Posted by: Brad Beaman | September 8, 2015

The Day the Sun Stood Still Joshua 10:6-15

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Have you acted impulsively in a way that led you to make a huge blunder? Have you had some ups and downs recently? Do you need a miracle to get out of an impossible situation? For Joshua all of the above was true. That is part of why Joshua asked God that the sun would stand still. Joshua believed God for the impossible and prayed by faith. We find Joshua with an incredible blend of faith and action in this chapter.

In Joshua chapter 10 we learn of the time Joshua had the faith to ask God that the sun would stand still. Joshua is asking God to do the impossible. It is a challenge for us to believe God for something so big that it will not happen without a miracle.

Joshua had that kind of faith for believing God for the impossible. He asked for the sun to stand still. What is impossible with man is possible with God. God has put the natural laws in place regarding the sun and the physical universe. But there was a day when God worked outside the laws pf physics. That day when the sun stood still came at the request of Joshua.

When the sun stood still it was a day when Joshua desperately needed more time. If he had more hours in the day his army could finish their battle. I am sure at some point you wished for more time in the day. You probably never thought to ask God for the sun to stand still. Joshua did.

It was for the sake of God’s people and the honor of God’s name. The sun was going down and Joshua needed more time to finish the battle. And God gave Joshua his request. The sun stood still!

The days of Israel wandering in the wilderness are behind them now. They crossed into the Promised Land on dry ground when the Jordan miraculously divided even though it was at flood stage. The most fortified city of Jericho fell in a way that could only be the miracle of God.

After all these recent miracles there was sin in the camp and the Israelites suffered defeat and setback at Ai. They confronted the sin of Akin and afterword defeated Ai. Following the defeat they again battled Ai and defeated them.

In Joshua chapter 9 we have the story of the Gibeonite deception. The Gibeonites lived near them but wore old clothes covered themselves in dust and came with deception and some flattery and tricked Joshua and the Israelites into entering into a peace accord. Joshua decided this without consulting the Lord. This agreement went against the Lords instructions to conquer the land and only make agreements with outsiders. They did not ask the Lord about this they just plunged ahead.

Now with the defeat of Ai and Gibeonites joining Israel there were five kings that band together to attack Gibeon for making this agreement with Israel. The troops of the five kings surrounded the Gibeonites. The Gibeonits were under Israel’s protection and sent word to Joshua to come and save them.

Joshua was in a big mess. The miracle of the sun standing still is in the context of Joshua making a hasty blunder. Yet Joshua received word from the Lord not to be afraid because the Lord would give victory. This is a story of faith, but it is not only a story of faith. Joshua and his armies were men of action. They received word and sprang into action marching all night into battle. This might have been a twenty-mile march at night.

They marched all night and launched a surprise attack on the five armies. The Israelites surprised the armies and put their entre effort into this battle, but it was the Lord’s battle. God threw the five enemy armies into confusion and many of the enemy were killed by huge hailstones. But darkness was coming and Joshua needed more time. So Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still.

In Joshua 10:12-13 we have Joshua’s poetic faith filled prayer.

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
 
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

The same statement in the poem is repeated in historic narrative in verses 13-14. This is the text that was used to oppose Galileo for theorizing that the earth revolves around the sun. The earth revolves around the sun and the moon revolves around the earth. The earth must have stopped spinning for this time. The spinning earth must have come to a sudden halt. There was an occasion 2 Kings 20:8-11 when the earth actually ran backwards temporarily and a shadow moved back by ten steps. (that is my proposal of the way our all-powerful God performed His miracle)

The Lord fought for His people. Joshua’s name means “he saves” and with the help of the Lord he saved the Gibeonites on this day. It was total destruction for the five kings and their armies. God did this, but He works through His faithful people.

Not only did Joshua keep his word to the Gibeonites who tricked him into an agreement, but this was a critical battle for the Israelites. This battle is against five kings of five kingdoms in the heart of the Promised Land. A complete victory here is huge for Joshua and the Israelites.

Our application is faith in the spiritual warfare. We must let the Lord fight our battles. Joshua 10:14, “surely the Lord was fighting.” By faith you can trust the Lord to fight your battles. Joshua had been through some tremendous highs and very deep lows but he had the faith to ask God for the impossible.

We are challenged to have faith. But we also see Joshua was leading his army to action. Intense actin with an all-night march into a battle with five armies.

There is a saying, “pray as if everything depends on God, work as if everything depends on you.” I don’t see how Joshua could have done either pray or action with more intensity. To believe God for the sun to stand still is famous faith a few millennia later. To march all night and fight five armies is just about as outstanding on the action side too.

We are called to live by faith. Can you imagine asking God for a “Sun stand still” miracle like this in your life? “God Is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20.

The prayer of Joshua is a Mark 11:23-24 move mountains kind of prayer; Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

Jesus died for us to redeem us and give us victorious lives. When Jesus died on the cross there was a solar disturbance that day too. It was daytime and for three hours darkness came over the land. Joshua’s battles were all in preparation for that day Jesus died on the cross. God called out a people to a land that a messiah would come for all who believe.

We find in 2 Peter Chapter 3 that the Lord has been slowing the days so to speak that the maximum number of people would believe in the Lord and not perish. At the same time we are to be longing for the days to be shortened, or for the speed of the day of Jesus coming again.

Joshua was a man of faith. He asked God for the sun to stand still. The most important act of faith you can have is to put your faith in Jesus Christ who came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

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