The only time it’s a problem, is when we ask for a sign.
“God, if this is your will, let a bird start chirping.”
Asking for a sign is actually pretty dangerous. There are examples from Scripture that prove this out. Look at Gideon in the Old Testament. He asked God for a sign that he would be victorious in battle. God gave him the sign, but then cut his army down to 300 men. If you ask for a sign, then you’re required to show more faith.
In my last post we were talking about king Ahaz.
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
God said to Ahaz that He would show him a sign. Ahaz just had to tell the Lord what it would be. I could think of some great signs that would convince me to move forward. What was Ahaz’ response?
But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”
Why would he respond like that? It does sound holy – but it was disobedient. When God tells you to do something and you say no, that’s the definition of disobedience – no matter how righteous you sound.
Remember from my last article that Ahaz wasn’t serving God. Part of Isaiah’s prophecy said that within 65 years, Israel would be shattered. In effect, Ahaz is saying NO to the entire prophecy.
What he does is to meet with the king of Assyria. He wants to make a treaty with them. He told them that he would give them Judah, and he would become one of Assyria’s vassals.
To show his submission to Assyria, Ahaz cleans out the gold and silver from the temple, and gives it as a gift to the king. The king of Assyria seems to be happy with this, then turns and conquers Israel, Judah’s rival.
In the prophecy, God said that He would defend Judah. Ahaz was saying, “No, I can handle this on my own. I don’t need or want your sign.”
What we need to realize is that a sign is the proof that God did the work. Someone far from the Lord doesn’t want any proof that God’s doing anything. Ahaz had a very religious way of saying, “I don’t need God.”
Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also?”
By his actions, Ahaz wearied God to the point of disgust. You know you’re in trouble when God is disgusted with you. That’s where the sign of the virgin birth comes in.
In my next post we’ll see how it fits in to God’s plan.
Question: What religious reasons do we use to excuse our disobedience these days?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015