Wednesday, March 21, 2012

O Sun, Stand Still!




Scripture

Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
(Joshua 10:12 NASB)
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
(Joshua 10:13 NASB)
There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.
(Joshua 10:14 NASB)

Observation

Joshua is in the midst of battle, not just fighting for the Israelites, but for God, himself. What will it require for them to win this battle? It will require more time -- an extended day. How in the world will this happen? Joshua speaks to the Lord about the issue and simply asks God, "O sun, stand still...O moon." The scripture goes on to say that the sun stands still and the moon stops until Joshua and his people are able to be victorious. God had listened to the voice of Joshua and the Lord fought on the side of Israel.

Application

There are many differing theories out there on what happened that day. You can simply peruse the internet and you'll find all kinds of thoughts and ideas on what might have happened, all of them trying to explain how the sun would have stood still. However, at the end of the day, while we may not be able to adequately explain what happened, there does seem to be consensus that something happened. There was some kind of external force that may have affected the earth's rotation. Wow! Really? If that is true, then there are huge implications here for Joshua's personal relationship with God.

Joshua learned how to walk and talk with God from Moses. Moses was the only human to see God and talk with him face to face. Joshua had learned the importance of the intimacy of this relationship with God from the human who was most intimate with God. You will notice that there doesn't seem to be anything highly unusual about the way in which Joshua spoke to God that day. It sounds like it was a natural occurrence, that Joshua walked and talked with God. It doesn't say that he cried out to God. It doesn't say that he built an altar to God. It simply says that Joshua spoke to the LORD.

That's a clue for all of us. We are supposed to be walking and talking with God on a daily basis. It is to become so natural for us that it's just like having a conversation with a close friend. Just as we would talk to a close friend about our needs and concerns, that's how we are to come to God. A gentle, sweet, intimate, daily walk with the one we love, chatting about the things that matter to us.

What's interesting is that Joshua asks God to make the sun stand still -- and God does! Now, in our minds we might be wondering whether Joshua realized what all that entailed and how impossible that might be. No, he would not have understood the rotation of the earth, nor the rotation of the moon and gravitational forces. Of course, if he would have, he would have realized how ridiculous his request was because all of that was just too much to ask for -- or was it? Joshua asked God for help, for the kind of help that made sense to him. He had no idea what it would require -- but Joshua just needed more daylight and more time to fight the enemy. So, he asked God -- and God delivered. He had no idea that this request might cause a ripple in the history of time, but that didn't matter -- he was simply trusting in God.

Has our knowledge led us to a place where we no longer ask God for the impossible? Remember that we are admonished that "with God all things are possible." I'm not so sure we truly believe it because we think through all the details of what we know, and there may be times that our knowledge gets in the way of our faith. If Joshua would have understood all it took to make the sun stand still, would he have really asked? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I wonder about our knowledge, at times, becoming a stumbling block to our faith and to our willingness to ask God for the genuine miracles which are needed these days. God is inviting us into the same intimate relationship he had with Joshua. It was in the intimacy of that relationship that Joshua understood that he could ask anything and God would supply his need. Had his relationship with God not have been this close, Joshua would not have asked.

We need to walk with God day in and day out, allowing him to take us to a place of intimacy beyond our imagination. Then, someday as we walk and talk with God we may come to the realization that we can ask him to intercede in ways we never thought imaginable. Our relationship with God must develop to the point where we can simply speak, "Sun, stand still."

Prayer

Lord, may my faith in you grow deeper every single day. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Carla, these blog posts are amazing and wonderfully insightful! I will be following you and looking forward to these!!:-)

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