God Has Done Wonders
"And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5)
Did you know that there are said to have been "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"? They were: The Great Pyramid of Giza (in Egypt), the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (in Iraq), the Temple of Artemis (in Turkey), the Statue of Zeus at Olympia (in Greece), the Mausoleum of Maussollos (in Turkey), Colossus of Rhodes (in Greece), and the Lighthouse of Alexandria (in Egypt). The only one of these wonders that has not yet been destroyed (by earthquakes or fires) is the Great Pyramid in Egypt. If you wanted to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, you would have to go all the way to the continent of Africa!
There are also Seven Wonders of the Natural World, and Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Human beings like to make lists of unique, amazing things around them. All of these "wonders" are called "wonders" because they are unusual and hard to believe. It is difficult for us to imagine the amount of work and planning that must have gone into making a monument as large and long-standing as the Great Pyramid of Giza. To stand in front of it, or to reach out and touch it with our hands – this structure that was built over 2000 years before Christ was born! That would be something very special. We would probably look up in wonder and awe at the Great Pyramid.
When the LORD explained to Joshua how He was planning to bring the children of Israel over the Jordan River and how He planned to help them conquer the wicked people living on the land there, Joshua understood that the LORD was going to fight for them and do great miracles for them. He was right. God was preparing to do great wonders on behalf of this group of people. They were not a large nation (in comparison to the nations they were fighting, their armies were small). They were not trained soldiers. And there were many things they could not do on their own – like crossing rushing rivers without drowning or losing all their belongings.
God told Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan River, and He told him how to do it. The evening before the crossing, Joshua got up in front of all the people. He told them they needed to sanctify themselves (consecrate, purify, prepare themselves spiritually), because the LORD was going to do great wonders for them!
How would you have felt if you were an Israelite the next day? What if you waited in a crowd and watched the priests set their feet in the river's current? What if you were able to see the waters start to pile up into a giant heap? What would it have felt like to walk across the riverbed on dry ground while God Himself – the same God Who created the universe and you yourself – held back the entire river? Surely you would agree with your leader Joshua: The LORD was doing wonders for you.
One reason the Old Testament tells us stories like this one is to remind us that the God Who created the world, and the God of the Israelites, and the God of all the prophets and poets and kings – He is the same God we have today. The God of the Bible is a wonder-working God. His wonders are more numerous and more marvelous than anything ever thought of or created by mankind. What a good and great Creator-Redeemer we have!
The God of the Bible is a wonder-working God.
» Do I believe the stories I read in the Bible about God's greatness and goodness?
» Do I prepare myself spiritually when I am praying for the LORD to do great works?
» How can I magnify the goodness and greatness of my God in front of other people?
Truth In Real Life
“Now is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It won't last forever. We must take it or leave it.”
Although he was an Irishman, Americans view C.S. Lewis as perhaps the most famous 20th-century Christian. Born Clive Staples Lewis on November 29, 1898, he didn’t even believe in God for the first part of his life. It was not until he was 33 years old that he responded to God’s grace and trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He spent the rest of his life writing over 50 books that referred to and often tried to explain the Christian faith.
His somewhat-allegorical series of children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia, are among his most famous works, and are still so popular today that some of them have been made into movies. Millions of copies of his books are still sold every year.
C.S. Lewis – or “Jack” as he preferred to be called – was born in Belfast, Ireland. He did not have an easy life. His mother died of cancer when he was 10 years old, and his father – unable to take care of him – placed him in a boarding school. The school was strict and the teachers were unkind. Lewis hated it. God got a hold of his heart, though, and amazingly, it was at this boarding school that he first read the Bible and prayed.
One of Lewis’s favorite topics to talk about, both before and after his salvation, was the topic of JOY. His autobiography (a book of memoirs he wrote about his own life) is titled Surprised by Joy. In this book, he tells his story of how he came to believe that God really is the God of the Bible, and shares some of his fascination with short-term, earthly joys that point people ultimately to the solid, everlasting, heavenly joy that is found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He once wrote, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.”
Ironically, Lewis also ended up marrying a woman named Joy. He is remembered all over the world as the writer who inspired people of all ages from all generations. He died on November 22, 1963 – the same day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
We often think of our own joy, but what brings God joy? What opportunities and gifts of grace has God been giving to you so that you might understand the Gospel better and live for the things of heaven? Are you responding rightly to the grace that God has shown you?
Matthew 13:44 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”