WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MAY 11, 2021
TOPIC: NEGATIVE MIRACLES
BY T. O. BANSO
“So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel, ‘Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves’” (1 Samuel 12:18-19 New King James Version).
There are both negative miracles and positive miracles in the Bible. Expectedly, everybody desires to experience positive miracles but we must go beyond mere desire.
In 1 Samuel 12:16-17, the prophet Samuel told the Israelites, “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes: Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves” (New King James Version).
This was a negative miracle about to happen because the Israelites had rejected the continued rule of God over them. They said they wanted to have a king so that they could be like other nations. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, ‘Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations’” (1 Samuel 8:4-5 New King James Version).
This displeased Samuel but when he took the matter to God, He told him to grant their request. He was, however, to tell them the behaviour of the king that would rule them. Nevertheless, they insisted they wanted a king. “So the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Heed their voice, and make them a king’” (1 Samuel 8:22 New King James Version).
Samuel eventually anointed Saul privately as their first king (1 Samuel 10:1). Later, the people also publicly chose him and proclaimed him as king (verses 17-24). After the initial rejection of his choice by some rebels (verse 27), Saul saved the people of Jabesh Gilead from the Ammonites, which turned the public opinion in his favour and all the people went to Gilgal and made him king before the LORD.
After giving them a king as they had requested, Samuel addressed the people at Saul’s coronation where he emphasized the sin that they had committed by rejecting the rule of God and preferring the rule of man. He told them, as you have read earlier, that he would call to the LORD that day, which was the wheat harvest, and He would send thunder and rain so that they might see that their wickedness was great in the sight of the LORD by asking for a king.
1 Samuel 12:18-19 says, “So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. And all the people said to Samuel, ‘Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves’” (New King James Version).
As a good and compassionate leader, Samuel, though zealous for God, heard their plea and told them not to fear. He said although they had done all the wickedness they did, they should not turn aside from following the LORD but serve Him with all their heart. They should not turn aside, for then they would go after empty things which could not profit or deliver because they were nothing.
He continued, “For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king” (1 Samuel 12:22-25 New King James Version).
But before the Israelites pleaded with Samuel that he shouldn’t allow them to die, they had experienced a negative miracle of thunder and rain that made them greatly fear the LORD and Samuel. All the people told Samuel to pray to the LORD for them so that they would not die as they acknowledged that they had added to all their sins the evil of asking a king for themselves (1 Samuel 12:19).
When Samuel said he would call on the LORD, and He would send thunder and rain that day which was the wheat harvest, the Israelites knew what Samuel was talking about was uncommon. Rain and thunder were unusual or strange at that time of the year. If that should happen, as it happened, after Samuel had prayed to God, it was proof that God was angry with them. It was a negative miracle.
Some people will not fear the Lord or His servants until they experience negative miracles. This should not be so. Until Nebuchadnezzar experienced a negative miracle of being relocated from the palace to the fields with the wild animals for seven seasons, behaving like them, he didn’t fear the LORD and humble himself before Him. Daniel 4:33 says he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.
Modern science has confirmed the existence of such a health condition. Some have described Nebuchadnezzar’s disease as boanthropy, a rare psychological disorder in which the sufferer believes he is a cow or ox. Others have called it insania zoanthropica, a rare mental illness, which causes human beings to think of themselves as animals and act as such.
In Daniel 4:34-35, he said, “And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,’ What have You done?’” (New King James Version).
Nebuchadnezzar was fortunate that he was restored to a normal human being and the throne. Some people who experienced negative miracles were not that fortunate. Don’t wait for a negative miracle in your life or somebody else’s life before you acknowledge that God is God and worship and obey Him. Learn by instruction, not by destruction! Don’t wait for a negative miracle.
Moses’ sister, Miriam, experienced a negative miracle. Miriam and Aaron had spoken against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he had married but it was obvious that they had something more against him. “So they said, ‘Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?’ And the LORD heard it” (Numbers 12:1-2 New King James Version).
God’s anger was aroused against them and God punished Miriam by causing her to suddenly become leprous. When her accomplice, Aaron, who was Moses’ brother, saw it, he begged Moses not to punish them for the sin they had foolishly committed. He pleaded that she should not be allowed to be as one dead, whose flesh was half consumed when he came out of his mother’s womb! (Numbers 12:9-12).
Though Moses begged the LORD to heal Miriam, He refused. He said she must be shut out of the camp for seven days and afterward she might be received again. Even though Miriam was Moses’ sister and a prophetess (Exodus 15:2), she became leprous for seven days so that she would know how to honour the anointed and the person God had chosen as the leader!
Because of this, Israel couldn’t journey forward but waited for her to be brought back, apparently after she had been healed of her leprosy (Numbers 12:15). I am sure she never tried that again. Perhaps Aaron was exempted from punishment because he wasn’t the instigator. Nevertheless, from the negative miracle he saw Miriam experience, Aaron wouldn’t ever try it again!
However, Korah, Dathan and Abiram, and On who led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron were not all that fortunate. They, together with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown, experienced negative miracles.
God was angry with the rebels and even Moses who was begging God not to punish the congregation for the sin of a few was equally angry. “And Moses said: ‘By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these works, for I have not done them of my own will. If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the LORD’” (Numbers 16:28-30 New King James Version).
A negative miracle began after Moses had finished speaking. The ground split apart under the rebels and swallowed them up with their households and all the men with Korah and their goods. They and all those with them went down alive into the pit; the earth closed over them. They perished via a negative miracle and all Israelites around them fled lest the ground should swallow them up too.
That was not the end. Fire came out from the LORD and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense (Numbers 16:3t).. They were on the side of Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On, the instigators of the rebellion. The following day, when all the congregation of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, saying that they had killed the people of the LORD, it angered the LORD and He sought to consume the people. Despite Moses’ plea, the LORD caused a plague to fall on them, killing fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the Korah incident (Numbers 16:49). Negative miracles!
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 lists out the negative miracles that would follow the disobedience of the commands of God. These negative miracles are called curses that would come upon disobedient Israel. And they did come upon the nation of Israel just as the blessings, the positive miracles, had come upon them when they obeyed God. The two kingdoms of Israel and Judah eventually went into exile for their rebellion against God.
All the ten plagues of judgment in Egypt were negative miracles because of the stubbornness of Pharaoh who would not obey the voice of God to allow the children of Israel to go (Exodus 7:14-12:30). The ultimate negative miracle, however, was the drowning of the Egyptian chariots and charioteers in the Red Sea. The Egyptians experienced a negative miracle (Exodus 14).
Miracles are real! Yes, negative miracles and positive miracles. I pray that you will not activate negative miracles in your life. The Israelites, Nebuchadnezzar, Miriam, Korah, and his fellow rebels and supporters, and Pharaoh activated negative miracles.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). Obey the Word of God; don’t be rebellious. “‘If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword’ For the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 1:19 New King James Version). Don’t harden your heart. Humble yourself. May you experience positive miracles.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not do anything that will trigger or activate negative miracles in Jesus’ name. Father, forgive me for anything that I have done that could cause a negative miracle in my life. Father, let me experience positive miracles in Jesus’ name. Give me new testimonies that will glorify Your name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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