God invokes nature – is it still a miracle?

God is bigger than His miracles. If that were not so, he would be merely a “God of the gaps”. If God were responsible merely for the events science cannot explain then what would become of Him as science explains more and more?

…the idea of an immanent God, which is the God of evolution, is infinitely grander than the occasional wonder-worker, who is the God of an old theology.
(Henry Drummond, theologian, Boston, 1893)

There was a time when Creation was understood differently and therefore attributed to God. Just because we now better understand the Origin of Man does not, for me, make it any less of a miracle. And the scientific explanation for the rainbow does nothing to lessen my wonder at this gift from God.

Now scientists from the US National Center for Atmospheric Research have conducted a study into the Exodus account of the parting of the Red Sea (probably the Reed Sea). They’ve run weather simulations over an area of the Nile Delta as it might have been several thousand years ago:

The computer simulations show that a strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have pushed water back at a bend where an ancient river is believed to have merged with a coastal lagoon along the Mediterranean Sea. With the water pushed back into both waterways, a land bridge would have opened at the bend, enabling people to walk across exposed mud flats to safety. As soon as the wind died down, the waters would have rushed back in.
(Carl Drews and Weiqing Han, 21 September)

According to the model, a storm force wind (55 knots) blowing from the east for 12 hours “would have pushed back waters estimated to be six feet deep. This would have exposed mud flats for four hours, creating a dry passage about 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide”. Find the report in full here.

So, possibly, another miracle is explained. I reject the argument that suggests God had no part to play. I choose to accept He is the hand behind nature. For me this remains a miracle. As Henry Drummond pondered, our Creator is indeed an “immanent God”. I had to look word this up… it means He dwells within the universe and time; not outside it. He does not interfere with the laws of nature. He created them. (See comments for more)

What’s more… He has already offered an explanation – broadly consistent with the scientists’ – for what happened:

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, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea…
…The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
(Exodus 14v21-23&28)

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4 thoughts on “God invokes nature – is it still a miracle?

  1. If God dwells within the universe & time…then something else would have had to create Him at the moment the universe & time sprange into being.

    This is of course an illogical possibility, since God by definition is the creator, ex nihilo, of the universe/all matter, time and all the laws of nature. He would have to, as a necessity, pre-exist the creation of the universe and therefore dwell outside of it.

    Or did I misunderstand, “…He dwells within the universe and time; not outside it. He does not interfere with the laws of nature. He created them.”

    • Thanks Joe, you have a point, but I think the error lies in my expression rather than in the underlying truth. God is not divorced from the universe and as its Creator continues to coexist with the universe. He is IN the universe only in the sense that he is omnipresent, but as Creator of the laws of nature we should expect Him – generally – to apply them in the conduct of His miracles.

      • Yeah, that’s quite right; He is timeless as well as omnipresent – another of His attributes that we cannot begin to grasp 🙂

        Enjoying your blog…keep it coming!

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