In the movie, “Remember the Titans”, the football coach tells his players to “leave no doubt” as he sends them out onto the field to face their opponent. I’ve always liked that sentiment, maybe because I love a God who leaves no doubt. Let me explain.
I’m studying Gideon right now. Gideon is one of those Old Testament bible people with a really interesting story. God asks Gideon to fight the Midianites. They were an enemy of Israel who had been oppressing them for seven years. But then, in preparation for his upcoming battle, God asks Gideon to do something that makes no sense whatsoever. At least no sense humanly speaking. God asks Gideon to send home all but three hundred of his thirty-two thousand fighting men. The reason? ” . . . In order that Israel may not boast against Me (God) that her own strength has saved her,” (Judges 7:2)
Yes, you read that right. God desired to leave no doubt that He would be the One responsible for giving Israel the victory over her enemies. God was going to deliver Gideon and his soldiers and all Israel from Midian. But it would be God’s strength, not Israel’s, which would save them and give them the victory over their enemies.
God desired to leave no doubt. And with the odds now 450:1 against Israel, their victory against the much larger Midianite army would truly be a miracle of God. Gideon and his men could not reasonably take credit for any victory. This is not an isolated incident however. Time and again God leaves no doubt that He is the One who is sovereignly watching over the affairs of men. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
This has been so from the beginning. God leaves no doubt. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) Yet still we find reasons to doubt God.
There are myriad instances in which God leaves no doubt throughout history. Consider what happened when Elijah, God’s only prophet left at the time, went up against four-hundred and fifty of Baal’s prophets. Already outnumbered, what happened next truly would not have been predicted using human reasoning. They each prepared a bull to sacrifice to their respective gods, each sacrifice on an altar with wood, but they were not to light a fire. That would be the job of the deity that was prayed to, to accept the sacrifice by sending fire to burn it up.
This took place with all of Israel assembled as witnesses. The prophets of Baal went first, calling on the name of Baal all day long, shouting, dancing around the altar they had made, even cutting themselves; but all to no avail. There was no response from their god, their sacrifice remained untouched and it was now evening.
Then Elijah took his turn. First he asked the people to pour four large jars of water on his offering, the wood and the altar. He then had water poured on everything two more times, resulting in water running down and filling the trench he had ordered dug around the altar. Elijah prayed, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and have done all these things at Your command.”
I Kings 18:38-39 tells us what happened next; “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The Lord — He is God! The Lord — He is God!’ ” God left no doubt. His holy fire consumed Elijah’s water soaked sacrifice in seconds, as He revealed Himself yet again to Israel, giving them a glimpse of His power and presence.
God left no doubt when He raised Lazarus from the dead as well. The story is a familiar one but the details are often overlooked. John 11:17 tells us “On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.” No room for doubt there — Lazarus was not only dead but had been buried. Many people had come there to comfort his sisters, so there were plenty of witnesses to what happened next. Jesus ordered the stone moved away from the tomb’s entrance, prayed and then commanded, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus walked out of his tomb, still wrapped in his grave clothes.
Why did Jesus wait two days after hearing of Lazarus’ illness, before beginning His journey to Bethany? To leave no doubt. By the time Jesus arrived, there was no doubt that Lazarus was dead and after Jesus called him out of his tomb, there was no doubt that Lazarus was now alive again. All those who had come to mourn his death could now celebrate his return to life. God leaves no doubt.
God left no doubt when He parted the Red Sea for the Israelites, He left no doubt when He provided manna every morning and water in the desert. God left no doubt when He demolished Jericho’s walls. He told the Israelites to march around those walls and blow trumpets. Doesn’t seem like the best plan for knocking down high, thick walls; but God leaves no doubt as to who is doing the heavy lifting!
God specializes in the impossible so as to leave no doubt. When Jesus and His disciples needed to feed a multitude of five thousand plus people with just five small barley loaves and two small fish, it was clear that the need far exceeded the available resources. There was no humanly possible way to feed all those people. Not even close! BUT “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.'” (Luke 18:27)
So Jesus blessed the loaves and the fish and had the food distributed to all the hungry people there. And just to be sure to leave no doubt, John 6:12-13 tells us, “When they had all had enough to eat, He (Jesus) said to His disciples, ‘Gather the pieces that are left’ . . . So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces . . . left over by those who had eaten.” Did you catch that? “they had all had enough to eat.” Not just a snack or a little something to tide them all over until they could have a proper meal and eat their fill. No, the large crowd of people ate until they were satisfied and still there was food left over. From an impossible lack of food to an overabundance of provision; God once again leaves no doubt.
So why do we continue to doubt the God who leaves no doubt? The God who does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20) The God who reveals Himself from sunrise to sunset, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
Do we doubt God’s love for us? “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all — how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
God left no doubt of His love for you and for me at the cross. God leaves no doubt of His plan for you and for me at Jesus’ empty tomb. The Creator of the universe is a God who leaves no doubt.
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
sincerely, Grace Day