Power Of God
“On the day the LORD gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the LORD in front of all the people of Israel. He said, ‘Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. . .The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.” Joshua 10:12-13
Joshua and his contemporaries had no idea how the universe worked. They knew the sun rose and set, and the moon and stars provided lesser light in the night sky. They were in a battle and they were winning, but the light was fading. The enemy could escape under cover of the dark or they could turn unseen and counterattack. The outcome of the battle could change.
The sun’s rising and setting, followed by the moon’s appearance in the same way, were--and still are--signs of God’s covenant of ownership and protection over the nation Israel. Perhaps it was only natural for Joshua to ask God to stop the path of the sun while they finished the battle.
Do you ever think about the power displayed in these verses? Our planet moves slowly, both in rotation on its axis, but also in its revolution around the sun. As a result, we have day and night and four seasons within twelve months.
Even if we aren’t scientists in the field of astronomy, those who study the heavens tell us the universe is in constant movement. Our planetary system moves around the sun. However, the whole system, including the sun, orbits around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. For any one of the heavenly bodies to stop moving, there would be climactic consequences. You know how everything that isn’t tied down flies out of place when the brakes are applied in a moving car? Or in our homes when the earth quakes? Imagine the effect of a sudden stop to the turning of the planet Earth. Nothing would be in its place. Nothing could remain standing against the force of change.
Yet, the sun stood still and the battle continued until victory was won. Why?
“There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the LORD answered such a prayer. Surely the LORD fought for Israel that day!” Joshua 10:14
BUT GOD. . . Here is another instance of God’s Power intervention.
“About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah went to visit him. He gave the king this message: ‘This is what the LORD says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’ When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. . .” 2 Kings 20:1-2
Scripture goes on to say the king reminded God of his faithful service to Him before he broke down and wept bitterly. Isaiah hadn’t made it past the courtyard before the LORD sent him back to Hezekiah with the message that He would give him fifteen more years of life. He would also defend the city for His own honor and “for the sake of my servant David.” (verse 6) Isaiah instructed him in the medical treatment of the infection threatening his life. Then Hezekiah asked the prophet:
“What sign will the LORD give to prove that He will heal me and that I will go to the Temple of the LORD three days from now? Isaiah replied, ‘This is the sign from the LORD to prove that He will do as He promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps? ‘The shadow always moves forward,’ Hezekiah replied, ‘so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead.’ So Isaiah the prophet asked the LORD to do this, and He caused the shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!”
2 Kings 20:8-11
For Joshua, God made the sun stand still. In response to Hezekiah’s prayer, God made the sun back up 10 degrees. What kind of affect would that have on this slowly spinning planet?
BUT GOD. . .
God answered the prayers of Joshua and Hezekiah with a brilliant display of His power. What do you need today? What Power intervention do you need in your battle with _________? You fill in the blank. Are you struggling with health issues? Financial needs? Relationships? Abandonment? Feeling unloved? Discouragement? Fear? Abuse? Anything that makes you feel distant from God? Doubt that He cares for you?
Here is one more evidence of God’s love for us and His power to intervene. The Cross at Calvary and the Empty Tomb. God’s power placed our sins upon Jesus and judged them there at the Cross. And His power provided the victory over the last enemy—death.
“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man…And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:20-21, 26, 54b-55
Jesus is alive. The tomb is empty. There has never yet been a day like this before or since. Jesus fought our battle and won. Magnificent Love. Awesome Power!
by Marilyn Allison