The word miracle means different things to different people. To some it can simply be the birth of a child, while to others it would need to be on par with over a million Israelites passing through the Red Sea on dry land to qualify. Yet, I think we could agree that God is in both events, the natural and simple and the large and earthshaking. However, we seem to rarely ever see these blockbuster types of miracles anymore. Why not? What does it take for God to perform major miracles?
Let’s look at the account of the Israelites departing Egypt in Exodus 14. After the firstborn in the land had been smitten things went pretty well for the children of God, that is, until Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he gathered up 600 chariots and took off after them. “And they were afraid, and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.” (v 10) The stage is set for a miracle when there is great need. The Israelites were bordered by the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptian army on the other.
The response Moses gave to his people was, “fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” (v 13) Out of that million there was one with absolute solid faith, and that is our next needed ingredient; a powerful, positive belief that God will do what needs to be done. Sometimes this step is harder than the miracle itself, having the faith that it can and will happen. “The Lord will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (v 14)
First the need, then the application of faith, and next, the going forward. (v 15) It’s OK to wait on the Lord but that doesn’t mean dropping everything and relaxing while God does all the work. The rest is in your faith in God, believing that He will do what needs to be done, and in the time He thinks appropriate. We need to trust he will do it and go forward.
And why does God perform miracles? Not to just show off but to show to all that He is God, the most powerful force to be reckoned with, and that we, as weak as we are, have more reason to glorify and worship Him. That’s praised and not dismissed.
I remember a few years ago listening to a Christian man who, with his family, were running through the jungles of Southeast Asia; running from the atrocities of Pol Pot. In one instance they were fleeing at night as fast as they could from armed men and suddenly realized they had crossed a river about as large as our Susquehanna and had not gotten wet. There was also a moment when they were caught and while standing together, the leader of the military group aimed his gun at this man and pulled the trigger. CLICK. He pointed his gun skyward and it fired. Again pointed it at this man. CLICK. CLICK. Again skyward, it fired. In the ensuing excitement they were able to escape. It was a modern day miracle and it met the conditions of need, faith, and not just sitting down and waiting. And God was getting all the glory through his testimony.
Miracles were not only for the time of Moses; they are also for those today who believe in the power of the living God. No one ever goes through their entire life without having a great need arise. It is no sin to ask God for a miracle.