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Discovery Magazine 7/1/1998

Does God Break His Own Laws?

In the days of Elisha, a man lost his iron axhead in the Jordan River (2 Kings 6:1-7). As a prophet, Elisha could perform miracles with God’s power, so he made the axhead float to the surface. Some people will say that in doing this miracle, God violated or broke the laws of nature (the ax is too heavy and solid to float in water).

People who don’t believe in God think that this is terrible. If a scientific law has no exceptions, then how can God break it? If doing a miracle means breaking the laws of nature, and the laws of nature can’t be broken, then miracles are impossible!

Other people think it’s just fine for God to break these laws. They think that God can break any law He makes. But this is not the best answer. It makes God sound kind of sneaky. Would you play with a friend who makes all the rules of a game, but won’t follow the rules herself? If God can break the laws of nature, maybe He can break any kind of law. Maybe God can lie and steal if He wants to.

But as we learned in "Different Kinds of Law," no one can break the laws of nature. So it is a mistake to say that miracles are impossible because they break (violate) the laws of nature. Miracles are supernatural, which means they are above or beyond the normal way that nature works. They are not against nature; they are notantinatural.

Also, some people think that if God can do miracles, then scientists can’t do their job. They think that if something supernatural can happen, then science cannot make sense out of nature. But God is not like this. He does not do something supernatural just to make life hard for scientists. When God performs a miracle, there never is any question about why He does it, and when He does it. As usual, Jesus gives us the best example. His miracles, He said, "bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent me" (John 5:36). This means that Jesus healed people and raised people from the dead to prove that His message was from God. No true miracle ever went against the teaching of Scripture.

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