Does God do magic? If you’ve ever read the Bible, you know that it’s full of God doing some rather magnificent things. Take a look at this short list.
- Creation of everything
- The flood and re-birth of life afterwards
- Creations of languages
- Birth of Isaac
- The burning bush that doesn’t burn up
- Aaron’s rod changed into a serpent
- The ten plagues of Egypt
- Red Sea divided
- Waters sweetened, Manna sent daily
- Water from a rock
And all of that is just in the first two books. In fact, I didn’t even get all the way through Exodus. What about the New Testament?
- Blind men cured
- Money in a fish’s mouth
- A deaf and dumb man cured
- Jesus goes through a crowd, and no one sees him
- Lots of fish where there was none
- The widow’s son raised from the dead
- Lepers cured
- Water made into wine
- 5,000 people fed
- A fig tree killed
Cool stuff, eh? But is this magic? Nope. These are miracles. The difference between the two is simple.
Miracle – God chooses to use supernatural powers. Sometimes miracles happen when we ask for them, and sometimes God throws them into our lives with little warning (John 9:1-7). Either way, miracles occur when God decides to intervene supernaturally in our lives – not when commanded to.
In contrast, magic is defined by Webster as “The use of charms, spells, etc. in seeking or pretending to control events; sorcery; witchcraft.” The key word I see here is control. Magic is about controlling the future, present, the weather, the sickness in your body.
Here’s the way I see the difference:
- A miracle is when God chooses to do supernatural things
- Magic is when people try to control supernatural beings (God, angels, or demons) into using supernatural powers for themselves.
What do you think? Is it possible to control the supernatural?