Believers are often attacked for not having a lot of evidence to support biblical events. Unbelievers often make unrealistic demands when requesting the believer produce physical evidence. They also have unrealistic attitudes concerning the Christian faith and one of those unrealistic attitudes is the ignoring of rational and logical explanations for why evidence is lacking for biblical events.
Take for example the story of Jonah, and the fish that swallowed him. Unbelievers have used science to investigate this story and often state that there is no scientific way a fish cold swallow a man and not digest it over three days. The problem here is not with the Bible but with where the unbeliever is looking. They look for a complete species of fish that is large enough to accommodate Jonah and other men and they do not read the biblical text correctly. Here is what the passage says:
17Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
The key words are in bold and at no time does the Bible teach that there was a species of fish that was large enough to swallow a human being. What we read is that God had a fish born long before Jonah was a man or even born and had it grow to the size and ability that was needed for its upcoming duty. There was only one fish not a species. To look for a species means that scientists are looking in the wrong places to ‘prove’ or ‘disprove’ the biblical account. We can’t find that fish because it has long died and probably was not lucky enough to fossilize.
Then what about the Exodus? Why are there not extra-biblical accounts of what God did for the people of Israel when he led them out of the land of Egypt? There are many rational explanations for this but first we must read the words of Rahab before we look to those reasons. She said to the spies:
Joshua 2:8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,
9and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
10For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
11And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.
The bold words again contain the key. The ancient nations had heard about what happened with the Israelites. It was big news and it traveled before the Israelites and having a 40 year advantage there was plenty of tie for secular nations to record those events. But why would they? What purpose would that recording serve? Most nations do not record the events of other nations for posterity if they do it at all. So that is one rational explanation.
Another is found in Jericho itself. if they were recorded they may have been inadvertently destroyed via conquest. Or they were destroyed for other reasons. Then the simplest explanation is that we just have not found them. But what we do know is that the Exodus was not a silent event, unheralded or unknown. The choice to record such things is left to the secular nations alone and if they do not want to be reminded that God is in heaven and more powerful than their false gods then why would they record God’s mighty work?
The Bible has the answer for the believer if they look honestly enough when searching for information to defend their faith. And we find more rational reasons from the exodus itself.
#1. No Material Culture—
The Israelites were nomads for 4 decades thus they did not have the time nor the inclination to stop and create a self-sustaining society that produced material goods for their daily lives. They did not leave anything ‘Israelite’ behind them as they traveled. Plus we need to add in the fact that the Israelites were slave sin a foreign land, incapable or barred from producing their own material cultural effects.
#2. They Were Given Egyptian Items—
The Bible tells us that the Egyptians were so happy that the Israelites were leaving that they gave the people Egyptian goods totaling their wages for the work done during the enslavement period. This means that the Israelites were carrying into the desert items from the Egyptian material culture not their own thus any items found in the desert means that the discoverer would assume it was left by the Egyptians and not the nomadic Israelites.
35Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing.
36And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
Being slaves, the Israelites only had access to Egyptian clothing but if they made their own, we would have no clearly identifiable remains to compare the clothing found in the desert with to be able to say these items are Israeli and those are Egyptian.
Even if we did, there is no guarantee that the all the Israelites wore their own clothes over Egyptian ones or that we discovered the remains of Egyptians over Israelites. Also, God kept the Israelite clothing from wearing out so there would be little physical evidence for anyone to find.Then as we read in the scripture quoted in the previous point we see that the Israelites asked for clothing from the Egyptians, thus if they dead bodies of the Israelites were found, they would have Egyptian clothing on not Israeli.
Some people claim that the Sinai could not support such a large group of people traveling through its boundaries. Yet, Exodus 12: 34ff tells us that the Israelites brought dough with them and then God gave the people manna from heaven thus the desert did not supply much.
33And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.”
34So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders
But the dough was not all the Israelites had to eat we also must remember the quails as well. Those were migratory birds and not desert sourced so again the resources of the Sinai were left untouched.
11And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,
12“I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13So it was that quails came up at evening and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay all around the camp.
14And when the layer of dew lifted, there, on the surface of the wilderness, was a small round substance, as fine as frost on the ground.
15So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.
35And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan
Notice also that they had manna to eat for 40 years thus the Sinai desert did not support the Israelites food wise at all. For all we know, manna may not have led to much waste product when digested by the people so looking for latrine remains may be futile.
These items all contribute to the fact that there is little evidence to support biblical events and for the believer that is okay because our belief is not built upon physical evidence but faith. The reason for that is not that we love blind faith but that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith will always be part of the equation when it comes to God, biblical events and the Christian faith and it is by faith that we seek the truth and the correct answer to defend our beliefs.
It is by faith that we believe that the HS will lead us to the truth and as you can see we need the HS to help us find these little rational bits and pieces to help us learn that our belief in God is well founded and right. The secular world will go off blindly looking in the wrong places for answers that are right in front of them because they have no one but deceiving evil to guide them.
Faith is the key even in defending our faith and our biblical record. We get rational answers that make sense not wild theories from God and we get them by following the HS by faith to the truth. Faith is the victory.