How Big is Your God?
One of the most persistent “urban legends” in Christianity is the tale that NASA computers have confirmed the biblical account of the long day of Joshua. The most common version of the story is that some years ago, NASA scientists were doing some advanced computer computations to determine the positions of the sun, planets, and stars. In the course of completing these calculations, the computers ground to a halt. As scientists investigated the problem, they found that the computers had discovered a day was missing. The team was totally frustrated and unable to solve the problem. Then a member of the team, who was a Christian, recalled that the Bible tells of a missing day. He got out his Bible and read this verse:
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 (Joshua 10:13).
So, what really happened? Did God actually stop the sun and the moon, or more precisely, stop the earth from rotating on its axis around the sun. I don’t know. But I know He could have. This passage is not given to us to cause us to speculate on the nature of the miracle. This event is recorded for us to convince us of something that is absolutely essential for us to believe—that nothing is too difficult for God. Causing more daylight than normal is not a problem for God. Our God is a great God. He’s a big God. He’s a sovereign, omnipotent God.
Donald Grey Barnhouse, a former pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, once told a story about Robert Dick Wilson, who taught Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary many years ago. Barnhouse was invited back to Princeton to preach in the chapel about twelve years after he had graduated. When he arrived back at Princeton to preach and stood up in the pulpit, he noticed that Dr. Wilson, his great Hebrew professor from earlier days, had taken a seat near the front to hear him. After Barnhouse finished preaching, Dr. Wilson came up to him and said, "Young man, I came today to hear you preach. I won't back again. I only come to hear my boys preach once. I want to see whether they’re big-godders or little-godders. And then when I get the answer to that, I know what their ministry is going to be.”
Barnhouse didn't understand what Wilson was talking about, so he asked him to clarify what he meant. Dr. Wilson explained, “Well, some of my students have a little God, and they’re always in trouble with Him. He can’t quite handle things. He can’t provide for the inspiration and the transmission of the Scriptures, and so they can’t trust the Bible. He can’t do miracles, so they don't trust the things they read in Scripture. He’s not really able to intervene in life. I call them little-godders. Others of my students have a big God. He speaks, and it is done. His will is the law of the universe. You have a big God, and God is going to bless your ministry.” And God did indeed bless Barnhouse’s ministry.
Barnhouse’s big God is the same big God of Joshua and his troops. And that God is our God, too. We may have little ideas about God, but our little ideas about God don't make God little. God is still the big God that He was back then. Nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing that comes into your life is ever too hard for this God.