Welcome To The
Battle Bow
Bible Teaching Series
by
Kraig Josiah Rice

A Bible Study About

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
I. JUST WHAT DID GOD DO IN EGYPT IN THE WAY OF MIRACLES?

II. GOING TO BATTLE WITH PRAISE


CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

          Are you hurting? Are you desperate? Do your circumstances have you checkmated with your back up against the wall with no way out? Is your problem a matter of life and death? The answer to your dilemma is God. He is alive and responds to faith and praise from you. It just might be that God is going to work a miracle on your behalf.

          Sometimes a problem from Satan is God's opportunity to work a miracle for you.

          Let's take a look at the Word of God. Obviously, it was Satan who caused a problem for the Israelites. Why did the good Lord allow this following true incident to take place and then have it recorded in His holy word? I believe that it is because He wants each of His saved children to know that He loves each and every one of them and that each one is special to Him. I also believe that He wants you to know that He still specializes in working miracles for those who love, trust, and praise Him.

          Ancient Israel was hurting. They were desperate. Their circumstances had them checkmated with their back up against a wall with no way out. It was a matter of life and death. The answer to their dilemma was God. God responded to the prayers, faith, praise, and supplication that went up to Him from those folks. You see, He worked miracles in those days and He works miracles in this day as well. He has never changed (God is immutable). But a warning is shown here- unbelief will keep you from partaking of the miracle from God that He has for you.

          Here's the true story from God's Holy Word:

24"Some time later, however, King Ben-hadad of Aram mobilized his entire army and besieged Samaria.

25As a result there was a great famine in the city. After a while even a donkey's head sold for two pounds of silver, and a cup of dove's dung cost about two ounces of silver."
(2 Kings 6:24 & 25)

1 "Elisha replied, "Hear this message from the LORD! This is what the LORD says: By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost only half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost only half an ounce of silver."

2The officer assisting the king said to the man of God, "That couldn't happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!"
But Elisha replied, "You will see it happen, but you won't be able to eat any of it!"

Lepers Visit the Enemy Camp

3Now there were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. "Why should we sit here waiting to die?" they asked each other.

4"We will starve if we stay here, and we will starve if we go back into the city. So we might as well go out and surrender to the Aramean army. If they let us live, so much the better. But if they kill us, we would have died anyway."

5So that evening they went out to the camp of the Arameans, but no one was there!

6For the Lord had caused the whole army of Aram to hear the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sounds of a great army approaching. "The king of Israel has hired the Hittites and Egyptians to attack us!" they cried out.

7So they panicked and fled into the night, abandoning their tents, horses, donkeys, and everything else, and they fled for their lives.

8When the lepers arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating, drinking wine, and carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it.

9Finally, they said to each other, "This is not right. This is wonderful news, and we aren't sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some terrible calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let's go back and tell the people at the palace."

10So they went back to the city and told the gatekeepers what had happened- that they had gone out to the Aramean camp and no one was there! The horses and donkeys were tethered and the tents were all in order, but there was not a single person around.

11Then the gatekeepers shouted the news to the people in the palace.

Israel Plunders the Camp

12The king got out of bed in the middle of the night and told his officers, "I know what has happened. The Arameans know we are starving, so they have left their camp and have hidden in the fields. They are expecting us to leave the city, and then they will take us alive and capture the city."

13One of his officers replied, "We had better send out scouts to check into this. Let them take five of the remaining horses. If something happens to them, it won't be a greater loss than if they stay here and die with the rest of us."

14So two chariots with horses were prepared, and the king sent scouts to see what had happened to the Aramean army.

15They went all the way to the Jordan River, following a trail of clothing and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their mad rush to escape. The scouts returned and told the king about it.

16Then the people of Samaria rushed out and plundered the Aramean camp. So it was true that five quarts of fine flour were sold that day for half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain were sold for half an ounce of silver, just as the LORD had promised.

17The king appointed his officer to control the traffic at the gate, but he was knocked down and trampled to death as the people rushed out.
So everything happened exactly as the man of God had predicted when the king came to his house.

18The man of God had said to the king, "By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria, five quarts of fine flour will cost half an ounce of silver, and ten quarts of barley grain will cost half an ounce of silver."

19The king's officer had replied, "That couldn't happen even if the LORD opened the windows of heaven!" And the man of God had said, "You will see it happen, but you won't be able to eat any of it!"

20And so it was, for the people trampled him to death at the gate!"
(2 Kings 7:1 - 20) NLT

          God is letting you know by the above true story that He still works miracles and that a miracle is available to you if you believe in Him and have faith- even though natural law and others say that it is impossible.

          But a warning is shown here- unbelief will keep you from partaking of the miracle from God. Unbelief is seen in the soldier who died. The greatest enemy of a miracle for you is your own unbelief.

          God is greater than any problem you have. It's good to keep this in perspective: BIG GOD but little problem.

16"...I prayed to the LORD:

17"O Sovereign LORD! You have made the heavens and earth by your great power. Nothing is too hard for you!

18You are loving and kind to thousands, though children suffer for their parents' sins. You are the great and powerful God, the LORD Almighty.

19You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You are very aware of the conduct of all people, and you reward them according to their deeds.

20You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt- things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name very great, as it is today."
(Jeremiah 32:16 - 20) (New Living Translation or NLT)

"A ship in harbor is safe,
but that is not what ships are built for"
-William Shedd

I.
JUST WHAT DID GOD DO IN EGYPT IN THE WAY OF MIRACLES?

          I am planning on spending a little time here in studying about what God did in Egypt. I think that this is important that you study these various writings here in section I. Why? I believe that God is letting us know that He is all powerful. He is a BIG God. He can solve any problem that you or I have. And I think that you can see how big God really is by studying His word. Since He is big enough to do these miracles in Egypt then He can do a miracle in your life as well. Understanding how powerful God really is may help you put your problem in the right perspective. If Satan is beating you up then cry out to God for deliverance. This is what ancient Israel did and in God's timing God worked miracles to help them.

          What did God do in Egypt? Well, let's examine the records and find out. Egypt at that time was a world ruling power exerting a tremendous influence over the rest of the world.

          God performed His miracles in Egypt in order to deliver His people out of Satan's grasp. God's actions there show how big our God really is.

J. Vernon McGee has this to say about God's miracles there:

          "God directed His plagues against the idolatry in Egypt, against Pharaoh, and against Satan. It was a battle of the gods.

          Exodus 12:12 confirms it: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute Judgment: I am the Lord." God exposed the gods of Egypt as false, and He revealed to Israel His ability to deliver them. These Israelites had been born in the brick-yards in the midst of idolatry, and God had to show them that He was superior.

          A brief outline of each plague might be helpful at this point in order to see that there was some sense to them. When Moses first stood before Pharaoh, he changed his rod into a serpent. The wise men of Egypt performed the same miracle. This reveals that Satan has definite powers. After this demonstration came the ten plagues.

          1. Water turned to blood (Exodus 7:19-25):

The fertility of the land of Egypt depended upon the overflow of the Nile River to bring it both fertilizer and water. Therefore this river was sacred to the god Osiris whose all-seeing eye is found in many Egyptian paintings. Pagan rites were held every spring when the river brought life out of death. When the water was turned to blood it brought death instead of life. The wise men of Egypt also imitated this plague with their sorcery.

          2. The plague of frogs (Exod. 8:1-15):

One of the most beautiful temples in Memphis was the temple to Heka, the ugly frog-headed goddess. It was an offense to kill the sacred frog, but if you found them in your house, bed, food, and underfoot everywhere, as the Egyptians did, you might feel like killing them. But they were sacred. The wise men also duplicated this plague which might indicate that their success up to this point was accomplished by sleight-of-hand tricks or some similar magical device.

          3.The plague of lice (Exodus 8:16-20):

The Egyptians worshiped the earth-god Geb. But "the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt." This which was sacred to Geb they now despise. Pharaoh did not ask that this plague be taken away, and the Egyptian sorcerers could not reproduce this pestilence. They seem to have acknowledged that the One who brought this plague was supreme over the gods of Egypt.

          4. The plague of flies (Exodus 8:20-32):

It is thought by some that the swarms of flies were actually masses of the sacred beetle. And Khepara was the beetle-god. The beetle, or scarab, is found in the Egyptian tombs and speaks of eternal life. These beetles were sacred to Ra the sun-god.

          5. The plague of murrain (Exodus 9:1-7):

Murrain was a disease that affected cattle. The second largest temple that Egypt ever built was located in Memphis and was for the worship of the black bull Apis. You could say that this plague caused the Egyptians to worship a sick cow!

          6. The plague of boils (Exodus 9:8-17):

The priests of all the religions of Egypt had to be spotless, with no mark or blemish on their bodies, in order to serve in the temples. Well, they had a moratorium on worship in Egypt during this period because of the boils that were on all the priests. None of them could serve anywhere. It was actually a judgment on the entire religion of Egypt.

          7. The plague of hail (Exodus 9:18-35):

God demonstrates His power with the plague of hail over the sky-goddess who is powerless in her own domain.

          8. The plague of locusts (Exodus 10:1-20):

The judgment of the locusts was against the insect gods. The plague of locusts meant the crops were cursed. This was an evidence of the judgment of God as found in the books of Joel and Revelation also.

          9. The plague of darkness (Exodus 10:21-29):

God moved in with darkness against the chief god that was worshiped, the sun-god Ra. The sun disc is the most familiar symbol found in Egyptian ruins. The plague of darkness shows the utter helplessness of Ra.

          10. Death of the firstborn (Exodus 11-12:36):

According to the religion of Egypt, the first-born belonged to the gods of Egypt. In other words, God took what was set aside for the gods of Egypt. God was teaching the Egyptians who He was. He was convincing Pharaoh that he was God. Also He was bringing His own people to the place where they were willing to acknowledge Him as their God. This was the final act of judgment that would free Israel from Egyptian bondage. It is important to understand that there was purpose in the plagues of Egypt. God challenged the gods of Egypt to a contest and defeated them."
J. Vernon McGee, Volume 1 pages 216 & 217

The late radio minister, J. Vernon McGee
His radio sermons were published in book form in a 6 volume set:
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee,
Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982
Note: if you want to purchase this set please go to the Thru the Bible website. You can find their website address on my links page- just click on the red button on my home page to go there.

Matthew Henry in his commentary had this to say about what God did in the land of Egypt:

Exodus chapter 7 Verses 14-25

"Here is the first of the ten plagues, the turning of the water into blood, which was,

          1. A dreadful plague, and very grievous. The very sight of such vast rolling streams of blood, pure blood no doubt, florid and high-colored, could not but strike a horror upon people: much more afflictive were the consequences of it. Nothing more common than water: so wisely has Providence ordered it, and so kindly, that that which is so needful and serviceable to the comfort of human life should be cheap, and almost everywhere to be had; but now the Egyptians must either drink blood, or die for thirst. Fish was much of their food
(Numbers 11:5), but the changing of the waters was the death of the fish; it was a pestilence in that element
(verse 21). Egypt was a pleasant land, but the noisome stench of dead fish and blood, which by degrees would grow putrid, now rendered it very unpleasant.

          2. It was a righteous plague, and justly inflicted upon the Egyptians. For,

                   (1.) Nilus, the river of Egypt, was their idol; they and their land derived so much benefit from it that they served and worshipped it more than the Creator. The true fountain of the Nile being unknown to them, they paid all their devotions to its streams: here therefore God punished them, and turned that into blood which they had turned into a god. Note, That creature which we idolize God justly removes from us, or embitters to us. He makes that a scourge to us which we make a competitor with him.

                   (2.) They had stained the river with the blood of the Hebrews' children, and now God made that river all bloody. Thus he gave them blood to drink, for they were worthy,
Revelation 16:6. Note, Never any thirsted after blood, but, sooner or later, they had enough of it.

          3. It was a significant plague. Egypt had a great dependence upon their river
(Zechariah 14:18), so that in smiting the river they were warned of the destruction of all the productions of their country, till it came at last to their firstborn; and this red river proved a direful omen of the ruin of Pharaoh and all his forces in the Red Sea. This plague of Egypt is alluded to in the prediction of the ruin of the enemies of the New-Testament church,
Revelation 16:3, 4. But there the sea, as well as the rivers and fountains of water, is turned into blood; for spiritual judgments reach further, and strike deeper, than temporal judgments do.

And, lastly, let me observe in general concerning this plague that one of the first miracles Moses wrought was turning water into blood, but one of the first miracles our Lord Jesus wrought was turning water into wine; for the law was given by Moses, and it was a dispensation of death and terror; but grace and truth, which, like wine, make glad the heart, came by Jesus Christ.

Observe,
I. Moses is directed to give Pharaoh warning of this plague. "Pharaoh's heart is hardened
(verse 14), therefore go and try what this will do to soften it,"
(verse 15). Moses perhaps may not be admitted into Pharaoh's presence-chamber, or the room of state where he used to give audience to ambassadors; and therefore he is directed to meet him by the river's brink, whither God foresaw he would come in the morning, either for the pleasure of a morning's walk or to pay his morning devotions to the river: for thus all people will walk, every one in the name of his god; they will not fail to worship their god every morning. There Moses must be ready to give him a new summons to surrender, and, in case of a refusal, to tell him of the judgment that was coming upon that very river on the banks of which they were now standing. Notice is thus given him of it beforehand, that they might have no colour to say it was a chance, or to attribute it to any other cause, but that it might appear to be done by the power of the God of the Hebrews, and as a punishment upon him for his obstinacy. Moses is expressly ordered to take the rod with him, that Pharaoh might be alarmed at the sight of that rod which had so lately triumphed over the rods of the magicians.

Now learn hence,
          1. That the judgments of God are all known to himself beforehand. He knows what he will do in wrath as well as in mercy. Every consumption is a consumption determined,
Isaiah 10:23.

          2. That men cannot escape the alarms of God's wrath, because they cannot go out of the hearing of their own consciences: he that made their hearts can make his sword to approach them.

          3. That God warns before he wounds; for he is long-suffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

II. Aaron (who carried the mace) is directed to summon the plague by smiting the river with his rod,
(verses 19, 20). It was done in the sight of Pharaoh and his attendants; for God's true miracles were not performed, as Satan's lying wonders were, by those that peeped and muttered: truth seeks no corners. An amazing change was immediately wrought; all the waters, not only in the rivers but in all their ponds, were turned into blood.

          1. See here the almighty power of God. Every creature is that to us which he makes it to be, water or blood.

          2. See the mutability of all things under the sun, and what changes we may meet with in them. That which is water today may be blood tomorrow; what is always vain may soon become vexatious. A river, at the best, is transient; but divine justice can quickly make it malignant.

          3. See what mischievous work sin makes. if the things that have been our comforts prove our crosses, we must thank ourselves: it is sin that turns our waters into blood.

III. Pharaoh endeavours to confront the miracle, because he resolves not to humble himself under the plague. He sends for the magicians, and, by God's permission, they ape the miracle with their enchantments
(verse 22), and this serves Pharaoh for an excuse not to set his heart to this also
(verse 23), and a pitiful excuse it was. Could they have turned the river of blood into water again, this would have been something to the purpose; then they would have proved their power, and Pharaoh would have been obliged to them as his benefactors. But for them, when there was such scarcity of water, to turn more of it into blood, only to show their art, plainly intimates that the design of the devil is only to delude his devotees and amuse them, not to do them any real kindness, but to keep them from doing a real kindness to themselves by repenting and returning to their God."
Quoted from the Matthew Henry Commentary.

God promised to come and rescue his people out of Egypt after 430 years. He kept His promise to them. The following references have a lot of nuggets of truth for us to mine from God's Word. There is a lot of truth here for us to chew on. A primary truth is that God is greater than Satan. God has more power than Satan. This is proven by the fact that God created life (the lice) but Satan does not have the power to create life. Satan can only corrupt and destroy life. This should be especially meaningful to you if Satan is the one behind the misery in your life.

John Darby's synopsis of the Bible- Exodus Chapter 7
John Darby had this to say about the happenings in Egypt:

The power of evil; Satan's resistance permitted:
"...but the struggle against the power of evil is another matter. Satan will not let the people go, and God permits this resistance, for the exercise of faith, for the discipline of His people, and for the brilliant display of His power where Satan had reigned.

Oppression heavier; the hand of God shown:
Before the deliverance, when the hopes of the people are now awakened, the oppression becomes heavier than ever, and the people would have preferred being left quiet in their slavery. But the rights and counsels of God are in question...
Moses works signs. The magicians imitate them by the power of Satan, in order to harden Pharaoh's heart. But when the question is of creating life, they are forced to recognise the hand of God.

God as judge and deliverer:
At last God executes His judgment, taking the firstborn as representatives of all the people. We have thus two parts in the deliverance of the people; in one, God appears as Judge, but satisfied through the blood that is before Him; in the other, He manifests Himself as Deliverer."
Quoted from John Darby's synopsis of the Bible.

Verses 16-19 "These lice were produced out of the dust of the earth; out of any part of the creation God can fetch a scourge, with which to correct those who rebel against him. Even the dust of the earth obeys him. These lice were very troublesome, as well as disgraceful to the Egyptians, whose priests were obliged to take much pains that no vermin ever should be found about them. All the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians, had reference to their national crimes, or were rendered particularly severe by their customs. The magicians attempted to imitate it, but they could not. It forced them to confess, This is the finger of God! The check and restraint put upon us, must needs be from a Divine power. Sooner or later God will force even his enemies to acknowledge his own power. Pharaoh, notwithstanding this, was more and more obstinate."
Quoted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

Verse 19. "This is the finger of God- The power of God. The devil's agents, when God permitted them, could do great things; but when he laid an embargo upon them, they could do nothing. The magicians inability in this instance shewed whence they had their ability in the former instances, and that they had no power against Moses but what was given them from above. But Pharaoh's heart was hardened- By himself and the devil."
Quoted from John Wesley's Notes on the Bible

Exodus 8:18
Verse 18. "And the magicians did so with their enchantments, to bring forth lice,.... They made use of their magical art, and juggling tricks they were masters of, to produce the like sort of creatures, or at least to make such appear, or seem to appear, to the eyes of men: but they could not; God would not suffer them to do it, to impose upon Pharaoh, and deceive him and the Egyptians any longer; and a stop is put to them, when such small and despicable creatures were produced, the more to put them to shame and confusion, and to show that what they did before was not real, and that what they did in appearance was only by divine permission; so there were lice upon man and upon beast; these lay in great numbers on both, biting and distressing them in a most terrible manner;
for as the magicians could not produce such creatures, it was not in their power to remove them."
Quoted from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible

A brave man dies once
But a coward dies a thousand times

A SHOWDOWN OF POWER

Ambassadors use the delegated power of their master. God used Moses and Aaron and Satan used Jannes and Jambres
(2 Timothy 3:8). God showed through this miracle in Egypt that He was greater than Satan and could work any miracle that He wanted to. Satan cannot stop God from working a miracle for you.

Exodus 7:12 "For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods."

Aaron's rod-
"As Moses' rod was the rod of power, the rod of the King
(Deuteronomy 33:4,5) so Aaron's was the rod of life, the rod of the Priest. As here the serpents, symbols of Satan, who had the power of death
(Revelation 12:9; Hebrews 2:14) are swallowed up, so in resurrection death will be "swallowed up in victory"
(1 Corinthians 15:54; Numbers 17:8)."
Quoted from the Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

10. "Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh. It is to be presumed that Pharaoh had demanded a proof of their divine mission.
11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers. His object in calling them was to ascertain whether this doing of Aaron's was really a work of divine power or merely a feat of magical art. The magicians of Egypt in modern times have been long celebrated adepts in charming serpents, and particularly by pressing the nape of the neck, they throw them into a kind of catalepsy, which renders them stiff and immovable- thus seeming to change them into a rod. They conceal the serpent about their persons, and by acts of legerdemain produce it from their dress, stiff and straight as a rod. Just the same trick was played off by their ancient predecessors, the most renowned of whom, Jannes and Jambres
(2 Timothy 3:8), were called in on this occasion. They had time after the summons to make suitable preparations- and so it appears they succeeded by their "enchantments" in practising an illusion on the senses."
Quoted from the Commentary of Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

Verses 8-13 "What men dislike, because it opposes their pride and lusts, they will not be convinced of; but it is easy to cause them to believe things they wish to be true. God always sends with his word full proofs of its Divine authority; but when men are bent to disobey, and willing to object, he often permits a snare to be laid wherein they are entangled. The magicians were cheats, trying to copy the real miracles of Moses by secret sleights or jugglings, which to a small extent they succeeded in doing, so as to deceive the bystanders, but they were at length obliged to confess they could not any longer imitate the effects of Divine power. None assist more in the destruction of sinners, than such as resist the truth by amusing men with a counterfeit resemblance of it. Satan is most to be dreaded when transformed into an angel of light."
Quoted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

II.
GOING TO BATTLE WITH PRAISE

Is your problem one that you can't seem to handle? Does it seem that it bigger and more powerful than you are? Does it appear that it will defeat you? Is it a life and death issue? If you answer yes to any of these questions then you have come to the right passage of scripture to help you. God has placed this true story in His Holy Word so that He can minister to you through it.

Here is the setting: It takes place in Old Testament days. Israel is being attacked by a huge enemy army. Satan wanted to exterminate them. Israel faced the same problems that you may have. Israel's problem was one that seemed that they couldn't handle in their own strength. Their problem seemed bigger and more powerful than they were. It appears that they were going to be defeated and killed. It was a life and death issue. They were weak and admitted it. Their only hope was God. If God did not fight for Israel then Israel was going to die.

This story is found in the Bible in 2 Chronicles Chapter 20. Here's what one commentary has to say:
(verses 3, 4) "Jehoshaphat . . . proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Alarmed by the intelligence and conscious of his total inability to repel this host of invaders, Jehoshaphat felt his only refuge was at the horns of the altar. He resolved to employ the aid of his God, and, in conformity with this resolution, he summoned all his subjects to observe a solemn fast at the sanctuary. It was customary with the Hebrew kings to proclaim fasts in perilous circumstances, either in a city, a district, or throughout the entire kingdom, according to the greatness of the emergency. On this occasion, it was a universal fast, which extended to infants
(2 Chronicles 20:13; see also Joel 2:15, 16; John 3:7).

5-13. Jehoshaphat stood . . . in the house of the Lord, before the new court, that is, the great or outer court
(2 Chronicles 4:9) called the new court, probably from having been at that time enlarged or beautified.

6-12. And said, O Lord God of our fathers. This earnest and impressive prayer embraces every topic and argument which, as king and representative of the chosen people, he could urge. Then it concludes with an earnest appeal to the justice of God to protect those who, without provocation, were attacked and who were unable to defend themselves against overwhelming numbers.

14-18. Then upon Jahaziel . . . came the Spirit of the Lord. This prophet is not elsewhere mentioned, but his claim to the inspiration of a prophetic spirit was verified by the calm and distinct announcement he gave, both of the manner and the completeness of the deliverance he predicted.

16. They come up by the cliff of Ziz. This seems to have been nothing else than the present pass which leads northwards, by an ascent from Engedi to Jerusalem, issuing a little below Tekoa. The wilderness of Jeruel was probably the large flat district adjoining the desert of Tekoa, called El-Husasah, from a wady on its northern side [ROBINSON].

18. Jehoshaphat bowed his head . . . and all Judah. This attitude was expressive of reverence to God and His Word, of confidence in His promise, and thankfulness for so extraordinary a favor.

19. the Levites . . . stood up to praise the Lord- doubtless by the king's command. Their anthem was sung with such a joyful acclaim as showed that they universally regarded the victory as already obtained.

20, 21. As they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood . . . Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem- probably in the gate of Jerusalem, the place of general rendezvous; and as the people were on the eve of setting out, he exhorted them to repose implicit trust in the Lord and His prophet, not to be timid or desponding at sight of the enemy, but to remain firm in the confident assurance of a miraculous deliverance, without their striking a single stroke.

21. he appointed singers . . . that they should praise . . . as they went out before the army. Having arranged the line of procession, he gave the signal to move forwards. The Levites led the van with their musical instruments; and singing the 136th Psalm, the people went on, not as an army marching against an enemy, but returning in joyful triumph after a victory.
2 Chronicles 20:22-30. THE OVERTHROW OF HIS ENEMIES.

22. when they began to sing and to praise the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir. Some think that this was done by angels in human form, whose sudden appearance diffused an uncontrollable panic. Others entertain the more probable opinion that, in the camp of this vast horde, composed of different tribes, jealousies and animosities had sprung up, which led to widespread dissensions and fierce feuds, in which they drew the sword against each other. The consequence was, that as the mutual strife commenced when the Hebrew procession set out from Jerusalem, the work of destruction was completed before Jehoshaphat and his people arrived at the battlefield. Thus easy is it for God to make the wrath of man to praise Him, to confound the counsels of His enemies and employ their own passions in defeating the machinations they have devised for the overthrow of His Church and people."
Quoted from the Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Commentary

Verses 1-13 "In all dangers, public or personal, our first business should be to seek help from God. Hence the advantage of days for national fasting and prayer. From the first to the last of our seeking the Lord, we must approach him with humiliation for our sins, trusting only in his mercy and power. Jehoshaphat acknowledges the sovereign dominion of the Divine Providence. Lord, exert it on our behalf. Whom should we seek to, whom should we trust to for relief, but the God we have chosen and served. Those that use what they have for God, may comfortably hope he will secure it to them. Every true believer is a son of Abraham, a friend of God; with such the everlasting covenant is established, to such every promise belongs. We are assured of God's love, by his dwelling in human nature in the person of the Saviour. Jehoshaphat mentions the temple, as a token of God's favourable presence. He pleads the injustice of his enemies. We may well appeal to God against those that render us evil for good. Though they had a great army, he said, We have no might without thee; we rely upon thee.

Verses 14-19 The Spirit of prophecy came upon a Levite in the midst of the congregation. The Spirit, like the wind, blows where and on whom He listeth. He encouraged them to trust in God. Let the Christian soldier go out against his spiritual enemies, and the God of peace will make him more than a conqueror. Our trials will prove our gain. The advantage will be all our own, but the whole glory must be given to God.

Verses 20-30 Jehoshaphat exhorted his troops to firm faith in God. Faith inspires a man with true courage; nor will any thing help more to the establishing of the heart in shaking times, than a firm belief of the power, and mercy, and promise of God. In all our trust in the Lord, and our praises of him, let us especially look at his everlasting mercy to sinners through Jesus Christ. Never was an army so destroyed as that of the enemy. Thus God often makes wicked people destroy one another. And never was a victory celebrated with more solemn thanksgivings."
Quoted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

PRAISING GOD
by Rev. Merlin R. Carothers

Sincere praise to God thanking Him for the present circumstances in your life just might result in a miracle from God taking place in your life. Here is what Rev. Merlin Carothers says in his book:

          "Any form of sincere prayers opens the door for God's power to move into our lives. But the prayer of praise releases more of God's power than any other form of petition. The Bible gives examples which demonstrate this fact again and again.

          "But thou art holy, 0 thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel," we read in
Psalms 22:3 (KJV). No wonder God's power and presence is near when we praise Him. He actually dwells, inhabits, resides, in our praises!

          A remarkable example of how God works while we praise Him is found in
II Chronicles chapter 20.

          Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, and one day he discovered that his little kingdom was surrounded by the powerful armies of his enemies- the Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites. Jehoshaphat knew that little Judah didn t have a chance in its own might, and he cried out to God:

          "We have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do but our eyes are upon You"
(II Chronicles 20:12 Amplified Bible).

          An important step in the act of praising God is to take our eyes off the threatening circumstances and look to God instead. Notice that Jehoshaphat wasn't just closing his eyes to the threat against his kingdom or pretending the enemies weren't there. He took careful stock of the situation, recognized his own helplessness, and turned to God for help.

          We are not to be blind to the very real threats of evil in our lives. Seeing them for what they are only gives us greater cause to praise and thank God for working in them with perfect control and authority. But we are not to be preoccupied with the appearance of evil around us. See it, admit our helplessness to cope with it in our own strength, then turn to God.

          God said to Jehoshaphat, "Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's"
(II Chronicles 20:15 Amplified Bible).

          Now that is a tremendous statement, I think. We don't have the power to deal with the circumstances of our lives, so obviously, the battle isn't ours, but God's!

          "You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord . . ."

          What a promise! Now what kind of position did God want Jehoshaphat to hold while he was to stand still and watch God at work?

          The next morning Jehoshaphat gave the orders to his army. "He appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy [priestly] garments, as they went out before the army, saying. Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever!"
(II Chronicles 20:21 Amplified Bible).

          This scene took place right in front of the massed ranks of the enemy- armies ready to slaughter the men of Judah. Can you imagine the reaction of their captains as they saw the small band of singers coming out on the battlefield against them?

          I've been a chaplain in the army for many years, and I've seen men prepare for many battles. But I've never seen a commanding general order his troups to stand still right in front of the enemy lines while a special band of singers went out ahead singing praises to God.

          It sounds like a pretty farfetched idea, doesn't it? It is in this kind of situation that our understanding is most likely to balk.

          "It's all well and good to praise the Lord when we're in a tough spot," we may say, "but let's not be ridiculous. God helps those who help themselves. The least we can do is go out there and fight as valiantly as we know how. Then we'll leave the rest to Him."

But what happened to Jehoshaphat and his men?

          "And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men . . . who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered"
(II Chronicles 20:22-23 Amplified Bible).

          I think it is permissible to assume that if Jehoshaphat had decided that "he better play it safe" and had ordered his men to fight, the outcome would have been very different.

          Many of us are constantly defeated by the circumstances around us because we aren't ready to accept that the battle is God's, not ours. Even when we realize our own powerlessness to cope with the enemy, we are afraid to let go and trust ourselves to God's power. This is where we've allowed our own understanding to assume the wrong position in our lives. We say, "I don't understand; therefore I don't dare believe."

          God''s Word makes it clear that the only way out of that dilemma is the step of faith on our part. Believing that God's promises are valid, accepting them, and daring to trust in them leads to understanding. The principle in the Bible is very clear here: Acceptance comes before understanding.

          The reason for this is simple. Our human understanding is so limited that we can't possibly grasp the magnitude of God's plan and purpose for His creation. If our understanding had to come before our acceptance, we'd never be able to accept very much.

          Jehoshaphat would never have dared follow God's plan for the battle if he had insisted on understanding it. God's proposal and promise undoubtedly staggered and went beyond Jehoshaphat's understanding. But Jehoshaphat, we read in the account, was a man who believed and trusted God. With his understanding, he relied on and trusted God."
Quoted from
Merlin R. Carothers, Power In Praise, Logos International
Plainfield, N.J., 1972, pages 12-14. Note: Rev. Carothers has written several books on praise, his first being Prison To Praise. I highly recommend that you read all of his books.

Miracles Still Happen
by Rev. John Hagee

          "Many think that miracles are a thing of the past that do not occur anymore. I don't believe in miracles because I've heard about them or because I've read about them. I believe in them because I have personally seen the power of God produce supernatural miracles.

          The Bible is a miracle digest! The creation of man is a miracle. God spoke into a handful of dirt and man became a living soul created in the image of God. The ministry of Jesus was a miracle ministry.
John 2:23 states, "Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem, many believed in His name when they saw the miracles He did." The multitudes followed Jesus for His miracles, not His teaching. However, if you follow Jesus just for the miracles, you're a circus Christian and you seek sensation without sacrifice. Jesus is looking for covenant Christians!

          Mark 6:45-52 discusses the miracle of walking on water. The setting of this miracle- Jesus had just fed more than 5000 people by the Sea of Galilee; perhaps as many as 15,000 were in attendance. The air was charged with excitement. The multitude had reached such a fevered pitch of enthusiasm they were ready to take Jesus by force and make Him king. By seeking to make Jesus king, they would destroy His ministry and God's purpose for Him on earth.

          This is a fact! The place of God's purpose is the place of His power! God has a divine purpose for your life. The greatest tragedy in life is not death, but life that fails to fulfill its purpose and potential. This is a Bible fact, it is better to never have been born, than to live and fail to fulfill God's purpose for your life.

          Ecclesiastes 6:3-6 confirms this: "A man may have 100 children and live many years, yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity and does not receive proper burial, I say that a still born child is better off than he..." Jesus' purpose was The Cross! Satan's offer was for the mob who followed Jesus for the miracles; to make him king now. But God had a different plan.

          What is God's purpose for your life? Is it your marriage? Be sure you choose who God wants for you lest you allow Satan to send someone to destroy your potential. What is God's purpose for your business? In order to release your potential, you must refuse to be satisfied with your latest accomplishment. When your memories are greater than your dreams, your life is over and your purpose is over!

          During the miracle of walking on water, Jesus was prayerful
(verse 46). The Word says, "He departed into a mountain to pray." Here is a question: how much do you pray? How often? Do you make God your last resort as opposed to your first priority? Jesus was not powerful because He was the Son of God, He was powerful because He prayed. Prayer is not sending God to run your errands. When you pray, do you concentrate more on the mountain you want God to remove or on the God who has the power to move it? What are your motives in prayer? Are they to get your way or to get you prepared to do God's will? Some may ask themselves, "Why pray?" You pray because God answers prayer. The Bible says, "Call upon Me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." You should pray because God answers prayer every time you pray. Sometimes He says, "yes," sometimes "no", and sometimes "wait." But He always answers prayer.

          We should pray because we are commanded to pray! Jesus said in
Matthew 6, "when you pray"- not "if" you pray! As Christians, we know the power of prayer, the plan of prayer, the pattern of prayer, the priority of prayer and the purpose of prayer, yet we do not propose to pray.

          The tragedy of our day is not unanswered prayer, it is unoffered prayer. Listen to this! You are on God's prayer list.

          Hebrews 7:25 says, "Seeing He ever liveth to maketh intercession for them." You are on Jesus Christ's prayer list. He sees you from the mount of heaven, toiling at the oars while angry waves slash at your soul. You may not see Him, but He sees you!

          The miracle of walking on water came in a time of a savage storm. The Word tells us that Jesus sent the disciples into the storm, "He constrained (ordered) them to get into the ship." They were full of joy and excitement from the feeding of the 5000. There were 12 baskets of leftovers. However, celebration was followed by crisis, and triumph was followed by trouble. When trouble grows, your character shows!

          Something that you need to remember is that your trouble is not always chastisement! Only hard storms can expose which trees are alive and deeply rooted! Let the storms of life strip your trees of dead branches.

          Storms are a proof you're a card carrying member of the human race. But hear this, God is too wise to make a mistake and He's too loving to be unkind. Why does God send us into the raging storm? The storm God sends you into is not your decision, but it determines your destiny. Will you obey or disobey? When the storm comes will you cry out in fear or live by faith? The trouble that drives you to Jesus is a priceless treasure.

          The storm was sustained. These were seasoned sailors fighting for their lives on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were alone and God was preparing them for a time when He would no longer be visibly present on the earth. What's the message of this miracle? It's this! Just because you can't see Jesus, doesn't mean He can't see you. He's walking towards you right now on the water. The thing you think is about to destroy you, God is using for a sidewalk to save you.

          Do you need a miracle? Then go to the Word- speak it, believe it and stand on it. When you stand on the Word of God, the only thing that can happen to us is a miracle.

          The God that we serve Is a miracle working God. He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to the earth with a ministry of miracles.

          The purpose of the miracles were two-fold;
first, they were to demonstrate that He was sent from the Father to the earth with supernatural power. The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead and walking on water proved Him to be the Son of God.
The second purpose of the many miracles that Christ performed was to teach a spiritual principle to those that were following Him then and especially to Christians today."

JH Magazine, November/December 2005, Volume 17, Number 6, John Hagee Ministries, pages 24,25,32

"The little reed, bending to the force of the wind,
soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over"
-Aesop

CONCLUSION

From the above Bible stories I think that we can see a pattern here. God is great and He is possessive of those who belong to Him. He doesn't like Satan kicking His people around without cause. He inhabits the praises of His children who love Him. Many times He works miracles on behalf of His children to deliver each one from the clutches of the evil one and the adverse circumstances that Satan brings. And God just might come to your aid and rescue you by working a miracle for you if that is the case in your life. Of course, you have to be humble and thankful to God for whatever He decides to do or NOT to do on your behalf. And after He does the miracle for you be sure that you give Him all of the glory.

The Assemblies of God Church Denomination Position On Miracles

Does the Assemblies of God believe that God still performs miracles today?

          "The Assemblies of God believes unequivocally that God still performs miracles today. This conviction grows out of a firm belief that the miracles recorded in the Bible were historical events– not myths or folk stories. There is no indication in Scripture that miracles have ceased or will cease in the present world order. Because there are confirmed instances of miracles happening today, we must conclude with certainty that God still performs miracles. Jesus Christ, the greatest worker of miracles, is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever"
(Hebrews 13:8).

          Miracles have been defined all the way from simple unexpected happenings to things that cannot be explained by limited human understanding. Some might loosely describe awe inspiring life processes as miracles (e.g., "the miracle of birth"). Some define a miracle as "a violation of the laws of nature" (David Hume). But as Bible believers, we define a miracle as "a supernatural event by which God reveals himself to humankind." These events are not always a violation of nature, for God sometimes uses nature in unusual ways to reveal himself miraculously to humans.

          Faith is an essential element in recognizing a miracle. A scientific approach cannot prove or disprove the supernatural validity of a miracle. To the skeptic, such a statement may confirm that miracles do not actually happen, but are real only in the minds of those who choose to believe a miraculous explanation of an event. But the opposite is true. Only the one who believes in the existence of a supernatural God can recognize the hand of God at work. To one who denies the existence of God, an unexplainable event is just that– unexplainable either because of some unknown natural activity or because of a fraudulent deception made to look like a miracle.

          To the born again believer (John 3:3,7; 1 Peter 1:23), the salvation experience– in which God forgives sin and accepts the redeemed believer as a member of the family of God– is the greatest of all miracles. But that is not what most people mean when they ask if God still performs miracles today. They refer to miraculous events such as are recorded in the Old and New Testaments: the dead being raised to life, supernatural provision at a time of great need; protection from injury or death by a supernatural intervention. There have been authenticated accounts of each of these biblical miracles in the 20th century. It must be acknowledged, however, that the dead being raised to life is seldom seen. The few occasions where this has happened are possibly to remind believers of the resurrection power that will one day make alive those who have died in Christ
(1 Thessalonians 4:16,17). Scripture tells us, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment"
(Hebrews 9:27, NIV). So if there should be an isolated miracle of being restored to life after death, it is only for a time because everyone is destined to die, unless Christ returns before one dies.

          Probably the most immediate miracles that Assemblies of God adherents would cite, when asked for evidence that miracles still take place, would be instances of God’s intervention to interrupt sickness and dying to restore health and physical well being until a natural death takes place. Of course, those who believe miracles ceased with the New Testament record see no healing apart from the natural restorative processes of the body, assisted by the mind and hands of the physician or surgeon. But Pentecostal believers have seen many documented instances of divine healing when medicine and doctors had reached the end of their ability to provide natural healing.
(See Acts Today, Gospel Publishing House)

          The Pentecostal experience of speaking in tongues, in which a loving Holy Spirit prays through the Spirit-filled believer, though not generally described as a miracle, is a supernatural revelation of God’s presence in the life of the believer. So also are the other gifts of the Spirit described in
1 Corinthians 12. One of those gifts, all of which are still observed in the Pentecostal church, is the working of miracles. For these reasons, Assemblies of God adherents firmly believe that God is still alive and working miracles today to reveal himself to humankind and call all people to salvation and a closer relationship with their Creator.

CONCERNS:
          The truth that God still performs miracles today must be protected from abuse in two directions. First, Pentecostal believers must never allow other Christians who teach that miracles ended with the close of the New Testament, to erode their own belief in God who still performs miracles.

          The other danger is the abuse of wanting to help God win the skeptics and impress the saints by describing as miracles certain events which are not divine interventions of God, or by humanly trying to replicate supernatural manifestations of God. God does not need Christians pretending to be miracle workers when God is not the author and the miracle is not genuine. Members of the Assemblies of God must desire always to let God move as He chooses, and never substitute human manifestation for true supernatural miracles."
http://ag.org/top/beliefs/christian_doctrines/gendoct_20_miracles.cfm

Are any among you sick?
They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well.
James 5:14-15

 
          Healing falls under the category of miracles. If you need physical healing for your body please telephone the pastor of your nearest Assemblies of God church and make an appointment to go and visit him. It just might be that this pastor will have you come forward during one of his church meetings, anoint you with oil, and have the elders of the church lay their hands on you and pray for you. The results are up to God.

This document presented to you by the Bread On The Waters Ministry
of Kraig Josiah Rice
www.breadonthewaters.com

Testimonies of Miracles

Tell Me Another One (many miracles)

An article on miracles


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