How much evidence do you need to believe something? Our judicial system requires a jury to find a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means said defendant doesn’t have to prove his innocence; a prosecutor must proved the indicted person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The press and public tend to forget that important nugget of truth.
However, when it comes to God most people require of our Lord proof of His existence beyond a reasonable doubt. Random House Dictionary defines doubt as being “uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe; to distrust.” When you look at all the clues and obvious signs of God, is it reasonable to doubt Him? Not if we are intellectually honest.
God has always had to deal with His doubting people. After God rescued the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea, they complained that they were in the desert and wanted to go back to Egypt:
“And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.’ Then Moses and Aaron said to all the children of Israel, ‘At evening you shall know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt. And in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord; for He hears your complaints against the Lord. But what are we, that you complain against us?’ Also Moses said, ‘This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.’” (Exodus 16:1-8)
It took just 45 days after they left captivity in Egypt for the Israelites to start complaining and desiring to go back into bondage. Before we’re too harsh on them, I need to remember that in 45 minutes I can go from praising God to pouting before Him because something is not going my way.
Some doubters say that if God manifested Himself before them that they would believe. I doubt those doubters. Doubters are going to doubt no matter the evidence. God appeared to the children of Israel in a thick cloud and many did not believe and almost all of them disobeyed His commands:
“And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’ So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him. Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.’ So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.” (Exodus 19:3-9)
We know by reading the rest of the history of Israel that they broke this covenant with God and thus they were punished. But even after they were disobedient, God still blessed and rescued them. Why? So they would believe that He is the one true God:
“I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.” (Isaiah 41:18-20)
Evidence is important when it comes to believing something; I do not ignore that fact. God knows that witnesses are required to help convince the doubters or the unknowing. That was John the Baptist’s mission:
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9)
John the Baptist was the foreteller of Christ. We are the aftertellers, if you will. We who are blood-bought, born again Christians have believed in the Light and now the Light has called us to be light to a dark world:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
Does your faith shine the truth of Jesus Christ? Did you know that you can be all the evidence someone needs to believe in Christ? Are you a city on a hill that those living in the defeated valleys of life can look up to and say, “I want to live where he lives”? Or are you living under a basket?
Each of us who call ourselves Christians should be lampstands. Too often most of us are secret agents, never allowing anyone to find out our true identities.
Are those whom you so desperately desire come to Christ not doing so because they find no reasons to believe in Him when they spend time with you?
You, I, are the light of the world. Those are Jesus’ words.
Are they just words to you?
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Copyright © 2013 David Jeffers