Matthew 16:1-3 – And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight; red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.” Perhaps you have heard this saying, or some variation thereof? Obviously this little weather forecasting adage was well known even in Jesus’ day. By the way, there actually is a scientific explanation behind this saying; and, it is a reasonably useful indicator of the weather coming your way.
What was not quite so obvious to the Pharisees and Sadducees, though, was that the long expected Messiah had already come and that he was, in fact, the very one they were presently challenging. Certainly a part of their problem was that they expected a Messiah who was an earthly king, not the humble son of a carpenter, the babe born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger. Even though, by this time in his earthly ministry, Jesus had already performed numerous signs and miracles, the Pharisees and Sadducees were seeking something more spectacular, or at least something that was more suited to their own expectations.
When we take things to God in prayer we need to make sure our hearts are in the right place. God does answer prayers, just not always in the way we desire, nor with the timing that we expect. Rather than approaching him with selfish motives, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, we would do well to recall these words from Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts
© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.