Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:29-34
Faith in God not only assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see but enables to see and do the impossible! The bible clearly tells us that those who have faith in God will get results that others will not. As a result the Children of Israel by passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. By faith Joshua, Samson and David subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, became valiant in battle, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
The secret to Joshua and King David success and victories was not only their courage but they took their orders from their Commander in Chief – The Lord. Joshua as a brilliant general had his own ideas on how to take the mighty walled city of Jericho but the LORD Himself appeared to Him and told him what was to be done. The bible records:
Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. “You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. “And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. “It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” Joshua 1:1-5
Joshua obtained his victory over his enemies not only because he was a man of faith and bold and courageous but he listened to the LORD and the instructions that He gave and obeyed. The truth that obedience to the voice of the LORD is seen though out the bible; including in the life of David who faced one of the most devastating crisis in his life.
David his men came to Ziklag, to find that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. It was very distressing to find their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. So David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
David was also greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God and inquired of the LORD Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.
And because David heard from the LORD He pursued and recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all.
Now the good news is the LORD has not changed one bit, He is with us to save us and to deliver us and to help us recover all that the enemy has stolen from us, be it money, health, or our good name. He is just as much for us as He was for David. His word is unchanging:
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. Psalm 145:18-20
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning- Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He shall redeem Israel From all his iniquities. Psalms 130:5-8
Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you. Proverbs 20:22
Now skeptics and scoffers don’t believe that faith in God will open up windows in heaven and as a result they don’t see the impossible. But the bible has many examples of what expectantly waiting on the Lord and hope in His word for His plenteous redemption and deliverance and what it shall accomplish. One of my favorite stories is about when Elisha and the children of Judah were besieged by the enemy and were starving. Ben-Hadad king of Syria had gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. As a result there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver. However Elisha the prophet said:
“Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ ” So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 2 Kings 7:1-2
God does nothing on earth unless He reveals it to His prophets. But God has also stated that those who despise the word of His prophets, He will require of them. So the officer who was the right hand man of the king put his life in jeopardy when he despised Elisha’s prophetic words. (It’s true that some foolish men just do not learn and accept God’s word on some matters and they pay for their deeds even with their lives.) God’s word goes on to state:
Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? “If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there.
For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses-the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact-their tents, their horses, and their donkeys-and they fled for their lives.
And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it. 2 Kings 7:3-8
The lepers had enough of their circumstance and situation and decided they were going to act and do something even if it would cost them their lives. (Yes, many times God’s bring His people to a place where they must walk on the water or sink. It is in such times that they find the miracle working power of God to be true and see that the Lord is the Lord and that He does what He has said He would do to bless, protect and preserve His own. For after all He is the Lord and He loves to bless and prosper His own even miraculously with the spoils of war from their enemies, just like He did for these lepers.) God’s word records:
Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound-only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.”
And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside. So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.’ ”
And one of his servants answered and said, “Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see.” Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.”
And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD. 2 Samuel 7:9-16
Men are not accustomed to believing God, walking by faith and not by sight and trusting His word and those of His true prophets, even though Elisha had said that God would provide a miraculous deliverance. So they would not believe the words of the Lepers until they could see things for themselves with their natural eyes instead of their spiritual eyes. But the fact of the matter remains that the officer who scorned Elisha’s words paid with his life for his foolish actions. It doesn’t pay to be arrogant and proud and a respecter of persons for God’s word records:
Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.”
Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, “Now look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
Men have a lot of foolish ideas which they make as doctrines but God’s word does not lie and God has not changed. We see from the Word of God that God weighed and judged the actions of the lepers and the arrogant officer. The lepers were blessed and the officer was cursed! So who is to say that God does not do such things today? For after all He is the Lord, the Judge of the whole earth and His eyes are on each and every one to render to each one according to his work. For God’s word is true:
‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. For I raise My hand to heaven, And say, “As I live forever, If I whet My glittering sword, And My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, And repay those who hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood, And My sword shall devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.” ‘ “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.” Deuteronomy 32:39-41
And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9
For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4
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