A couple of friends at church have asked me to help them answer their kids' most profound theological questions. Canaan asked a great one last week about the 10 plagues in Egypt. Here's her question and my answer:
"Why do we not have those big miracles around here anymore?"
When God was delivering his people from Egypt he had to reveal himself powerfully so that they would know who he was, and that his power was greater than the Egyptian ‘gods’. It was an important time where God was setting Israel apart as his people, and the great signs he performed were something that they would always be able to look back to so that they would never forget that he had chosen them in a special way. (You could read the first several chapters of Deuteronomy together as an example of how important the exodus was in setting Israel apart as God’s people.) Some of the prophets performed mighty signs later (like Elijah and Elisha) to remind Israel that Yahweh was still their God. And when Jesus came he did signs to show us that he was Yahweh himself. He was in a way leading God’s people out of slavery a second time. This time, instead of bondage to Pharaoh, it was bondage to sin. Now we look back at his miracles as the signs that show us who he is and how he chose us to be his special people.
So, while there are sometimes miracles today, they don’t tend to be as huge as those told in Exodus and in the Gospels because God has already revealed himself as the deliverer and savior of the whole world. We have his Word to remind us of that, and he promises that there will once again be great signs when he returns to set up his kingdom on earth. But since he’s not revealing himself in a new way, signs are not necessary.
If your child is asking you questions and you're not sure how to answer, feel free to email me and I'll do my best!
Monday, March 22, 2010
kids ask the best questions!
Dr. Carmen Imes is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta, and serves the broader church through teaching, speaking, and writing. She earned a PhD in Biblical Theology (Old Testament) from Wheaton College under Dr. Daniel Block, an MA in Biblical Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a BA in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. She and her husband, Danny, served as missionaries with SIM 15 years. They have three children: Ana, Emma, and Easton.