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Watch Out For Miracles

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!
Psalm 66:5

Miracles can be a good thing, but they are not inconsequential. Miracles can get us out of a pickle, but they can also create their own dilemma. Miracles can be just what gets us out of trouble, and exactly what condemns us. Watch out for miracles. To understand this let’s unpack Psalm 66 a little, starting in the middle of the conundrum.  

5 Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man's behalf!

6 He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot— 

   come, let us rejoice in him.

7 He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations— 

   let not the rebellious rise up against him.


The first dilemma with miracles is this: some see them and rejoice: “Shout with joy to God…come and see!” But others see the miracle, for some reason cannot accept it, and they rebel: “let not the rebellious rise up against him.” Jesus had the same challenge with religious people who said, ‘Show us a miracle and we will believe.’ He showed them plenty of miracles and they killed him. There is no automatic path from miracle to belief/rejoicing.

Jesus went so far as to say, in effect, ‘If you see miracles and don’t believe, you have a greater responsibility before God.’ In Luke 10 he said it this way:  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.”

It gets worse when the miracle is preceded by us being in trouble, and making vows to God: ‘If you send a miracle, I will do xx.’ In Psalm 66: 10-12 they were in trouble including testing, refining, and prison. They cried out to God, they made vows (not recommended), and he answered. “I will come…and fulfill my vows…promised…when I was in trouble.” 

To sum up:
Trouble + miracle + rejoicing = good.
Trouble + vow + miracle + rebellion = bad.

Watch out for miracles, because when they come—and they will—we have to respond properly.

Shout with joy…say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power”

Reflections

  • How often do you ask for miracles? Why, why not?

  • When God does miracles, do you lean towards rejoicing or rebellion? (Maybe not a full-on temper tantrum, like Jonah, but perhaps just a cynical discounting of what God did.)  
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