TUESDAY, AUGUST 26
Scripture: Deuteronomy 4:33-35, 6:20-22
Since they did not have a New Testament, “signs and wonders” can only be defined by what we read in the Old Testament. The question of what are the signs and wonders they were asking for can only be answered as we find signs and wonders defined in the Old Testament. What does a sign and a wonder refer to? What exactly was the early church asking for when they requested “signs and wonders”? The answer to that question is to look at the places where signs and wonders were used in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 4:33-35 says, “Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other besides Him.” It is obvious from this passage that signs and wonders refer to everything that God did in Egypt. What God did in Egypt included great terrors. The whole purpose was so that they might know Who God was for them. Do we know Who God is for us? Apparently, knowing Who God is for us requires seeing Him perform judicially to bring freedom. The second mention is in Deuteronomy 6:20-22. It says, “When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son: ‘We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the Lord showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household.’” Deuteronomy 6 is very telling because the whole purpose of Deuteronomy 6 is to communicate, when your son asks you in days ahead, ‘what is the meaning of customary statutes and judgments that God commanded?,’ you tell him the answer is in the signs and wonders that it took to get us out of Egypt. And those signs and wonders were not praying healing for someone, but they were praying judgment against the perpetrators of slavery. Signs and wonders are kingly and they are manifestations of things that we pray against an enemy in order to release us from the captivity that the enemy is bringing. That was the sign and wonder that the early church was asking for. It certainly appears that we need to be asking for it today. Because we are facing some of the very same issues. No wonder the early church asked for signs and wonders. And we have not yet found any other context for signs than what God did in Egypt. Will we ask as they did?