March 14, 2019

He Has the Whole World in His Hands


TEXT : Jos 10:19 And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand. Jos 10:25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. Jos 10:30 And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho. Jos 10:32  And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. Jos 10:42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. Jos 11:20  For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
After the victory at Ai by Israel, some of the nations of Canaan form an alliance. They did so, not only because of the conquest of Ai and Jericho, but also because the Gibeonites had [in effect] already surrendered to Israel. Therefore, five kings come together to attack Gibeon as Israel - already having made a treaty with them, comes to help.
It is in this battle that one of the greatest miracles in the Bible occurs. The sun and moon stay still for "about a whole day." The Bible records that Joshua shouted at the sun to stand still and it did. Never before had this happened with respect to the sun and moon since God created them. For "about" [notice the phrasing of the Word of God] a twenty-four hour period the earth did not rotate. God did this so Israel would have enough time to finish the battle. Still, the command came from Joshua's mouth, and the Bible points this out it. That is, the command came from Joshua and God listened to Him. It is not only an example of Joshua's great faith in the Lord, but also of the unusual and at times inexplicable relationship God has with His people.
To say it another way, when the Bible says - "And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel." [Jos 10:14] it clearly states God did not initiate this order. It came from Joshua. Thus, throughout the Bible we have the emphasis on faith in God. More so, we read of Jesus telling [us] that "whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" after He curses a fig tree, a seeming arbitrary command simply because it did not have figs. There are various views on why Jesus cursed the tree. Yet, regardless of one's view of why He cursed it, the lesson and admonition He assigned to the event is still "whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Mat 21:17  And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Mat 21:18  Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. Mat 21:19  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. Mat 21:20  And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Mat 21:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Mat 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Jesus makes a similar statement after He casts a devil from a boy.
Mat 17:15  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. Mat 17:16  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Mat 17:17  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. Mat 17:18  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Mat 17:19  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? Mat 17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Mat 17:21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
Not looking at the specific condition of this particular case [prayer and fasting] Jesus opens the door of possibilities in life for us as Christians - broad and wide. Therefore, the statements of Jesus and the faith of Joshua challenge us to believe God and His Word. The Bible as a whole stands as a testimony - almost a dare if you will, for someone, anyone to take God at His Word and see God do exploits! Yet, who has believed His report? We like to have everything figured out, understood, and under control. God will have none of that. He says "only believe" and leaves it to us to choose.
One remark with regard to the sun and moon standing still. Some have tried to "prove" this miracle scientifically over the years. One man claimed he worked for NASA and had done so. These reports are myths. It has not been "proved" scientifically or otherwise to my knowledge. Further, it discredits the integrity of the Word of God when men - even if their intentions are good, try to "help God." God does not need, want, or ask for our "help." He is God, and His Word is powerful enough to stand on its own authentication and verification through demonstration for all who believe.
I have chosen the select texts above to demonstrate the sovereignty of God. He delivers the enemies of Israel into their hands. He gives Israel their victory in battle after battle. He also hardens the heart of the nations not to make peace with Israel so He can judge them. Then again, He made the promise to Abraham concerning Abraham's children [Israel] and this land [Canaan] about six hundred years earlier. He initiated the covenant. Everything is in His Hands. Matthew Henry comments.
"None moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. This shows their perfect safety. The kings were called to an account, as rebels against the Israel of God. Refuges of lies will but secure for God's judgment. God punished the abominable wickedness of these kings, the measure of whose iniquity was now full. And by this public act of justice, done upon these ringleaders of the Canaanites in sin, he would possess his people with the greater dread and detestation of the sins of the nations that God cast out from before them. Here is a type and figure of Christ's victories over the powers of darkness, and of believers' victories through him. In our spiritual conflicts we must not be satisfied with obtaining some important victory. We must pursue our scattered enemies, searching out the remains of sin as they rise up in our hearts, and thus pursue the conquest. In so doing, the Lord will afford light until the warfare be accomplished."
"He's Got The Whole World In His Hands." It is a child's song, and one with which we are all familiar. The composer, long gone and faded into the vaporous mist of history, is unknown. Yet, as childish as it might be, this little song has great theological truth in it. It sums up the texts above with clarity and succinct truthfulness. We should be so childlike to let its truth sink deep into our minds.
He's got the whole world in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got my brothers and my sisters in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the sun and the rain in his hands,
He's got the moon and the stars in his hands,
He's got the wind and the clouds in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got the rivers and the mountains in his hands,
He's got the oceans and the seas in his hands,
He's got you and he's got me in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got everybody here in his hands,
He's got everybody there in his hands,
He's got everybody everywhere in his hands,
He's got the whole world in his hands.[1]

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