Don’t Take Miracles for GrantedAugust 25, 2023 - 12:00 am
The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. — Leviticus 1:7
Miracles are central to both the Jewish and Christian faiths, and both biblical narratives are replete with miracles. Enjoy this collection of devotional teachings on the nature of God’s awe-inspiring signs and wonders.
Many years ago, a family in our community got in a car accident and everyone rallied in prayer for their recovery. When I told my children that we were going to recite psalms for one of the family members who was undergoing an operation, my son was confused. “If God will cure him because of all of our prayers, why does he need to go to the doctor?”
I stuttered as I explained this seeming contradiction—Jewish tradition asks us to believe in God’s miracles without depending on them.
This conflict of faith goes back to Temple times. Leviticus tells us that the priests were commanded to light a fire on the sacrificial altar every day. However, Jewish tradition teaches that a miraculous fire came straight from heaven to consume the offerings. Why did the priests need to light a fire if they knew that God would send one? In the words of the Jewish sages, “We don’t rely on miracles.”
Don’t Take Miracles for Granted
Although Jewish tradition tells us that there were ten miracles that occurred in the Temple, we are warned over and over not to rely upon them. However, in so many other places in Scripture, we are taught to not only believe in miracles, but to anticipate God’s intervention in our lives. We are encouraged to place our full trust in God and remember that all our blessings are only a result of His kindness.
Jewish tradition teaches us that we should never take God’s miracles for granted. By lighting the fire, the priests were demonstrating that while they fully relied upon God, they didn’t take His miracles for granted. No matter how many times they experienced miracles, they never felt entitled.
We may not see the miracles of the Temple today, but we experience so many other miracles in our lives—our health, sustenance, the very breaths we take. While we may receive these miracles daily, we are taught that we should always appreciate them and do our part to safeguard them.
Your turn: Try consciously living within the paradox of anticipating God’s miracles without taking them for granted.