All signs and wonders that occur under an open heaven are amazing. In this modern age, we tend to think in terms of healings when we think of the miraculous. But, there were a lot of signs God used in the Bible that had nothing to do with healing. God sometimes would defy the laws of physics to get peoples’ attention. For example:
Matthew 8:23-27 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
God has allowed men to even control the weather under conditions of an open heaven. More examples of this would be the plagues in Egypt,(hail, darkness) and one very famous event in the book of Joshua:
Joshua 10: 10-13 So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword. Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
So God listened to a man and stopped the rotation of the earth at his request! Wow!
One of the basics of Bible study is to make sure that all verses are read in context so we can understand the whole message. We have a tendency, as ministers, to pull the verses out and use them as we need them. Here is a verse that is quoted often, but the verses after it are left out. It shows an interesting fact when you read all of it:
James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
This is where we normally stop reading and it is a powerful passage on miracles. But if we continue reading, James gives us an unusual example of powerful prayer:
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
I thought it interesting that, after saying all this about powerful prayer, the example James gives us is about controlling the weather. I am not sure under what circumstances we would need weather control to advance God’s kingdom, but if you ever need it, under an open heaven, it is at your disposal.
- The Sun stood still! (jeffwattslpc.net)
- Sermon: Heaven and Earth at Our Command, Joshua 9 – 13 (grantspasschurchofchrist.com)
- Day of Wonder! (davidmutuku.wordpress.com)