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A Sign from God

I enjoy most of Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.  I read one recently that got me thinking more than most.  Here is the exchange between Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin: “This whole Santa Clause thing
just doesn’t make any sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? If the
guy exists, why doesn’t he ever show himself and prove it? And if he doesn’t exist,
what’s the meaning of all this?”

Hobbes: “I dunno… isn’t this a religious holiday?”

Calvin: “Yeah, but actually, I’ve got the same questions about God.”

With reguard to God, Calvin’s question first brings to mind Matthew 16:4 which says “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign: and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.”  Of course before this Jesus says the following:

 1The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

 2He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.

 3And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

The religious leaders were able to tell the signs of the weather better than the signs of Christs coming and ministry, which is to say that they weren’t without signs, they just didn’t recognize them.  This can be corroborated by the thorough listings we have of all the signs they should have seen. 

We may also think of the rich man and Lazerus from Luke 16.  Abraham told the rich man “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. “

Going at this question from a different angle, what if God did give a sign.  What if the sky suddenly turned red over the entire earth and a voice from heaven spoke so that every person in every country could understand in his own language?  What if the voice began with Genesis 1 and spoke the entirety of the Bible and then spoke individually to each person and told him what his most recent sins were.  Then what if he struck down everyone on death row, told each country what there laws should be and re-iterated the consequences for not trusting in Christ.  What if he then changed the earths magnetic poles, changed all the constellations to form various religious symbols and added three more planets to our solar system.  This would be quite a sign, but what would be the effect?  Surely everyone would outwardly trust God, but the motivation would be fear of an omniscience powerful just God who can tolerate no wickedness.  While God is omniscient, powerful, just, and can tolerate no wickedness, by not displaying it to cause us to fear he gives us the opportunity to come to him out of love and out of sorrow for our own sin rather than sorrow for our judgment.

Of course there is also the matter of his mercy keeping us from being consumed, but I’ll leave the topic here.

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