What does it mean that God is a God of wonders?Question: "What does it mean that God is a God of wonders?"
Answer: The one true God is a God of wonders. The Bible is replete with accounts of the great acts God has performed for His people. Over and over the book of Psalms recounts the wonderful deeds the Lord has accomplished. Among His most wondrous achievements is the act of redemption. When we say that God is a God wonders, we mean that He is a God who carries out miraculous works. The Lord’s wonders declare His absolute control over events, people, and powers and reveal His presence among His people.
Both the Old and New Testament showcase God’s wondrous acts. In the Old Testament, two Hebrew words are translated “wonder” in English: mopheth and pala. Mopheth means “a splendid or remarkable work” or “miracle.” The term is often associated with the “signs and wonders” God performed through Moses during the exodus from Egypt: “So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders” (Deuteronomy 26:8).
Pala means “wondrous works” or “marvelous deeds” and frequently appears in the psalms: “We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds” (Psalm 75:1, ESV). These marvelous works by the God of wonders are unique displays of divine power that go far beyond human ability and power. The New Testament also gives reasons why God is called the God of wonders, using the Greek words thaumasios, megaleios, and teras. In Matthew 21: 15, the miracles of Jesus are called “wonderful things” (thaumasios). In Acts 5:12, Luke speaks of many “signs and wonders” (megaleios) performed by the apostles. And in 2 Corinthians 12:12, the marks of a true apostle include “signs, wonders [teras] and miracles.”
God’s wonders reveal His omnipotence. The plagues—each one directed at one of Egypt’s false gods—revealed Yahweh’s absolute power over all other gods: “When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD” (Exodus 7:5, NLT). Not only did the Egyptians encounter God’s supreme power, but the Israelites also received assurance that their God was fully capable of defending them against the Egyptians.
Through divine actions, the God of wonders reveals His character, His purposes, and His power on earth. In response, people who witness His miracles are filled with awe and wonder: “Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told” (Habakkuk 1:5, ESV).
The pagan King Nebuchadnezzar witnessed the miraculous power of the Lord Most High. The wondrous deeds he experienced included a dream that was revealed and interpreted, three Hebrews being delivered from a fiery furnace, and the loss and restoration of Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity and kingdom. In response, Nebuchadnezzar enthusiastically praised the God of wonders: “It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:2–3).
God’s wonders reveal His love and protection. The Lord led His people through the wilderness with a miraculous pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21–22). He fed them with manna (Exodus 16). He provided water from a rock (Exodus 17). Through it all, the God of wonders showed the people of Israel His limitless care and protection.
God’s wonders carry out acts of judgment. When Aaron’s sons offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, God consumed them with fire (Leviticus 10:1–3). When Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against Moses, they were swallowed up by the earth, and their supporters were destroyed by the Lord’s fire (Numbers 16:1–35).
God’s wonders reveal His kingdom. In the New Testament, the God of wonders authenticated His presence at a critical point in the history of salvation. God Himself entered human history in the Person of the Son, made incarnate. Jesus Christ is the greatest wonder of all. Through His ministry, which was accompanied by wondrous miracles, He confirmed the presence of God and the nearness of His kingdom.
God’s wonders are supernatural acts beyond human understanding. Through extraordinary signs, the God of wonders demonstrates His limitless power, His inescapable presence, His divine protection, and His sovereign purposes. In each instance, God’s wondrous works are designed to draw people to Himself. Through His most stunning of all miracles, the God of wonders revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, overcame the power of sin and death, and redeemed His people for all eternity.
Recommended Resource: The Miracles of our Lord by Charles Ryrie
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