An article on the BBC brings to mind a situation from a few years ago. I used to lead a house group attached to my local Anglican church. I remember one evening as we were studying the Bible that one gentleman couldn’t wait to share some news. He had read in the papers that the miracles or calamities performed by God through Moses and Aaron, the Ten Plagues of Egypt were true! There were reports of scientific evidence of how they could have happened. As a reminder the events were:
- Plague of blood
- Plague of frogs
- Plague of lice
- Plague of flies
- Plague of livestock death
- Plague of boils
- Plague of hail
- Plague of locusts
- Plague of darkness
- Death of the first-born
You can read about them in Exodus Chapters 7 to 12.
His understanding of ‘true’ was to reduce the cause and process to purely natural mechanisms.
Yet despite my friend’s excitement the ‘scientific’ reports were pure conjecture. But there was a more serious point to be addressed. In accepting the ‘scientific’ conjecture he was dismissing the supernatural aspects of God. The fact that the world wishes to place ‘scientific’ explanations upon what is commonly considered miraculous or supernatural regardless of evidence is something that we as believers need to be on out guard against. Where scientific proof is available then we can step back and accept that there ‘may’ have been a rational explanation of the process. But our faith is based on the supernatural – outside of the human logic of nature. The resurrection, the atonement for sins, propitiation, healings, all of these involve a supernatural intrusion in our fleshly understanding of nature. Even if the parting of the Red Sea could be explained by natural means this doesn’t mean that a supernatural intrusion wasn’t the beginning of the event. Less of a co-incidence and more of a God-incidence so to speak.
As a reminder here is Exodus 14:21-23.
21And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
29But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:21-30, King James Version)
May the Lord keep us in faith.