Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Power of God, verse 4

With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles. II Chronicles 32:8

We're moving on through the Old Testament, as we continue to see God's power on display on behalf of His people. Today we meet Joshua, who was commanding a large army of "valiant warriors." Joshua and his warriors have had great success in war, and had captured Jericho and Ai and the city's kings. Another nation, Gibeon, had made peace with Israel and they were sharing the land together. Gibeon was a great city, and the Bible tells us its warriors were mighty men.

There were kings of other nations who didn't appreciate Gibeon having made peace with Israel. So they decided to do something about it.

Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it. Joshua 10:3-5

Well the people of Gibeon knew they needed Joshua and his valiant warriors to ward off the Amorites, so they sent word to get him to leave Gilgal and come to help.

Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.” Joshua 10:6

Joshua responded, and took his people of war. And the Lord spoke to him, promising His deliverance.

So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors. The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” Joshua 10:7-8

Well, we know what happens when God gives His word. He keeps it.

So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. And the LORD confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword. Joshua 10:9-11

Not only did God allow for Joshua's army to slaughter many men, but the Lord sent large stones from heaven that killed more people than the sword! "Not one of them shall stand before you," God had promised. And they didn't!

Then Joshua spoke.

Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Joshua 10:12-13

The sun stood still! The moon stopped! Wouldn't that be an amazing thing to witness?? Joshua won the battle; He took the Lord at His word and did not fear his enemy - He let the Lord deal with them, and God's power sent stones from heaven and made the sun and the moon stop in their courses! That is some amazing power.

That power of God is just the same today. At the end of this story, the Bible tells us that "the Lord fought for Israel." What battles do you need the Lord to fight for you? Cry out to Him for help, as David did when he prayed to be rescued from his enemies.

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Psalm 35:1

You can see God's faithful and powerful hand working throughout the ages, and know that His power at work in Joshua's time is at work in our world today. Cling to His promise:

"They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 1:19

The Power of God
Words by Frederick A. Graves

When Abraham and Sarah had been promised a son,
They were surprised and knew not what to say;
But they knew what God had promised He was able to perform:
And the power of God is just the same today.

The pow’r of God is just the same today,
It doesn’t matter what the people say;
Whatever God has promised
He’s able to perform:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Moses wanted water to quench the people’s thirst,
He knew that God would then provide a way;
Although his rod was useful he had the power first:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Moses made a serpent and placed it on a pole,
The bitten ones were told to look that way,
And then while they were looking Jehovah-rophi made them whole:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Joshua was commander, he spoke—the sun stood still,
The moon its onward course was made to stay;
Thus he won a mighty battle, for he did his Father’s will:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Naaman, the leper, before Elisha stood,
He thought he knew just what the seer would say,
But he had to wash in Jordan, though he thought it wasn’t good:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When David met Goliath he meant to have a fight,
The leaders put the battle in array;
Of course he killed the giant, for he was in the right:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Jonah went to Tarshish to flee away from God,
A mighty fish was waiting for its prey;
It quickly swallowed Jonah, then threw him on the sod:
And the power of God is just the same today.

When Malachi, the prophet, was preaching all abroad,
And cutting like sickle and the scythe;
The people were accursed, for they were robbing God,
They filled to bring the offering and the tithe.

Then came the blessed Savior, with power to cleanse and heal,
To bear my sin and sickness all away;
My burdens, too, He carries, and doth my sorrows feel:
And the power of God is just the same today.

Through Paul and Silas singing and praying in the jail,
For Paul and Silas knew the way to pray;
The prison doors were opened, for locks could not avail,
And the power of God is just the same today.

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