Science and Miracles
By David Brandt Berg
The word “miracle” comes from the Latin word miraculum, “object of wonder.” So a miracle is something out of the ordinary that causes astonishment. We are astonished because it doesn’t follow the natural course of events that we are accustomed to, but everything God does is natural to Him. It’s miraculous to us, but it’s natural to God.
And the word “science” comes from the Latin scire, “to know” or “to discern.” You could say that science is the knowledge of God’s miracles, since everything God created is a miracle, far beyond our power or understanding. True science is knowledge that causes us to look at God’s creation and glorify God.
Knowledge that people have gained from observation of God’s miraculous creation is called scientific knowledge. Maritime knowledge is an example of this—knowledge of such things as tides and the flow of the oceans. This is simple science.
Scientists have discovered God’s natural laws of physics, chemistry, engineering, electronics, aerodynamics, and so on, through scientific experimentation, and then tried to put them into some useful form with inventions such as the telephone, the television, airplanes, automobiles, lasers, etc. Then many of those scientists praise themselves and take all the credit to themselves for having made whatever it is they made, when all they actually did was use God’s natural laws and materials and put them together. Well, they deserve some credit for figuring out those things, because it’s often quite a job!
“Invent” is derived from the Latin invenire, “to come upon,” which comes much closer to the truth than the modern meaning of invent: to create something new. People don’t actually create anything; they just discover, or “come upon,” things that God has already created or laws He has put into operation, and figure out how to use them to their advantage.
Some people use the term “scientific miracle” when something is such a scientific wonder that it causes them to look at it in amazement, but that doesn’t mean it is supernatural; it is merely science using God’s natural laws to accomplish a so-called miracle.
Take the airplane, for example. People have simply learned how to use God’s laws of aerodynamics to counteract His more apparent law of gravitation. But to someone who has never seen an airplane, it’s a miracle. The first time my grandmother saw an airplane, back in the early days of aviation, she shook her head and said, “There’s got to be a string attached to it somewhere!”
Television is another scientific marvel. Some very smart people figured out how to capture, broadcast, receive, and reproduce images and sounds via a combined electronic audio and video signal. Most people don’t understand how a TV works; they only know how to use it. So since it’s beyond their understanding, it’s a wonder to them, a so-called miracle.
People usually think of things that are beyond their comprehension as supernatural or miraculous, but they are not supernatural to God. They’re also not supernatural to the scientist who knows how to use God’s natural laws to make something wonderful.
Everything is natural to God. It’s like saying there is nothing impossible with God (Luke 1:37). A lot of things God does are beyond our power and grasp of things and what we consider natural, so when they happen we say they are supernatural. But with God nothing is impossible, so nothing is supernatural to Him!
When someone gets healed of an incurable disease, for example, we call it a miracle because we’re seeing the evidence or manifestation of some of God’s laws that we know nothing about. To God, on the other hand, it’s simple! He knows how to undo whatever damage the disease may have done and thereby creates what to us is a miracle—a supernatural act that is beyond our capabilities. We can only pray for Him to do it, and marvel at His power when He does.
The same is true of the miracles that are recorded in the Bible. When the Red Sea parted for Moses and the Israelites, it says, “The Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind” that parted the waters and dried the naturally muddy seabed so they could walk over on dry ground. “And the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (Exodus 14:13-31; Hebrews 11:29). That was some wind!
That was contrary to what we consider natural laws, but it was nothing for God. He can do such things easily because He can use laws that He doesn’t ordinarily use to supersede or overcome some of His other laws and bring about the desired outcome.
God doesn’t usually call into effect those laws that seem supernatural to us. He seems to reserve those for emergencies and extreme circumstances: to save and protect His people, to heal them, to supply their needs, and to care for them in other ways they may not even be aware of.
Science has to first of all discover God’s natural laws, such as the laws of motion or aerodynamics or electronics or whatever, and then make machinery to harness those natural laws and do seemingly supernatural things. But God doesn’t need any machines; He just does it!
People have to go to a lot of work to transfer a picture from a broadcasting source to a TV, but God can send a picture by His own natural laws—supernatural to us—by just thinking the picture and transferring it to our minds or even our natural vision.
I get a lot of solutions to practical problems that way. I often go to sleep thinking about a problem, wondering how I’m going to solve it, and then get the solution in the form of a dream or picture in the night. Sometimes I even get pictures in broad daylight. When I’m thinking and praying about a problem, I see God’s answer in the form of a picture.
It’s amazing what prayer can do when you get in tune with God. He sees it all and knows it all, and He can easily show you where some lost item is, or how to fix something or do something, or whatever you need. So turn on your receiver and look to the Lord for the answer, and He will give it. And of course He is also ready, willing, and able to work a miracle of healing, supply, protection, or whatever else we may need when we ask Him to in faith and claim the promises from His Word. To us that’s a miracle, but it’s nothing unusual for Him!
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