The Wonders of God’s Miracles

mosespartsSo when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.- Joshua 3:14-17

Divine intervention, impeccable timing, coincidence, or ill-informed human observations…what are MIRACLES?

The Hebrew word for Miracle is nes and simply means to elevate or raise up. The word and its usage throughout the text of scripture is somewhat comely or common place in its application. This is why, I believe some scholars who know the original language have great difficulty accepting miracles.

I have discovered that the Jewish or Hebrew understanding of miracles is somewhat different from the Christian understanding of miracles.

  1. The Jewish understanding is that all of creation is a MIRACLE and that what we call natural is actually miraculous but we have grown accustomed to it experiencing God around us. Hence when something happens that elevates our experience, the event, and our response to them to another level, we are really seeing miracles within the larger miracle of creation. The example given to support this ancient idea is Moses and the children of Israel wondering in the wilderness. Think of the children born during that 40 year period. The miracle of being fed by manna from Heaven would have appeared as no miracle at all since it is all they had ever known.
  2. Christian understanding is that God steps into creation or alters events without the confines of time and space in order to bring about His will in specific ways and even to the point of fulfilling prophecy. The examples given are the ten plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, God feeding the Israelites with manna from Heaven, God providing water from a boulder, events of healing, Enoch walking with God and being no more, Elijah taken up in a whirl wind, the Virgin birth of Jesus, the miracles He performed, death-burial-and resurrection, His second coming and many more.

Some may read these two views as mutually exclusive. However, the strength of argument “A” is such that it maintains the capacity to hold argument “B” as true as well. In other words, perhaps the most accurate view of MIRACLES is actually both. We are living within a miraculous act of God that appears to us as common place and miraculously God in spite of our sin still chooses to step into His creation and involve Himself with the affairs of man. I am convinced that any time God gets involved beyond the initial course He set, it is an elevating experience for all who are blessed to observe the happenings of this magnitude.

MiraclesHere is a great trivia question for you, “How many times in the Bible did a man of God experience waters being parted?” Answer: Four

You have heard of God parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and you may even remember Elijah parting the Jordan before he was taken up (2 Kings 2). But are you aware that Joshua parted the Jordan first (Joshua 3)? This is how the children of Israel were able to walk into the Promised Land. And the final time was after Elijah parted the Jordan and gave Elisha a double blessing, Elisha then parted the Jordan and crossed back over into Israel (2 Kings 2). Now go back to argument “A” and think about those who were with Joshua and had been born during the 40 years of wondering in the wilderness. They too crossed over the Jordan with Joshua. I am pretty sure they now understood and were elevated in the thoughts and admiration for God that is both miraculous and the miracle maker.

There is nothing wrong with believing in the simplicity of the miraculous. In fact, if you are elevated to higher levels of relationship with Him because of your admiration for what He has done in your life and the lives of others, how is that wrong or weak theology?

chains2_soft_edgeMoreover, let us not forget the comparable definition is also to raise up. The closer we are to God, the more likely we will be raised up in the future to be with Him in Eternity. Like Jesus, we too will be raised. The question is raised to what?

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going. – John 14:1-4

Do you believe in MIRACLES?

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.