:1-4)
Miracles test our faith. We cannot test God with them. The rrequest was a test question. The reference to weather signs was an appeal to observe spiritual phenomena as skillfully as natural phenomena. God may reveal Himself in such signs, but we cannot force Him to do so. As a preacher of righteousness, Jonah encouraged Nineveh’s repentance. Could the religious leaders expect more? Would even resurrection afe three days burial convince them. We must follow God in faith beloved, not on proof. No proof can eve lead to faith. Is there a greater miracle than God’s grace provoking us to repent?
Second Thought of the Day:
“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom.” (1st Corinthians 1:22)
Jews always soughtg for signs during the ministry of Jesus—signs that God was at work, signs to prove relationship with God. They refused, however, to let Christ’s miraculous signs point them to God.
In contrast, Paul, though having performed signs himself, insisted that preaching Christ was more important. Miracles are without purpose if they do not lead to faith commitment to Christ Jesus.