If these men die naturally like all men, or if they are visited by the common fate of all men, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord creates a new thing, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the pit, then you will understand that these men have rejected the Lord. (Numbers 16:29-30)
In order to validate the fact that God had sent him, Moses made a bold declaration – if these men were in the wrong, God would make it obvious and would put down the rebellion in dramatic fashion. That is exactly what happened and so we are reminded that God honors the prayers of the righteous. As the Psalmist said, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth” (Psalm 34:15-16).
There are other such bold demonstrations in Scripture; Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal with the challenge that the God who answered with fire is God — and then the God of Israel answered with fire. The point being, these men had to have known beforehand that God would do what they were foretelling He would do. In other words, their relationship with Him and their ability to hear His voice was such that God performed miracles at their word — amazing. And lest we think this is something that is relegated to ancient times the book of Revelation predicts that, in the future, God will give power to the two witnesses and, at their word, the rain will cease to fall and the earth will suffer plague and pestilence.
The point is not to long for the power to harass or destroy our enemies but to recognize the need to have the kind of relationship with the Almighty that He trusts us with His reputation and authority. The goal is to know Him so well and so intimately that He would respond to our word with His power. The Bible seems to be clear that prayer is the vehicle by which we come into that kind of relationship and, consequently, why God responds to those who have spent time in prayer. And so, as it is written: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Blessings and Shalom,