Miracles In The Bible
When God was preparing to give His Law to the Israelites, it was to the miraculous nature of their exodus that He turned for confirmation of His authority. After all, what good is a law if the one giving it cannot prove he has the power to enforce it? In both Exodus 19:3-8 and Exodus 20:2ff, God goes back to the escape from Egypt in establishing the basis for His authority as Lawgiver. Perhaps this is because it was a very recent event – a very tangible display of His power to this generation – and would still be fresh on their minds. But miracles continued to be one method of establishing His authority throughout the Bible narrative. God showed His approval of prophets and judges through miraculous signs and wonders also – Gideon (Judges 6), Samson (Judges 15-16), Samuel (1 Samuel 1:27, 12:18), Elijah and the drought (1 Kings 17-18), or Daniel and his ability to interpret dreams, to name a few examples. He confirmed His choice of Saul as king by imbuing him with the gift of prophecy (1 Samuel 10:9ff). When God wanted to confirm that it was His power working in Hezekiah’s life, He performed a miracle (Isaiah 38:7-8). In all these examples, and many more, God was confirming or validating His claim to authority over His people, and, by extension, all the world. Any God who has the power to manipulate or circumvent the inviolable natural laws of this universe also has the right to dictate His moral expectations.
This truth is even more evident in the ministry of Jesus, during which time He provided miraculous evidence of His authority practically every day and everywhere He went (Mark 1:32-34, 3:10, 6:2, Luke 4:40). His closest disciples also manifested the power of God (Matthew 10:1, Mark 6:13). In fact, the frequency of miraculous activity during the ministry of Jesus exceeded that of any other period in Bible history (except, perhaps, for the Israelites wandering in the wilderness).
Miracles Are Miracles For A Reason
With that being said, even though the Bible reads like a fantasy novel to most skeptics, with a miracle seemingly on every page, we need to remember that there were relatively few miracles. The Bible is a condensed history, and, for the most part, only notes events that somehow contribute to the story of God’s plan of redemption. There might seem to be a great many miracles in the Bible, but consider that it is a collection of books written over many centuries, covering many thousands of years. In the first few chapters of Genesis, for example, we are reading about, perhaps, several thousand years of history – in which only a handful of miracles are recorded. Very few miracles are mentioned during the time of the kings, many centuries worth. And there was literally no miraculous communication between God and man during the time between the Old Testament and New Testament. Even reading the New Testament, which covers around a hundred years, miraculous activity is not the norm. The reason why miracles are so astounding and provocative is because they are out of the ordinary! Jesus and His disciples were clearly different from other religious figures of their day because of their miracles.
This point is important, because it means the Bible is not asking us to believe in anything and everything. We are not asked to be gullible and buy into every faith healer who shows up in town with a big tent and an organ player. We are supposed to be shocked by miracles in the Bible. They are meant to be unique, mind-boggling, and undeniably beyond mere coincidence.