“…This is a sign to the house of Israel,” (4:3).
Signs were often associated with miracles, an act of God confirming His work. But signs weren’t always supernatural and astonishing. Signs, whether miraculous or symbolic, were given to proclaim what was coming
“226. אוֹת ʾôṯ: A masculine noun meaning sign, signal, mark, miracle. This word is used most often to describe awe-inspiring events: God’s work to bring the Hebrew people out of Egypt… miracles verifying God’s message… circumstances demonstrating God’s control… a promise to remember… an event to occur in the future… Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
“4592. σημεῖον sēmeíon; gen. sēmeíou, neut. noun. Sign, mark, token, miracle with a spiritual end and purpose… finger–marks of God, valuable not so much for what they are as for what they indicate of the grace and power of the Doer…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
“33.477 σημεῖον, ου n: an event which is regarded as having some special meaning—‘sign.’ εἰπὲ ἡμῖν … τί τὸ σημεῖον τῆς σῆς παρουσίας ‘tell us … what will be the sign of your coming’ Mt 24:3. In translating σημεῖον in Mt 24:3, it may be necessary in some languages to say ‘tell us what will happen that will show that you are coming’ or ‘tell us what we will see that will make us know that you are coming,’” Louw- Nida Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament.
When I read all that God called Ezekiel to perform, I couldn’t help but be reminded of an art form I taught my students in my high school theatre classes, “performance art.” Performance art combines visual art with dramatic performance, is very often non-conventional, and is always designed to convey a message. I mean no disrespect whatsoever in comparing God’s call to performance art, for I believe we have the arts because we are made in the image of the Creator, and we have been created as creative beings.
Almighty Creator God composed, directed and produced His masterpiece as He called Ezekiel to perform His Signs, ensuring His Truth would not only be heard, but this time, seen.
As Ezekiel obeyed Him Who Sent His Signs, acting out before an unresponsive and hostile audience, and declaring what God said was surely coming, I found myself, once again, amazed. Because truth be told, He does not owe us any explanations, warnings or predictions. But He Sent His Signs that we might see and understand that He will always do what He has spoken. And again, how can we not stand amazed at Him Who Sent His Signs again and again?
Consider Him Who Sent His Signs
- He Sent His Sign of His Divine Deliverance.
- And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain,” (Exodus 3:12).
- He Sent His Sign of His Supernatural Supremacy.
- You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs,” (Exodus 4:17).
- He Sent His Sign of His Promised Presence.
- Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel, (Isaiah 7:14).
- He Sent His Sign of His Son, our Savior.
- But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,” (Luke 2:10-12).
- He Sent His Sign of His Given Glory.
- This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him, (John 2:11).
- He Sent His Sign of His Almighty Authority.
- Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him,” (John 3:2).
- He Sent His Sign of His Dominion Over Death.
- “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power,” (Acts 2:22-24).
How do we respond to Him Who Sent His Signs?
Let’s admit it: we like Signs. Big ones. How many times have you heard people say they just wished that God would do something big, would write the answer they needed in the sky? Perhaps you’ve said it yourself. I have.
But He has already done the biggest and most magnificent of all His Signs when He Sent Jesus, that we would not simply hear about His Divine Deliverance, His Supernatural Supremacy, His Promised Presence in His Son, our Savior, His Given Glory, Almighty Authority, and Dominion Over Death, but that we would believe and see Him Who Sent His Sign.
And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me,“ (John 3:17)
And beyond that, Jesus told us that it is an evil and unfaithful desire that craves signs. Because the craving of signs reveals our lack of faith, doubting He will do what He has promised to do. And seeking after signs demonstrates a dissatisfaction in what He has already accomplished, revealed in the Sign of Jonah, referring to His death, burial and resurrection.
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; 40 for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, (Matthew 12:38-40).
And it is hearing His Word proclaiming the Truth of His Gospel, not seeing signs and wonders, that brings faith.
So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ, (Romans 10:17).
It has always been that the only way we can be declared righteous and the only way we can please Him Who Sent His Sign is through faith that believes His Word.
And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6 Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness, (Genesis 15:6).
And without faith it is impossible to please God, (Hebrews 11:6).
What more must He do for us to believe? Oh, that we would be like Abraham, who simply heard God speak and he believed, that we would never hear words of rebuke or disappointment from our Savior because we want something more than what He has already done for us.
So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe,” (John 4:48).
And while the world may deem the gospel a non-conventional means of salvation and continue to search for a magnanimous display of the supernatural, let us rest in the wisdom and power of God revealed in His sacrifice on a cross that paid the penalty of our sins.
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God, (1 Corinthians 1:21-24).
But again, truth be told, isn’t the most magnanimous display of the supernatural His new creation in Christ of every man, woman and child who has placed their faith in His sacrifice for sin and trusted in Him for salvation?
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:17).
He Sent His Sign, that we would turn to Him. Oh, let us stop seeking anything other than Him. May we not chase after signs that promise euphoric alleviation from the doldrums of life, but let us seek Him in His Word that we would turn our ears to hear Him speak and turn our hearts to believe that we would ever seek Him Who Sent His Signs.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.” (Psalm 27:8).