“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