God can make Himself know in the most incredible ways and He does this when His people are facing the most incredible odds. Elijah was alone against 850 prophets; Gideon and 300 men were pitted against the Midianites and Amalekites who were as numerous as locusts; David stood bravely against Goliath and Moses faced the Egyptian army. In each of these examples what may seem impossible from a human perspective is very possible from God’s. Each of these biblical characters had one thing in common. They trusted God.
God wanted Gideon to believe that anything was possible. God said to him, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand.” (Judges 7:7) Gideon was reassured of this when he heard a man tell his dream to another whose response was, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel. Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.” (Judges 14:13-14)
Elijah faced the challenge before him, proving to the people who had become attached to false gods that God was the true deity. He prepared the sacrifice, doused the entire altar several times and then he prayed, “Hear my, O Lord, hear me that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned heir hearts back to You again.” The fire fell from Heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and even the water. God had answered. There was not doubt in the people’s minds that He was the true God. They fell to their faces and exclaimed, “The Lord, He is God. The Lord, He is God.” (1 Kings 18:30-39)
David was only a boy when he faced Goliath, a giant well over nine feet tall. He believed that God who had protected him from a lion and a bear would deliver him from the hand of the Philistine. With just a sling and a stone, David struck down the giant and killed him. He succeeded in doing what Saul and the Israelite army had failed to do. He had broken the defences of the Philistine army by killing their champion. Because of David the Philistines were defeated. In doing the impossible he had proved that there was an almighty God of Israel.
God used Moses to perform several wonders but the most spectacular was when they were in the desert after they left Egypt. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he and his army would pursue the Israelites. His reason was, “But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” (Exodus 14:4)
God used Moses to part the Red Sea so that he and the Israelites could go through the sea on dry land. Then, He hardened the hearts of the Egyptians so that they went in after them. The water flowed back and covered the entire army who followed the Israelites and all of them perished. God saved His people from the Egyptians and doing so displayed His power. He gained glory through Pharaoh and his army. The Israelites feared Him and trusted Him and Moses because of this.
Another amazing display of God’s power is when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus heard that His friend was sick but He stayed where He was for two more days. His reason was, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus could have gone right away and healed Lazarus but He wanted to show that He was the resurrection and that those who believed in Him will live even though they die.
When they went to the tomb, Martha protested when Jesus wanted the stone removed, saying that Lazarus was dead for four days and that there would be an odour. Jesus’ response was, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” When the stone was rolled away, Jesus said to His Father, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me.” After He said this, He called out to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come out.” His friend came out, his hands and feet wrapped in linen and a cloth around his face. Many Jews, after witnessing this, put their faith in Jesus. (John 11:4-45)
Jesus wanted the people to see the glory of God and so that they would believe everything He had told them—that God had sent Him and that He and the Father were one.