Word of the Day: Joshua 10:11 And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azecah, and they died. There were more who died because of hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.
This verse is from the Israelites second battle with Ai, the first one didn’t go so very well. Why, because God wasn’t in that battle with them. So much of life is a battle in one form or another. And I’m finding that many of life’s battles don’t have to be fought at all.
In Exodus 14 Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt, they’ve come to the impassable Red Sea and the entire Egyptian army is quickly pressing in on them. Fear drives the Israelites to panic and complain against Moses and the LORD. To which Moses responds “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
In today’s word of the day we find the PERFECT example of this! The hailstones that God threw down from heaven killed more men than the swords of Israel! God fought FOR them, He worked FOR them in that battle.
One evening Jesus and His disciples were out in their boat. Jesus exhausted from preaching all day was asleep on a pillow in the front of the boat, seemingly unaware of the danger surrounding them all. A great windstorm popped up and caused the waves to break over the side of the boat filling it with water. If something didn’t change soon the boat would sink and they all would die… except Jesus was with them! Sleeping… but with them; He was their only hope. So the men frantically woke Him saying “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40)
Jesus’ reply to their fear brings up a great question, what were they really afraid of, death or that Jesus didn’t care enough to save them from it? Now don’t get me wrong, a situation like that would scare the pants off just about anyone. But when we look to what the disciples say, we find what’s in their hearts. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” First of all, they call Him Teacher, of all the titles they could have awoken Him with, Savior, Messiah, Son of the living God, and they chose Teacher. It shows their lack of faith in His proven record of miracle-working. They’re not trying to wake up that guy; they’re waking up the teacher, maybe because He is about to teach them something.
Second, they say to Him “do you not care that we are perishing?” Don’t you care Jesus? They were afraid that Jesus didn’t care enough about their situation to wake up and save them from it. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. While the body of Jesus slumbered on his pillow, the Spirit of Jesus, the Living God was WIDE AWAKE! Psalm 121 tells us: “I lift my eyes up to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth forevermore.”
Read that one aloud, it gives me chills and my spirit rejoices EVERY time, because it is the TRUTH! In every battlefield of life, every storm that threatens to cause you to perish, no matter how terrifying, no matter how asleep Jesus seems to be, He is AWAKE, He is ALIVE and He is acting on your behalf for your benefit and His glory! It is only a mere matter of time before you see Him rise up and calm the storm with His simple, “Peace! Be still.” It is only a matter of time before you see the hailstones falling from the sky pelting your enemies to death and missing you completely. The LORD is for you. And if the God is for us, then who can be against us?