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Signs, Wonders, and Doubts

Doubt was a big part of the experience of our Biblical ancestors. It’s so important for us to get this. They had so much evidence, but they had to deal with doubt all the time.

Consider the Israelites, our ancestors in faith. They were also our ancestors in doubt. Think about it. God rescued them from slavery, man! In their flight, God rescued them from one of the world’s mightiest armies! Right at the brink of the Red Sea, Moses told them, “Have faith.” He said, “God is going to give us the ability to cross this sea.” Then Moses smote the water with his staff. The waters parted, and the Israelites crossed safely to the other side.

Having seen it with their own eyes, they believed. They said, “This must be God!”

Well, how long did their faith last? Despite all the signs and wonders from God, they began to doubt Him. After forty years in the desert, wandering in circles, seeing the same thing over and over again, they doubted. They said, “Maybe God isn’t who we think He is.” And so they made an idol. They made a golden calf.

They made an image of the god they wanted, because they doubted the God who is.

Stories like this are everywhere in the Bible. People saw God work miracles, signs, and wonders, and they doubted Him anyway.

Consider John the Baptist! This was the man who prepared the way for God! Still, when he wound up in prison, he sent people to Jesus saying, “Hey, ask Him! Ask Him if He’s really the guy.”

John personally witnessed signs and wonders. John stood with Jesus in the Jordan River. John baptized Jesus and saw the dove come down from heaven. John literally saw the Spirit descend upon Jesus. Can you imagine that?

And yet, after all that, John asked, “Are you the guy?”

Faith takes trust. Faith takes so much trust! It’s hard for us, because we have to see something to believe it. We can’t help ourselves. We’re physical beings, so we rely on physical evidence. Suppose you tell me there’s a tree right in front of me. Well, if I can’t see it, I won’t believe it’s there. Would you?

I’ve had people tell me, “Well, you don’t see air, but you trust that you’re breathing.” Okay, true, but that’s not a good example. I can see my chest moving in and out. I can feel the air in my nose and mouth as I inhale and exhale. I may not see air, but I know I’m breathing because I can see it and feel it in my body.

Sometimes I suspect that the people with the least amount of doubt are blind people. They really have to trust. If someone tells a blind person there’s a tree in front them, they need to believe it. They have to trust that they will be safe when they hear the beep that tells them it’s okay to cross the street.

Jesus declared, “Let the blind see.” Why? Because he wants everyone to see the sovereignty of God. But can we? Or are we too dependent on physical evidence that will satisfy us “show me” types?

More on this next time. See you Tuesday.

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