(Created before June 25, 2013)
I don't know about you, but this question pops into my mind from time to time. After all, if God was more in your face about his presence, wouldn't that lead to more people believing in him?
Perhaps this is a stupid question to be asking. After all, what more evidence could we need for God's existence? All of creation declares his glory. We have his word, and we have the power of The Holy Spirit working constantly. Miracles happen all the time. That's why I added the word "bigger" to the title, why doesn't God do larger miracles that would yank our attention towards him?
Today I went to the theatre and watched the best Superman movie to date: Man of Steel 3D. It was an amazing movie, full of epic special effects and epic fight scenes and generally a lot of attention captivating material. As the credits rolled, my mind had already stopped thinking about the movie. All around me there were people taking out their touch screen cell phones. As they utilized this fascination piece of technology that they probably knew nothing about how it worked, they looked incredibly... unfascinated. They just sat through a film made to excite the senses, and people looked bored.
Perhaps I'm leaping over too many tall buildings with this statement, but it appeared to me that people generally thought that they deserved to be amazed and amused, and so when a movie delivered (or at least, I believe it did), people merely thought that they were just getting what was owed to them.
People have this attitude regarding God as well. We figure that God needs to prove Himself to us. As if we were the important ones.
However, God isn't accountable to us. In the end, it doesn't really matter what we think of God. We, with our miniscule knowledge, have no right to question God, who invented knowledge.
That being said, I don't want to sound as if I know the mind of God. However, I do believe we are given enough evidence in God's Word and history to give our minds sufficient explanation in regards to this subject so that it won't be a plaguing question.
I would be among the first to plea to God to show himself in more miraculous ways. I would love for him to make visual signs that could only be explained by his presence, or audibly speak to people on a more regular basis. I yearn for this because I want more people to be saved, to come to know him as I do. I don't so many people to go to hell.
Why were we put here on earth? We were made as image bearers of God to glorify our unfathomable Creator, and that gives us our purpose. But wouldn't that mean that the more people who became Christians the better, because then more people would be glorifying God the way they were made to?
It is not for us to question God's ways. However here's an interesting passage that seems to give us a reason behind God's actions:
Ephesians 3:10-11 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This verse, at least to me, shows that the end goal of God isn't necessarily to save as much people as possible. The end goal is that the one who is worth glorifying is being glorified. As humans, we are as actors on the a grand stage, and "heavenly authorities" are spectators. The "play" is carried out in a way that will most glorify God. Neither the actors in the spectators in this play know what will most glorify God, only he does.
Let's say, hypothetically, God chose to save everybody, instead of just some people. That would be an outstanding act of love for God: saving all of us people, who aren't worth saving. But the reason he doesn't save everyone is akin to the reason why he allows evil to exist. When we become a Christian, there is born in us a love for God that didn't exist before. So if everyone was a Christian, things wouldn't be perfect, but everyone would be loving God. However, love is even more extravagant if it's shown towards people who don't return it.
One example of God's greatness that I can see is his ability to use the weak and the disobedient to do his bidding. We are born with the curse of Adam, born evil at heart. When we become Christians, we are working against our own flesh's desires. God's choice to work through the church declares his glory, for he is able to take a group of sinners, a group of people who are battling their old sinful nature, and use them to do his will. Anyone can work with perfect material. Yet it takes a skilled craftsman to proficiently use material that is inherently resistant to being worked with.
But again, it is not for us to know why or how we glorify God, only that God is worth glorifying.
Yet we humans are dumb in what we consider worth worshipping. I think the most prevalent illustration of this point that I can see in human history is the case of the Israelites in their Exodus tale. This group of people first-hand saw the "bigger" miracles I alluded to in the title to this article. They saw (to name a few things):
-all of Egypt's water become blood-all of Egypt's livestock die, with all of their own livestock spared.-a complete darkness cover the land of Egypt for three straight days-all the first-borns of Egypt die-God's physical directing them using a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire-the parting of the Red Sea-a pool of bitter water becoming potable by throwing in it a piece of wood-a daily rain of bread "from heaven"-water originating from rock
At one point they actually told Moses that they would rather listen to him than to God, they didn't want God to speak directly to them for fear that they would die. This was how much of a presence God had in the minds of the Israelites.
They heard the Ten Commandments, and they agreed to obey all of them. And then came their first adversity: Moses was taking a while to come back down from the mountain. What was the first thing they did? It's really quite disgusting. Here was a group of people in front of who witnessed first-hand God performing big miracles, and they knew what God wanted, and merely the disappearance of Moses was enough to get them to want new gods, and so they made a golden cow to worship. They broke the first of the Ten Commandments the first chance they got.
This just proves that God showing himself in miraculous ways does not necessarily equate to more people glorifying him.
There are those that believe this tale of the Israelites and their miraculous exodus out of Egypt was just a fictional bible story. But what I see today proves my point just the same.
Presented with the glorious miracle of creation, people believe we evolved from single-cell organisms. Presented with the evidence of changed lives because of Jesus, people just attribute that to the importance of having a positively focused mind and the power of being spiritual in general. Even small miracles are labelled as coincidence, or falsehood, regardless of the amount of people who had witnessed it.
If God were to show up in a pillar today as he did for the Israelites, scientists would attribute it to some sort of natural phenomena. Now let's say that a godly man went on live public television healing many people in the name of Jesus. People would just say that humans are not fully evolved, and there lies in us a potential we can't understand right now, which allows such oddities such as healings. And let's say God went the full distance and audibly spoke to the planet. There would, believe it or not, still be people denying God. They would say that it was actually an alien—an advanced life form—talking to us.
God audibly talking with people doesn't necessarily guarantee their compliance. He spoke to the prophet Jonah, and Jonah went and tried to go in the exact opposite direction that God was telling him to go.
Why must humans be so slow in the head - we find the amazing unfascinating and focus our attention on silly things.
Before I end this discussion of why doesn't God do bigger miracles, I would like to point out something. Just because something is supernatural, it doesn't mean that it's of God. Satan has the power to do miracles too. The priests serving under the Pharaoh threw their rods down, and they turned into snakes as well (I have a hard time mentioning this story without also mentioning that Moses' staff/snake ate the other snakes - God's power is larger than Satan's). Today there are legitimate witches, fortune tellers, and psychics all using satanic power to do supernatural things.
God's glory isn't defined by his ability to amaze us.
John 20:29: Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”