We frequently use science to say what can and cannot be done in the physical world. For example, once scientists had basic information on nuclear fission they predicted that it would be possible to build nuclear reactors and nuclear explosives that would produce huge amounts of energy through fission. The science and engineering work to accomplish this was conducted in the Manhattan Project during World War II and the predictions were proved true. Primitive people unaware of the power of science might consider these achievements to be miracles.

Sometimes people try to explain the miracles of the Bible as though we know all that God knows. But, human science will always fall far short his knowledge and power. He can take actions we can no more explain than a person isolated from civilization could explain a cell phone.

An example of an attempt to use science in explaining a miracle is saying that the shadow on Hezekiah’s sundial[1] retreated because the Lord caused the rotation of the earth to reverse for a short time and then return to normal. This doesn’t really explain in scientific terms all that happened because we have no idea how the rotation could be stopped.

I suppose the Lord could reverse the earth’s rotation, but there are many other ways the shadow could have reversed. One is that He could bend the sun light in the area of the palace and cause far less disturbance to the rest of the earth. But, again we have no idea how that could be done. God knows all the laws both of the physical universe and of the spiritual side of the universe that is presently hidden from us. His actions follow laws but ones we have not yet learned. This should not seem surprising because science itself has a history of discoveries of new laws. An example of a relatively recent discovery that science is still working to understand is quantum mechanics.

I believe God exists and does intervene in our human affairs to advance His plans. These miracles usually depend on the faith of those who benefit from the miracles. Belief in the reality of miracles helps us keep a proper perspective on the ability of science to explain everything, and avoid the false belief that what science cannot observe and explain does not exist or did not happen.

 


[1] Isaiah 38:1-8

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