Biblical Miricals: Did They Really Happen?

  • Category: Religion
  • Words: 481
  • Grade: 90
Do miracles really happen? A new NBC series called
Mysterious Ways is asking this question. It features
a professor of anthropology who spends every spare
moment investigating purported miracles. One reviewer
calls the drama "an interesting combination of The X-
Files and Touched by an Angel."

Sometimes miracles enhance our faith -- but I've also
found that the accounts of biblical miracles can be a
stumbling block to belief. When I talk about the
historical truth of the Bible, people often ask: What
about Jonah and the whale? What about Noah and the
Flood? What about the parting of the Red Sea? These
stories are held up as so preposterous that no one
could possible take the Bible seriously.

But scientists who study these events tell us that
they are not as impossible as they might seem.
Sometimes they are just special instances of the
application of perfectly normal laws of nature.

Take, for example, the parting of the Red Sea. The
Bible says God used the east wind, blowing all night,
to push the waters back. Now, it's a well-known
scientific fact that a steady wind blowing over a
body of water can change the water level. So, two
oceanographers decided to see if the same thing could
happen on the narrow sliver of the Red Sea reaching
up into the Gulf of Suez. That's where many scholars
believe the Israelites crossed as they were escaping
from Pharaoh's army.

Writing in the Bulletin of the American
Meteorological Society, the scientists concluded that
a moderate wind blowing constantly for about ten
hours could very well have caused the sea to recede a
mile or two. The water level would drop ten feet,
leaving dry land for the Israelites to cross.
According to one of the scientists, "The Gulf of Suez
provides an ideal body of water for such a process
because of its unique geography."

Later, an abrupt change in wind could cause the water
to return rapidly -- in a sudden, devastating wave.
It could easily have trapped Pharaoh's troops, just
as the Bible describes.

The study, of course, doesn't prove that the crossing
of the Red Sea happened exactly this way. It merely
shows that God could have used perfectly normal
forces to perform his miraculous deliverance.

A skeptic may argue that if there's a natural
explanation, then it wasn't a miracle after all. But
if it was only a natural event, isn't it strange that
the sea parted just when Moses held out his staff?
And that it fell back just when Pharaoh's soldiers
were in hot pursuit?

No, God may use a natural process to accomplish his
goals, but it's still a work of his hand, in his
timing, and for his purposes.

Our kids can't help seeing that the secular world is
deeply skeptical about biblical miracles -- or about
anything else to do with Christianity, for that
matter. To help parents think through faith issues
with their teens, I've just published a new book
called Answers to Your Kids' Questions. To order a copy, call us at
BreakPoint or visit our website at: .

It will give your kids the confidence they need to
tell a cynical world, "Yes, miracles -- God's
miracles -- really do happen."
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