Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: It talks about three reasons why asking God for a sign is not pleasing to Him.

Whenever I am driving to a place that I’m not familiar with I am a person who needs signs. I can follow good directions with anyone. But even with directions in hand I get uncomfortable if I don’t see a sign for where I’m going. My wife can always tell when I’m a little concerned or nervous about where I’m going because I always put my hands up to my mouth. Once I see a sign or maybe it’s just a landmark that I was given then I become much more comfortable in the direction I’m going. I’m not your typical male though. I don’t just keep driving if I’m not sure. If I’ve gone too long without seeing a sign I’ll pullover and make sure I’m still on the right path. There just seems to be something about signs that make us comfortable. In our text today the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign. He wasn’t real pleased with their requests. When we ask God for a sign it is not pleasing to him. This morning we will look at three reasons why asking God for a sign does not make Him happy.

Mark 8:11-13

The Pharisees wanted to see a miracle. Not just any kind of miracle but a miracle that would leave absolutely no doubt that He was the Messiah. It had to be a sign that only God could perform. You might think, “This would be it. This would be his chance once and for all to prove to them that He indeed was the Son of God.” But Jesus said, “There will be no sign given.” You might wonder why didn’t Jesus prove it to them. I think there might have been a couple of reasons that Jesus refused to give them a sign. I believe one reason was the state of their heart. Their hearts were so hard against the truth that it wouldn’t have mattered what great miracle he did they would have found a way to still deny that He was the Messiah. They were so blind to the truth. There are still people like that today. Their heart has become so hardened that they just dare Christ to prove that He is the Messiah. Some may even go as far to just dare God to prove He exists. They say, “Give me some miraculous sign.” But God knows their heart, and He knows that there is no sign that will change their heart. I think maybe another reason would be if he did this gigantic miracle to prove who He is then it takes faith out of the equation. A life of faith is what is pleasing to God. Remember after Jesus’ resurrection when Thomas refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he could see the nail marks and put his fingers where the nails were. Then Jesus appeared and allowed Thomas to see and to touch him. Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus

did that because Thomas was a follower of Him and he wanted him to know that He had indeed risen. But do you think he was happy over Thomas’ unbelief. Of course He wasn’t. When I was younger I used to wonder why God just didn’t come down in a cloud and appear to everyone at once so people would say, “Wow, God does exist.” Then there would be no Atheist in the world anymore. Of course there would still be people denying that they saw what they saw. God wants us to reach out to him in faith. Asking God for a sign is not pleasing to God because it’s a sign of unbelief.

Believers who think your going to get off easy this morning, not so fast. We may not ask God for a sign to prove He exists, but I believe there are times we ask God for a sign, a sign that shows our unbelief. In the book of Judges God came to Gideon and told him to go and save Israel out of the hands of the Midianites. Of course Gideon immediately said, “How can I do that? I’m from the weakest clan, and I’m the low-man on the totem pole in my family.” The Lord told him, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” And here Gideon goes, he says, “If I have found favor with you, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.” But it didn’t stop there. Gideon said to God a little later. “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised—I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” God did exactly as Gideon asked. Then Gideon has enough gall to say again, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” Once again God did just what He asked. Now you might wonder why did God give Gideon all the signs he needed. I believe it was because Gideon did have a heart that loved the Lord. But did it make God happy that Gideon was asking for those signs. NO, because it was a sign of unbelief. By asking for these signs Gideon was saying I don’t believe Lord that you can save the Israelites through my hand. I don’t think I’m capable so therefore I don’t think it can be done. There was no reason to ask for a sign. Gideon said, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised…” That should have been enough right there. God had promised him that He would do it. But instead of taking God at his promise he kept asking for signs. When you don’t take God at His Word and you keep asking for signs it says, “I don’t believe what you are saying!” There are times when God has told us something or given us something to do and

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