Mark 8:11-12 “The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. And sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, ‘Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.'”
Gideon asked for a sign, and got one. Why shouldn’t we?
Many of us recall the story in Judges 6:36-40 when Gideon said to the Lord “If you will deliver Israel through me, as you have spoken, behold give me a sign.” The Lord graciously gave Gideon two signs, and we often retell that story to justify our own request for a sign.
But seriously, if God has spoken, and we know it, what kind of disobedience or lack of faith does it take to ask for more? Gideon deserved a lightning bolt, not a damp fleece.
Most of us do not set up elaborate tests for God. We tend to be more subtle. “If the phone rings before 3pm and it’s my sister, I’ll know I should visit her.” Or, “If she dislikes mayonnaise, as much as I do, then I can be sure she is God’s choice of a wife for me!” Or, “If he drops the price of the car by $300, God must want me to buy it.”
We play these games, wanting signals and signs from God. After all, it’s considerably easier to assess a sign than to learn to hear the voice of God. It’s called “walking by sight.” We make a quick demand, look for the evidence, and then jump this way or that. No relationship needed. No faith required. No listening necessary.
The Pharisees wanted a sign and all Jesus could do was sigh deeply; perhaps a sigh of disappointment, a sigh of frustration. Had they not heard the stories? Did they not know what He had done for others? Could they not trust Him based on the testimony of others?
Apparently little has changed.
The problem is not the size of the sign — Just one small sign, God, please? — but that we would want signs at all. Trust must trump our craving for tokens. Christ has His hand on the wheel. Today, let’s loosen our grip just a little and let Him steer a little more. No signs needed. 🙂