Joshua: Day 8

The Day the Sun Stood Still

by

Today's Text: Joshua 9:1-27, Joshua 10:1-15, Ephesians 1:18-23

Text: Joshua 9:1-27, Joshua 10:1-15, Ephesians 1:18-23

Nothing makes me hustle like a deadline. Seriously, mention one in conversation and I’ll be unable to hear you over the clock that starts ticking in my head.

In college, I worked for the school newspaper. The building was underground, beneath the university’s basketball court, filled with the sounds of screeching sneakers and jammed printers. Sleep was replaced by a steady stream of caffeine and adrenaline, while stories forcefully flowed out of our fingers to be placed in the hands of our readers a few short hours later.

We basked in the knowledge that news couldn’t become news without us. Everything was under our watch, from the latest rumors to the biggest announcements. The fluorescent hallway beams created a false sense of time, as we hibernated under the security of to-do lists and grammar rules. In the morning, we’d climb the stairs of reality, the latest issue in hand, to welcome the day. Before opening the door, we’d make bets on whether the sky would be dark or light, because we honestly couldn’t tell the difference from our journalism bunker.

In chapter 10, Joshua faces a firm deadline with a pretty serious agenda: save his people from the attack of five powerful kings. It’s a bleak situation until the Lord says, “Do not be afraid of them, for I have handed them over to you. Not one of them will be able to stand against you” (v. 8).

If God were to assign a project and a deadline to me, I imagine I’d descend the the stairs to the newspaper office and begin strategizing my next move, emerging with a plan in the morning. But that’s not what Joshua does.

Joshua asks God to make the sun stand still, giving him time to fulfill the mission at once. And God does it. The sun stops in the middle of the sky, delaying its setting almost a full day and giving Joshua the time needed to accomplish His task.

As I think about what a sight this must’ve been, I can’t help but realize that, if it were me, I’d still be underground, oblivious to the stilled sun. Even worse than missing that newsworthy spectacle, I’d miss out on observing the intimate care of my Creator.

While I no longer work for the newspaper and now spend most of my time above ground, I haven’t completely graduated from my own knee-deep ambition. I collect my cares and hide away from the very God who fought for Israel! But I don’t want to spend my days strategizing. I want to get busy living like God has called me to live.

May we ask the Lord for a faith like Joshua’s, boldly believing that God is in our corner. Let us stand and walk and live in the sunlight, knowing He is for us.

SRT-Joshua-Instagram8s

  • Conyers

    This arlicte went ahead and made my day.

  • I admire the total faith with which Joshua asked God to cause the sun and the moon to stand still. I imagine how terrified the enemies of Israel must have been then! First they hear about the terrifying greatness of this Israel, how Israel’s God strengthens them and takes care of them, and then the sun and the moon stand still for an entire day! This would have happened across the world, probably, too. Imagine what people on the other side of the world would have been thinking then: what’s happening?! And then word about the Israelite’s God spreads even more! Wow.

  • Keri McCue

    I love, love, love that in verse 8 God says to him, “Do not be afraid of them” and in verse 9 we see him “come upon them suddenly”. I love this visual. God says, “Hey don’t be afraid, it’s okay!” and so he JUMPS into action. He takes God at Him word and gets busy right then and there. Lord, help us to have faith like Joshua!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • In everything we do, remember to consult God first.
    Even when we think we have a confident understanding and have taken a rational and educated approach to make the “right” decision, we must remember to consult God first in everything we do.
    Pray ceaselessly.
    When we fail, we still must continue to move forward. Acknowledge the failures, adjust the pathways and just move forward. God is forgiving that way.

    • April

      Thank you, this was the icing on the cake today for my devotion. Beautifully said!

  • Caroline Harries

    Love that NOTHING is impossible with God. If he can make the sun stand still he can answer our big and bold prayers too.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • One thing i am confused about…they wouldn’t have been in the position to fight if they had sought the Lord in the first place. They were told to wipe out the people in the land so it would be cleared of evil. Now those people live among them as their servants and the Israelites are having to defend them from attack. I wonder why God did not address their disobedience in making a treaty with the Gibeonites in the first place without seeking God? just something i am pondering

    • KimN

      I hear what your saying Aimee and I’m not sure why God didn’t address their disobedience. Perhaps Joshua and the Israelites repented and confessed their sin to God? The Lord didn’t speak thru Chapter 9 but the next time He does, He tells Joshua not to be afraid b/c the Lord is with them and for them.

      I do take solace though from the fact that if God has a purpose that He wants to fulfill, my mistakes or missteps or lack of obedience won’t change the course or result God intends. He will either use a different set of circumstances or redirect me back to where I need to be. His will be done!

    • Hannah Wechsler

      His grace over and over for us is unfathomable

  • Diane Huntsman

    13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
    until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

    Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.

  • Jennifer

    Wonderful words. My mind has been consumed with deadlines as I attempt to finish my doctoral dissertation. Waves of guilt over my slow progress have overwhelmed my thoughts for the past few months, distracting me from the one who deserves my attention. God is in control, and his timing is perfect. Having a baby girl one year ago slowed my writing process, but she has brought unspeakable joy. I praise you today Lord that I am following a non-traditional path in graduate school, as it pushes me to rely on you and your perfect will. Help me not focus each day on missed deadlines, but to refocus every day on glorifying you. Amen.

    • Robin W.

      Jennifer, I am praying for you. I understand the weight of what you are under. I pray that God would give you the time to write, and peace in your heart when you choose time with your daughter instead. I ask that deadlines would be met and goals accomplished, and I also ask that the JOY of the Lord would be your strength. You are undertaking an admirable task, and ALL things are possible with God. I wish you all the best! ❤️

      • Jennifer

        Thank you so very much for your prayers! You have lifted my spirits this morning!

  • Cecilia

    Comments always help bring it home even further, thank you.

  • Thank you! This is exactly what my heart needed this morning.

  • Christina

    I’ve been really meditating on the idea of surrender. I’m trying to determine if I should reach out to someone who has hurt me, but God has called me to surrender.

    To me, that seems like a passive thing, waiting for God to do what only he can do, but recently a friend spoke to me about active surrender, where I’m called to surrender my will but do what I can and let God handle the rest.

    • lish

      I have been in your situation before, and I trust Him when I reached out. It healed me. Regardless of whether the person reciprocated or not, the fact that I did, gave me peace and closure. Trust Him if you know it is His call. 

  • This is a passage that has many leaning into real meaning. Scientifically speaking, some folks don’t necessarily believe this happened but there is documentation in multiple cultures around the globe that even reference a long day. The event has me remembering how often I don’t think to ask God for something because I have already worked out its impossibility and yet we have Joshua asking God to stop the sun. It is so easy to fall into “science” mode in all of our thinking, to look at our world and the way it works and believe only what man has seen or says is possible. We know the sun rises each morning and sets each night, in fact, we can look up what time the sun will set months from now because we live out our days surrounded by science. But faith is bigger than science. Matthew 19:26 reminds us that with God what is impossible for man is altogether possible for God. There is nothing He can’t do, and nothing He won’t do to ensure our victory. No matter the futility we feel with the mess in our lives or the circumstances we face; when we are staring at an empty checking account with bills to pay, a disease-riddled body, a prodigal spouse or child, a dead end job, what have you, God will come through. He loves His children so greatly, He stops the sun for us. Prayerful for a faith so bold, that I do not hesitate to ask God for the things my head tells me are impossible.

    • Jennifer

      Wonderfully said, B!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      joining you in this prayer!

    • candacejo

      Amen! ♥

    • TinaW

      If we only would remember that God has all abilities and doesn’t need our weak ability, for in our weakness He is strong and able to show others His strength and abilities through us, we just have to humble ourselves… I myself pray to be bold in sharing what God can do, will do, if only we will trust and obey… thanks for your input… Blessingsfrom above!

    • Missy

      Yes, yes, yes, me too, and AMEN!!!!!

  • churchmouse

    How often my prayer time turns into just what you say here, Kaitlin. Instead of praying, I’m strategizing in my head what I think should be my next move to help bring about my desired result. How foolish! God doesn’t need my help and He is not on my payroll. Help me today, Lord, to be still before you. Help me to know, really know, that You are God and that you’ve got me and my life covered. Amen.

  • Marianne

    As much as I admire Joshua´s faith to believe in God´s power to extend the day, I detect some belief in his own power as well. Surely God could have given the Israelites victory without stopping the sun, right? But somehow Joshua thought, that when HE was going to fight the five kings, HE needed more time. But God in his grace granted him his plea. Perhaps with a smile? I don´t know. After all it´s stated that “there were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword”. I see both: Joshuas faith in God and his conviction that it depended on his doing as well. I am not far from this thinking … What a merciful God we have, that he fulfills our shortsighted wishes and acts far beyond them, because he is so much greater than we imagine …

    • Tina

      I wonder Marrianne..whether Joshua didn’t ask God to stop the sun, not to do things in his strength but that, in those days their times of day was determined by the sun and the shadows as to what time of day it was…so I guess while it was still daylight they had their good given strength, and promise of defeat of the enemy.
      I think in the confusion for the enemies, Joshua and his men already had the upper hand.
      I’m probably waffling…
      But one thing I am sure it was something to do with the time of day…

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