Why Doesn’t God Show Himself ?

On the third day at daybreak, there were loud claps of thunder, flashes of lightning, a thick cloud covering the mountain, and an ear-piercing trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp shuddered in fear.

“Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God. They stood at attention at the base of the mountain.

“Mount Sinai was all smoke because GOD had come down on it as fire. Smoke poured from it like smoke from a furnace. The whole mountain shuddered in huge spasms. The trumpet blasts grew louder and louder. Moses spoke and God answered in thunder. GOD descended to the peak of Mount Sinai. GOD called Moses up to the peak and Moses climbed up.” (Exodus 19:16-20, The Message).

I told you recently about a question that gnawed at me because it seemed to make such good sense: “If the only way to really know God is through His Son Jesus and it’s a question of eternal life or eternal punishment, why doesn’t God make Himself more evident, reveal Himself in an undeniable way?”

That sounds logical and just, doesn’t it? No one should be judged when he really didn’t have a chance. But is it really reasonable? Somewhere it seems I read of an atheist who commented that the thing that would prove him wrong was simply one verifiable miracle.

But would he believe afterwards? Wouldn’t he just say that the miracle resulted from some natural, scientific process that we don’t understand yet? Truth is, if someone decides he’s not going to believe, all the proofs in the world won’t convince him.

Look at the story which begins this article. The people of Israel had a revelation of the power of God, unprecedented in history—plagues falling upon their enemies, a great sea opening before them, and undrinkable waters healed.

Here they see a physical manifestation of God that no other people had experienced. They trembled.

Yet a few weeks later, with God’s manifestation still on the mountain before them, they unleashed an orgy of idolatry and partying that even shocked the pagan tribes around them.

They saw but it didn’t do a lot of good, did it?

Later, Jesus Christ did a miracle which stunned another group of people. A man who had been dead, walked out of his grave. For some it was a tipping point, “That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him.”

Others saw the very same thing, though, and would you please explain their reaction to me? “But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.” (John 11:45-48, The Message)

They decided to kill Jesus after that particular manifestation of the reality of God.

God reveals Himself constantly. The problem is not that God doesn’t reveal Himself, it’s a matter of opening our eyes to see that revelation. Every honest-hearted person has the potential to do that.

God reveals Himself in nature’s beauty and mystery (Psalms 19:1-3).

God reveals Himself though my brother in Christ (Col. 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

God has revealed Himself to man in a way that’s understood by His creatures but they want to continue in their sins and so suppress this revelation (Rom. 1:18-20, NIV).

God reveals Himself through His everlasting Word.

God reveals Himself through His Son, Jesus (2 Cor. 5:18, 19).

He asks us to open our eyes and believe and this revelation becomes even more dazzling. He reveals Himself first to our hearts and our senses follow suit. But that’s the prerequisite—you’ve got to believe what He’s showed you and He’ll show you even more.

“…now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30, 31). “…We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved…” Acts 15:11.

Perhaps those who loudly decry the absence of revelation of God, should put away their sins and turn towards God, so that they can see. It’s not a five-senses kind of revelation but a much deeper sense that God has placed within each of us, because it’s not His will that anyone perish.
We have to respond though. We have to respond.
Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t that God isn’t revealing Himself clearly enough. The problem may be that we don’t what to see what He’s revealing. Let’s open our spiritual eyes and unstop our spiritual ears.
There’s plenty to see!
The Bible wasn’t meant to be read. The Bible was meant to be meditated. Reading without meditating is like eating without digesting.—Mark Batterson

I’m Rich!

I’m about to become rich—I think …

My email box has been besieged recently by emails announcing that I’m the beneficiary of millions of dollars. And from lots of different places. If memory serves me correctly there’s English lottery tickets that bingoed for me—though I don’t remember buying any lottery tickets and I haven’t been in England for several years, but why complain if they’re going to make me rich?

And listen to this recent email, “Your name appeared among the beneficiaries who will receive a part-payment of US$21.5 million and has been approved already for months. You are requested to get back to me for more direction and instruction on how to receive your fund.”

Isn’t that exciting?

I’ve also received several, at different times, that begin something like this, “Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus…” then they go on to tell me that this wonderful person wants to invest millions of dollars in my ministry.

I hardly know what to say. When I get all my prizes and gifts I’ll have enough money to buy Buckingham Palace from the Queen of England and live there with my wife and two chihuahuas. Actually I don’t have any chihuahuas but with all the money I’m going to have, I can buy them.

The only question I have is: how stupid do these people think that I am? From what I’ve been told, if you follow up on the email there is generally a little fee of some thousands of dollars to actually make all the transfers, etc. and as soon as you pay that you can have your millions.

Yeah, and the moon is made of green cheese. Actually, the person evaporates into the landscape with your money in his pocket (and a big smile on his face).

I suppose that if you send out several million of these things you’ll find someone naïve enough to play the game. Who wouldn’t like to be rich? I mean, just look at all the simple souls who regularly make contributions to their local lottery. They’re going to win that big jackpot! After all, they’ve got one chance in 650 million!

Solving our problems

Let’s get rich quickly and that will solve a good percentage of our problems. We think.

We may have a Christian version of this game. We serve a miracle-working God. “You honestly believe that David?” I honestly believe that, but miracles aren’t his normal way of meeting needs. He acts supernaturally for two reasons—because He loves us and wants to help us, and so that men will see His glory and seek Him.

But if miracles were everyday occurrences, they wouldn’t be miracles; they would be normal. Miracles are to “tide us over” until God’s normal way of providing kicks in.

God nourished Israel with manna for 40 years in the desert but it was never meant to last. When they entered the place God promised them:

“The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan. (Josh. 5:11, 12, NIV)

Elijah did a miracle for the widow and her son. She had flour and oil that renewed itself constantly, all through the famine, but that only lasted until the rains came.
The nice thing about miraculous provision is that it helps us to glimpse God in a deeper way. I think it also helps us appreciate his daily provision that comes regularly in ways which seem so natural, but are nontheless from Him.

It was be nice if someone dropped 20 million dollars on us, but you know what? God’s going to provide for us, whether it’s a miracle or in a way that seems natural, He loves His children so look to Him in confidence and He will meet your need.