As we continue through Wayne Grudem's book Systematic Theology we find ourselves on the chapter concerning Miracles. Two weeks ago, we examined God's providence. It makes sense that the topic of miracles would follow providence, for they are the same from the vantage point of God. Miracles are only miracles to us because they are “a less common kind of God's activity in which he arouses people's awe and wonder and bears witness to himself.” Miracles are not God acting when previously He was not; for God is a God of providence, meaning he is ordaining everything always, not some things sometime.
Miracles, like a lot of Biblical themes, have been wildly distorted. And this distortion goes in both directions. For some people, everything is a miracle: babies, a rainbow, a parking space, etc. These are not miracles, for these things happen all the time. They are common. When everything is a miracle, nothing is a miracle. This is not to say that God is not providing for them, they are just not miraculous events.
The other end of the distortion is the idolization of miracles. Certain denominations are vulnerable to this problem, and many times evangelical frauds prey on these groups for the purpose of money. Instead of pursuing God these people pursue miracles. Miracles are like a drug that they keep chasing. Jesus ran into this issue during his ministry. “And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.” (John 6:2). Eventually these people didn't stick around. They gave up on Jesus, for they only wanted the awe factor. Jesus says it very bluntly, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.”
The truth is, most of us will never see an authentic miracle (i.e. a less common kind of activity for the purpose of arousing awe). If you think about it, miracles are not that common in the Bible. The Bible covers a history of over 4,000 years. Miracles play a very small role. Sure they may be a few turn of the pages, but in reality those pages may represent hundreds and hundreds of years. In fact, many respectable theologians (Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Johnathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, B.B. Warfield, John Gresham Machen, John MacArthur) believe that the gift of miracles ended with the death of the Apostles. This does not mean that they believe that miracles won't happen, they just don't believe God will use humanity to be the instruments of these miracles as He did with the Apostles.
So what are we to do with these extra ordinary events orchestrated by God and documented in the Scriptures? Embrace them, but do not idolize them. These events from God, such as the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the destruction of Egypt, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Lazarus, the resurrection of Jesus, they all display the glory of God. They display the reality that God is a God with no restrictions. Allow these events to wake you up out of the normal and cause you to stand in awe of the God of the Universe who can do all things according to His Will.
Ultimately, allow these miracles to increase your fear and your faith in God and his Son Jesus Christ. God is a God who can destroy and he is a God who can save. As the verse above states, “God also bore witness by signs and wonders.” If these miracles truly happened don't you think it would be wise to listen to this God?