Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A believing heart

Israel in the wilderness saw great marvels wrought by the Lord their God, and yet perished in unbelief. Pharaoh is a still more notable instance — what signs and wonders God wrought in the fields of Zoan! How was the Nile crimsoned into blood, and all Egypt filled with lamentation! The Lord turned the dust of the land into lice, and the ashes therefore into plagues. He brought up frogs into their Chambers, and locusts devoured their fields. He darkened the heavens at midday, and deluged them with hail and rain such as the land had never seen before: a grievous murrain fell upon their cattle, and death upon their firstborn; yet all the wonder which God wrought did not soften Pharaoh’s heart, and though for awhile he trembled, yet again he steeled himself against the God of Israel, and said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?”

My hearers, if ye do not believe Moses and the prophets, if ye do not believe in Jesus Christ with the testimonies which are already before you, neither would you believe though one rose from the dead, or though all the plagues of Egypt should be repeated upon you with tenfold fury. There is no necessary connection between the seeing of wonders and the believing in God, for we learn clearly from Pharaoh’s case, and from many others, that all the displays of wonderful power either of judgment or of mercy, do not beget faith in unbelieving hearts.

From a sermon entitled "A Word With Those Who Wait for Signs And Wonders," delivered October 31, 1869. Image by Ibrahim Areef under Creative Commons License.

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