How can we explain miracles scientifically?


Miracles and Science

A miracle is defined as an event that defies natural laws and can be accounted for only by a supernatural explanation and not scientifically. Natural laws do not apply to God since He is not a natural Being. For instance, the First Law of Thermodynamics states that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed in nature. Nothing in nature can break this law. But since God is the Creator of nature, such a law does not apply to Him. Miracles do not violate natural laws because those laws are simply man’s way of describing what happens “normally.” Natural laws do not tell us what cannot happen. Nor do they somehow imply that God Himself must do everything “normally.”

As Creator, God rules over everything, including nature’s laws. God has all authority, which means He can work miracles in His creation any way that He chooses. The Lord “doeth whatsoever pleaseth him” (Ecclesiastes 8:3). God, by His miracle power over creation, holds the far-flung orbs of the universe in their appointed courses at the same time holds the particles of the atom in their predetermined orbits. By the power of God all things cohere. All the Laws of nature are subject to Him and are under His control (Psalm 104:1-35; Colossians 1:17).

Old Testament Miracles

The Old Testament of the Bible is replete with miraculous events that showcase the power and presence of God in the lives of His people. These miracles, often performed through chosen individuals such as prophets and leaders, served various purposes including demonstrating divine authority, delivering the oppressed, and establishing the covenant between God and His chosen people. Let’s explore some of the remarkable Old Testament miracles in greater detail.

The Plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7-12): The ten plagues of Egypt are perhaps one of the most dramatic displays of God’s power in the Old Testament. These miraculous events were instrumental in convincing Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Each plague targeted a different aspect of Egyptian life and religion, ultimately culminating in the liberation of God’s people. These plagues include turning the Nile River into blood, swarms of frogs, gnats, flies, the death of livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and the death of the firstborn.
The Parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14): Following their departure from Egypt, the Israelites found themselves trapped between the pursuing Egyptian army and the Red Sea. In this dire situation, God performed one of the most iconic miracles of the Old Testament. He commanded Moses to stretch out his hand over the sea, causing it to part and allowing the Israelites to pass through on dry land. This miraculous event not only facilitated the escape of the Israelites but also resulted in the destruction of the Egyptian army when the waters closed back in on them.
Water from the Rock (Exodus 17:1-7): During the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness, they faced a severe shortage of water. In response to their complaints, God instructed Moses to strike a rock with his staff, miraculously causing water to gush forth, providing for the needs of the people and their livestock. This miracle demonstrated God’s provision and care for His people even in the most challenging circumstances.
The Sun Stands Still (Joshua 10:1-15): During a battle against the Amorite kings, Joshua and the Israelites found themselves in need of more time to achieve victory. In response to Joshua’s prayer, God intervened miraculously by causing the sun and moon to stand still, extending the daylight hours. This extraordinary event enabled the Israelites to secure a decisive victory over their enemies, demonstrating God’s power over creation.

The Shadow on the Sundial Went Backward Ten Degrees (2 Kings 20:8-11): This miraculous sign was given to confirm God’s promise to Hezekiah of extending his life by fifteen years. It showcases God’s power over the natural order, demonstrating His ability to perform extraordinary acts for the sake of His faithful servants.

New Testament Miracles

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus performed miracles to confirm His affirmation that the kingdom of God was near. He healed all sickness (Luke 5:15-26), He fed thousands of people (Luke 9:12-17), He cast out demons (Luke 4:33-37), He raised the dead (Luke 7:11-16), and He had authority over nature (Luke 8:22-25). He said, “‘Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father’” (John 10:24-38). His claim of being the Son of God was shown to be reliable by the signs that He did (John 5:19-29).

Also after the resurrection, the apostles’ message was verified by the mighty works they demonstrated as they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. These miracles served as signs and wonders, confirming their authority. Let’s explore some of the notable miracles of the apostles as recorded in the New Testament:

Healing of the Lame Beggar (Acts 3:1-10): In Acts chapter 3, Peter and John encounter a man who had been lame from birth, begging for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. Upon being asked for money, Peter responds, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6, NKJV). Peter then took the man by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. The formerly lame beggar began walking, leaping, and praising God, causing a great commotion among the people.
Healing of Aeneas (Acts 9:32-35): In the town of Lydda, Peter encountered a man named Aeneas who had been bedridden for eight years, paralyzed. Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed” (Acts 9:34, NKJV). Immediately, Aeneas was healed, and he rose from his bed, completely restored. This miraculous healing led many in the region to turn to the Lord.
Dorcas Raised from the Dead (Acts 9:36-42): In the nearby town of Joppa, a disciple named Tabitha, also known as Dorcas, became ill and died. The believers in Joppa sent for Peter, who came and prayed over her body. Then, turning to the body, Peter said, “Tabitha, arise.” Miraculously, Dorcas opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. Peter presented her alive to the grieving widows and other believers, and news of this miracle spread throughout Joppa, leading many to believe in the Lord.
Miraculous Deliverances (Acts 12:1-17): In Acts chapter 12, we find Peter imprisoned by King Herod Agrippa I. However, an angel of the Lord appeared in the prison, and miraculously, Peter’s chains fell off, and the prison doors opened before him. The angel instructed Peter to dress quickly and follow him, leading him past the guards and out of the prison. Peter thought he was seeing a vision until they reached the iron gate leading to the city, which opened of its own accord. This miraculous deliverance from prison demonstrated God’s power and protection over His faithful servants.

False Miracles

A miracle could be from a source that is either good (from God) or evil (from Satan). Satan can certainly perform “miracles” however they are supernatural deceptions to deceive people into believing his lies. Consider the following verses:

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:13-14). 

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image…” (Revelation 19:20).

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 21:23).

These verses demonstrate that Satan is active in producing supernatural acts to lead people astray. This is why we must try the spirits to see their source (1 John 4:1). Only the supernatural works that are done by God will be in harmony with His word. This is the test of the miracle and the one that performed it: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there[a] is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

The devil is the father of lies and can even transform himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Therefore, God’s people must have spiritual discernment (1 Corinthians 2:13-14). The study of God’s Word will help them to divide what is true from what is false (2 Timothy 2:15). They cannot be deceived if they watch unto prayer (Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:33).

The good news is that the devil is a defeated foe and we can have victory over his wiles (James 4:7).  May we stay connected to Christ in order to escape the deceptions of the dark forces and have victory over sin. “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Romans 16:20). 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the acts of God goes beyond the natural laws since He is not a natural Being. The Old Testament is filled with numerous miraculous events that testify to the power, sovereignty, and faithfulness of God. These miracles served as signs of His presence among His people, confirming His promises and establishing His authority.

While miracles are often associated with divine intervention and the power of God, the devil also can perform deceptive miracles to lead people astray. Discerning the source of a miracle requires careful examination in light of biblical teachings, the fruits of the miracle, and testing the spirits. Believers are encouraged to remain vigilant, grounded in Scripture, and reliant on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern between genuine miracles from God and deceptive signs and wonders orchestrated by the devil.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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