The Sun Stood Still
Lord, thank You for Your Word. It’s a lamp for my feet and my guide through the dark times of life.
Read Joshua 10:1–15
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Remember, with God all things are possible.
Israel’s success in capturing Jericho and Ai and the pact between Gibeon and Israel created fear and unrest among the Amorite kings in Canaan. They formed an allied army to attack Gibeon, which had become Israel’s vassal state (2–4). The Gibeonites sent an SOS to Joshua (6). Joshua responded by mustering his troops to save Gibeon (7). Though Gibeon’s pact with Israel was deceptively obtained due to Israel’s carelessness (Josh. 9), honoring one’s word was important. Even God helped Israel keep its word to Gibeon. He promised Joshua: “I have given them into your hand” (8).
God’s help is highlighted in verse 10. God confounded the enemies and Israel “defeated” them, “pursued” them and “cut them down.” In the KJV and NASB, it is God himself who does all these actions. The NIV and other versions state the facts, like a news report, putting forth what is logical. The KJV and NASB focus on the deeper truth and present the theological perspective: God was directly behind Israel’s victory. This truth is made clear in the NIV in verse 11: more died from the hailstones sent by God than from the Israelite swords.
God takes part in the battle in an amazingly direct way. Because Israel needed more daylight hours to secure a complete victory, Joshua prayed to the Lord for the sun and moon to stand still. God answered his prayer and stopped the sun for a day (13). The reference to that day as historically unique (14) underlines for us that it was a miracle. The Lord listened to one man and stopped the heavens in their tracks (14)! Indeed “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (Jas. 5:16). It was clear that “the Lord was fighting for Israel!”(14).
Reflect on your present struggles within and around you. Where do you think God is? How is he fighting for you? Trust him and thank him.
Awesome God, how great You are. You are over all things and yet You know me by name. My lips praise You.