The bible is riddled with unbelievable miracles of all types – from Moses parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14) to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11). The fame of many of these occurrences has spread such that you can ask almost anybody on the street corner and they could relate to at least part of the story – regardless of their religious affiliation. I’d like to share with you today the miraculous outcomes of three amazing answered prayers in the bible that aren’t so well-known – hopefully providing you a little bit of refreshing encouragement along the way.
1. SAMSON BREAKS OPEN THE EARTH
After letting the men of Judah turn him over to the Philistines, Samson goes into Incredible Hulk mode – ripping off the ropes binding him, grabbing the fresh jawbone of a donkey, and using it to slaughter a thousand men. Quite understandably, Samson was a little parched after this. He proceeds to call on his Creator thusly:
Judges 15:18-19 (NKJV)
18 Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the Lord and said, “You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?” 19 So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day.
To all sport drink advertisements throughout the history of television…Samson’s got you crushed.
2. PAUL HEALS A VILLAGE FROM DYSENTERY
(Acts 27 and 28)
On the way to Rome to stand trial, some crazy things happen to Paul and his captors. A severe storm blows the ship off course, they shipwreck on the island of Malta, the soldiers plot to kill Paul and the prisoners, and a venomous viper bites Paul on the hand – which he miraculously shakes off. A particularly touching account recorded by Luke, however, is Paul’s answered prayer of healing over the island Chief’s father:
Acts 28:7-9 (NKJV)
7 In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed.
Severe intestinal inflammation with frequent bloody stools, dysentery is no small matter to overcome. In fact – according to statistics at Infoplease.com – there are approximately 600,000 deaths worldwide from cases of dysentery every single year. Paul knew there are no limits to God’s power, however, and walked right up to the man and laid his hands on him in prayer. God honored his faith and multiplied it, not only healing the Chief’s father but the entire island – almost 2,000 years before the invention of antibiotics.
3. JOSHUA MAKES THE WORLD STAND STILL
On my second pass through my whole Bible reading plan I caught a verse that I somehow, inexplicably missed the first time. Tasked by God to lead a holy war and drive out the judged nations from the land promised to Israel, Joshua encounters a fearsome force of opposition directed by five Amorite kings. The statement he makes while routing the Amorite forces (with the Lord’s provision), really made me drop my jaw in wonder:
Joshua 10:12-14 (NKJV)
12 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.”
13 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. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
There is a fantastic article on this at gotquestions.org that offers a few different opinions on what may have occurred – whether this was just a “local” phenomenon, some sort of eclipse, or if in fact the world truly stopped rotating on its axis. I for one share their opinion that “the God who created the world and established natural laws is perfectly capable of compensating for any collateral complications” associated with the suspension of the Earth’s spinning. The article also references extra-biblical evidence for the occurrence of the phenomenon: “legends of a long day are found in Egypt, Greece, and other ancient lands. And among the American Indians, South Sea islanders, and others in the Western Hemisphere are legends of a long night—which would indeed make sense, seeing how these peoples lived in the opposite hemisphere.” One thing is for sure – that was one heck of a bold prayer!
So there you have it – three astounding answered prayers from the bible that you may have not heard of before. I hope that you are encouraged as I am to spend some more time on your knees praying for God to do the impossible, all for the sake of His amazing glory.
– Nicolas C. Day