Jonah 1:15—2:10 (17)
Verse 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
When you are in a difficult position – fear, anxiety, and panic are crowding in – you can’t think clearly – do you expect a miracle? Harrison Okene did.
The Associated Press reported on December 4, 2013 that Harrison Odjegba Okene begged God for a miracle. He needed one. He was entombed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in an upended tugboat. This Nigerian cook breathing the ever-dwindling supply of oxygen caught in an air pocket under the tug-boat was freezing cold. His wife had earlier sent him a text which is sometimes called a Prayer for Deliverance. “Oh God, by your name, save me. … The Lord sustains my life.” This now became his prayer.
One hundred feet below the surface, seventy-two hours later, a diver thought he had found another corpse. He took hold of a hand and it grabbed him! Ten Nigerians and the Ukrainian captain including four young cadets from Nigeria’s Maritime Academy perished in the accident but this man miraculously survived an impossible situation. He said he found a cabin that felt safe. As the waters rose he made a rack on top a platform and piled two mattresses on top. He said, “I started calling on the name of God. … I started reminiscing on the verses I read before I slept. I read the Bible from Psalm 54 to 92. My wife had sent me the verses to read that night when she called me before I went to bed.”
by Dr. Gayle Woods
Daniel 6:18-23 (22)
Verse 22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
We marvel at stories of God shutting lions’ mouths, stopping the orbit of the earth around the sun for an hour, and sending an earthquake to bust His people out of prison. Does God still deliver people today? A missionary in Vietnam thinks so.
He felt God was calling him to minister in a part of town where he did not have permission to visit. As it began to get dark, he realized they were putting up a checkpoint and he didn’t know how he was going to get home.
Praying as he headed toward home, he was surprised when a motorbike stopped by him. The rider asked if he needed a ride. Somewhat afraid, the missionary agreed to ride with the stranger. His uneasiness increased when the motorcyclist headed straight to the police station. The motorcyclist got off the motorcycle and went into the police station. The missionary prayed, “Lord, should I stay or should I go?” He felt like the Lord prompted him to wait for the motorcyclist to return.
The man emerged from the police station dressed in full uniform. It was clear that he was a high ranking officer. The missionary tried not to show his panic. The policeman once again got on the motorcycle and then drove him to his home.
Later the missionary thought it would be in his best interest to show his gratitude by going to the police station to thank the officer. When he described the officer, the police responded, ‘There’s never been anyone with that much rank at this police station.’” The missionary was convinced that God had sent an angel to assure that he arrived safely at his home that night.
by Dr. Gayle Woods
1 Samuel 17:33-37 (37)
Verse 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
God takes the side of the underdog in the Old Testament, whips out a miracle and wins the day for His people. What about today? Does God still perform miracles? Some of the people in Israel today think so.
On March 12, 2017 Israeli soldiers clashed with ISIS terrorists along the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights. The ISIS gunmen attacked a group of Israeli soldiers operating in the buffer zone between Israel and Syria. Then God stepped in. Israel soldiers reported that strangely a cloud in the shape of a huge pillar settled down at the border bringing the visibility to zero. The terrorists could not see to enter Israel and so the threat of attack was forestalled for a time.
Stories of God’s miraculous intervention abound regarding Israel. Many of the Israeli’s who do not practice the faith of their heritage recognize the hand of God working in their behalf. Sarah Rigler who’s written about the Six Day War said, “It was like this is a miracle. Moshe Dayan, was the commander of the Israeli forces and was a very secular person. He went to visit the Western Wall the day after it was liberated and there’s a tradition to put notes to God in the wall. So he put a little note to God in the crevices in the wall. And of course as soon as he left, the newspaper men in their typical discreet way ran and took the note out and read it. And what did it say? It was a line from Psalms that said; ‘This is from God. It’s wondrous in our eyes.”
by Dr. Gayle Woods