You’ve heard the saying “Divide and conquer.” I’m sure.
But, what about bring together and conquer?
This is exactly what Joshua did when he went to war with the five kings.
Today’s Bible study lesson comes from Joshua 10:1-15. It tells about how God made the sun stand still to prolong the fight.
I posted verses 12-15 to simplify. It tells how God lengthened the day so that Israel could win the battle with the Amorite kings.
At this specific moment in history, Israel had the opportunity of taking out all five kingdoms at once, instead of waging a separate battle for each.
So, Joshua waged the battle. Then, God won the war.
A Promise is a Promise – Even In Deception
Remember in the last passage where the Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the leaders into befriending them?
Well, even through this deceit the leaders of Israel made a promise. So, they did not hesitate to rush in to help when the city was under siege.
It’s a difficult decision to help someone who lies to us. But, according to the Bible, we should keep our word. Israel kept theirs.
Okay, what about the sun standing still? Let’s dive into the lesson for today ..
The Sun Stands Still – Joshua 10
“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.”
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.
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.
Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal.” Joshua 10:12-15 NASB
The Sun ALWAYS Stands Still, Doesn’t It?
Question: Did God actually make the sun stand still? Before you click out, take a closer look.
Now, let’s take a quick trip back to science class (if you were paying attention).
You and I know from astronomy that the sun is always still – and the earth travels around it.
But, during the time of Joshua, the people were not yet aware of this scientific fact.
I did some research to look for scientific evidence about lost time. Although there was denial on the part of NASA, this is what I found..
The “missing time” NASA found didn’t quite add up to the Bible account.
They said; “The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes — not a whole day.”
With that, a Christian on the team quoted verses from 2 Kings 20:8-11. It says:
“Now Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”
Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?”
So Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.”
Isaiah the prophet cried to the Lord, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.” NASB
Now, most scholars agree that the 10 steps means 10 degrees. And, 10 degrees back equals exactly exactly 40 minutes!
23 hours, 20 minutes plus 40 minutes equals 24 hours. Amazing? Yes, to us.
But, as we’ve seen all through Exodus and into the book of Joshua, God works many miracles and this is yet another.
How Did God Change Time? Proof?
How did God do it? Well, this is the part we don’t really know.
Maybe the earth slowed in its rotation. Or, maybe there was some unusual activity causing the suns rays to shine on the western areas for additional light that day.
God works miracles His way, just as He did with the Red Sea parting, to mention one. And, we don’t always understand these events.
But, you know what?
We don’t have to understand the method.
To clarify, I don’t completely understand how a light switch works. But, I do have the faith that light will fill the room when I turn it on.
This is sometimes tough for me; just as it may be for you. Truth is, Christians don’t need to prove the Bible.
If everything were proven, we wouldn’t need faith. And faith is what makes us Christians.
The secular world will never understand this. So, we need to (gently) tell others our story and give them the chance to gain faith too. That’s our purpose.
God Wins Again
The only thing Israel needed to know was that God allowed the sun to shine long enough for them to win the battle.
How much do we need to know before we believe that God can help with our particular situation?
Love in Christ
If you have never made the decision to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 now.