What does it mean that God is a God of miracles?Question: "What does it mean that God is a God of miracles?"
Answer: God is a God of miracles: “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples” (Psalm 77:14). Who can study the universe and doubt His power in creation? Who can study the history of Israel and fail to see His providential arrangement of events? In contrast to the handiwork of the God of miracles, the work of man is puny and trifling. God does marvelous things, and He does them all with His own power, with no help from others.
The Bible uses three main words to refer to a miracle: sign, wonder, and power. These three words help us better understand what the phrase God of miracles means. Basically, a miracle is an act of God beyond human understanding that displays God’s power, inspires wonder in humans, and acts as a sign that God is at work in the world.
From a human perspective, a miracle of God is an extraordinary or unnatural event (a wonder) that reveals or confirms a specific message (a sign) through a mighty work (power). From the God of miracle’s vantage point, a miracle is nothing extraordinary or unnatural. It is simply a divine display of His might (power) that attracts the attention of humans (a wonder) to His Word or His purposes (a sign).
The God of miracles uses supernatural power to reveal Himself to people on earth. The Greek word translated “miracle” is dunamis (the root of our word dynamite) and means “power.” God’s miracles often defy or overpower the laws of nature, but not always. God can also work within nature to perform a miracle. When God parted the Red Sea, He used a powerful wind: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided” (Exodus 14:21). God does not use miracles merely as a means of authenticating Himself to people, but to reveal Himself to people who have eyes of faith to see.
The God of miracles works extraordinary wonders to capture people’s attention. The unusual, unnatural dimension of God’s miracles commands our attention. When the Lord caused a bush to burn but not be consumed, Moses took notice: “The angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.’ When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am’” (Exodus 3:2–4). The wonder of it all piqued Moses’ interest and moved him to the place where he was ready to receive God’s message.
The God of miracles uses signs to convey a message or reveal truth. People who seek signs often want to be entertained like Herod in Luke 23:8. But God never uses miracles to amuse us; they always serve a purpose. Their overall objective is to glorify God. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He confirmed this purpose: “Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me’” (John 11:40–42). Then Jesus called Lazarus back from the dead to life. Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw this astounding miracle. As a result, they put their faith in Christ and believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus showed the disciples, and the world, that He has power over death (verses 43–45).
The power reveals the source of the miracle: God. The wonder reveals the nature of the miracle: wonderful, awe-inspiring, worthy of attention. The sign reveals the purpose of the miracle: to confirm a message or convey a truth.
The Bible portrays God as a God of miracles, a God who has revealed His power to us and is worthy of praise: “Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds” (Psalm 72:18). His miracles declare His absolute control over nature, events, people, and powers. His miracles reveal who God is and awaken humans to His presence and the presence of His Kingdom. God works through miracles to reveal His glory, confirm His message, and convey His purposes and truths to those who see Him with eyes of faith. His greatest miracle is that He gave His one and only Son to become a man who, through His sacrificial death on the cross, overcame the power of death through resurrection. Jesus paid the ultimate price, the penalty for our sin, and accomplished the miracle of salvation.
Recommended Resource: The Miracles of our Lord by Charles Ryrie
More insights from your Bible study - Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!
Is it really possible for Christians to do greater works than Jesus?
Are the miracles in the Bible to be taken literally?
Why do so many people seek after signs and wonders?
Does God still speak to us today?
Was Jonah truly swallowed by a whale?
Questions about God
What does it mean that God is a God of miracles?