The Day the Sun Stood Still
Dramatized (Joshua 10)
Getting misled by the Gibeonites with their moldy bread and their masquerade (Joshua 9) was not only a mistake, but it led Israel into serious trouble! First, they were hoodwinked into making a treaty of peace with the Gibeonites, but that was not all.
When Adoni-Zedek, one of the kings of the Amorites who lived in Canaan, heard that Joshua had conquered and destroyed Jericho and Ai, and that a peace treaty had been made between Israel and the Gibeonites, he became very alarmed.
His people also were afraid because Gibeon was an important city—as great as the royal cities of the Amorites. Gibeon’s men were renowned fighters, and now that they’d become allies with Israel, King Adoni-Zedek rushed urgent messages to the other kings of the Amorites explaining the disastrous turn of events.
“Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” read his message, “because they have made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.” So the five Amorite kings joined forces to make a concerted attack on Gibeon.
Then Joshua received a message from the Gibeonites telling of the attack, saying, “Please do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly, and save us!”
It seemed quite ironic that Joshua would go to the help of a people who had deceived him, but he knew that Israel could not afford to lose any ground to the wicked kings of Canaan, whom he was commissioned by God to drive out of the land.
However, before putting his plans into action, Joshua sought for that most important word of confirmation from the Lord. He had learned a valuable lesson with the Gibeonites and was determined to hear from God.
The Lord answered him, saying, “Fear them not, for I have given them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.” Praise God! The answer had come, and the Lord was with them. That was all Joshua needed for his encouragement.
Once he had the go-ahead from God, Joshua showed himself to be a man of action. Immediately he summoned all his best fighting men, who, along with his regular troops, embarked on an all-night march which put them in Gibeon by dawn, completely surprising the enemy.
Of the battle that followed, it says: “The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel. And it came to pass that as they fled from before Israel, the Lord hurled large hailstones down upon them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.”
When Joshua and his men had done what they could, then the Lord intervened by supernatural means to help them. Yet still the five kings with some of their men were able to flee from the battle. Joshua remembered, however, that God had spoken to him in Gilgal promising him a total victory—that not one man would withstand them.
Also, Joshua realised that this was a decisive battle which would break the power of the wicked Canaanites and open up an all important roadway to the sea. The enemy had to be stopped—and completely! But there was one problem which became evident: The day was passing, the shadows were lengthening. Soon the sun would disappear behind the mountains, giving the enemies the cover needed to escape and perhaps regroup, or even gain reinforcements.
All at once Joshua lifted his voice in the sight of his troops and cried out in a powerful explosion of faith: “O sun, stand thou still over Gibeon; O moon, over the valley of Ajalon!” And lo and behold, as Joshua and his men fought on in their hot pursuit of their enemies, all that great while the sun held its position firmly in the heavens over the battlefield! It remained stable, it says, “until Israel had avenged itself on its enemies.”
Miracle of miracles! The sun had stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down “about a whole day.” The Bible continues, “There was never a day like that one, before or since; for the Lord fought for Israel.” The Lord Himself had intervened to provide in the most marvelous way the time needed for the armies of Israel to completely subdue their enemies.
After that great victory Joshua continued defeating their enemies. It says, “All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:42)
This same God is our God today. In times of dire need or desperation He will fight for His children by any means necessary. “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). The whole structure of any building, or any army, or any movement rests on these two key pillars: The will of God and the will of Man. As long as they are coordinated and in line with each other, it will stand firm. Prayer is powerful!
Science Baffled by Missing Day
Did you know that the space program has been proving that what had been called myth in the Bible is true? Harold Hill, president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, and a consultant in the Space program related the following:
“One of the most amazing things happened recently to our astronauts and space scientists at Greenbelt, Maryland. They were checking the position of the sun, moon and planets out in space where they would be 100 or 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we don’t send a satellite up and have it bump into something later on in its orbits. We have to lay out the orbit in terms of the life of the satellite. They ran the computer measurements back and forth over the centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and flashed a red signal meaning that there was something wrong with either the information it had been fed, or the results as compared to a given standard. The service department ran a check and found nothing was wrong with either, but the computer showed that there was one day missing in elapsed time in space. They could find no answer for it.
“One religious fellow on the team recalled that the Bible mentioned a time in the Old Testament in which the sun stood still for nearly a day. They got a Bible and found in Joshua a ridiculous statement for anybody who had common sense, to believe! However, there it was in Joshua 10:13. The computers hummed as they retraced their steps to the time of Joshua, and added the time the Scriptures said the sun stood still. It was close, but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes … not a whole day. (The Bible had said, ‘About [approximately] a whole day.’)
“These little words in the Bible are important. They were still in trouble. If you cannot account for 40 minutes, you will be in trouble 1000 years from now. The time had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits of the planets. The fellow who had started the Scripture hunt remembered that the Bible also spoke about a time when the sun went backward. The space men told him he must be out of his mind, but they got the book and read 2 Kings 20. There Isaiah, as proof of a prophecy made to Hezekiah, asked the Lord to turn back the sun ten degrees. Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes. Therefore, 23 hours and 20 minutes in Joshua plus 40 minutes in 2 Kings make up the 24 missing hours that the space travellers would have to log in the log-books as being the missing day in the universe.” Once again God is proving His divine truth as revealed in the Bible, God’s Word.”
—Reprint from Lakeview Messenger.
“He that putteth his faith in the Lord shall never be put to shame” (Psalm 31:1).
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