Seeking a Sign

A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

Matthew 16:4

Do we need signs in order to understand God’s direction?

We have previously dealt with this issue of looking for signs of God’s direction (September ?? ). So, this should be a fairly easy question to answer. If the former evidence in the gospels was not enough to prove to us that we shouldn’t asking for signs, then Jesus’ words here in Matthew’s gospel should make it abundantly clear. Jesus says that their desire for a sign shows that they were a wicked and adulterous generation.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be counted among those in that group!

It is true that sometimes the Lord does clearly open or close doors for us as we serve Him. The Apostle Paul was somehow shown by God that he was not to go preach in Asia (Acts 16:6). We do not know how God did this but He made it clear to Paul. It is important to note though that Paul did not ask for this. He was going about serving God in the capacity given to him and God intervened. 

Old Testament saints did not have as much revelation of the will of God in written form as we do, so they may have had more liberty to ask than we do under certain circumstances. An example of this would be Gideon and the wool in Judges, Chapter 6. However, we need to see God’s patience with Gideon in this because God had already called him a mighty man of valor! Those words alone should have motivated Gideon.

In the New Testament, we have a full understanding of what God wants us to know about Him, what He has done for us, and what we are to do for Him. This means that we need to be about the business of loving others as Jesus showed and instructed. We do not need a sign to tell us we ought to go to church. We do not need a sign to tell us we ought to read the Bible and pray. We do not need a sign telling us to do what God has already told us to do.

The Pharisees and Sadducees were looking for a reason to be able to reject Jesus. When we ignore God’s clear commandment sin His word and do not actively seek to glorify Him, we are doing the same thing. If we neglect His word about Jesus then we are essentially rejecting Jesus or at least neglecting Him in unthankfulness and disobedience.

We may not always understand what is happening around us. That is why we were given faith in the new birth. Faith allows us to trust God even though we don’t understand. The words of David in the Psalms instruct us very well in how we are to live our day-to-day lives.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Psalms 37:3

The word of God (the Bible) tells us what is good. Those are the things we need to get busy doing. Anything else that we do not understand, we need to trust the Lord that He will show us if we need to understand. Otherwise, just keep loving!

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