One Day the Sun Stood Still…
Joshua 10: 12-14
Convoy of Hope Video
Introduction: The Difference “One Day” Can Make
Today we will conclude our service with the Convoy of Hope One Day Offering. Today’s event led me to a Scripture that speaks of a day that God caused the sun to stand still. You all know this, but When God is involved, one day can make all the difference.
Did you know that there is something called the National ToDay Calendar? For real. There are special days for about everything. I decided to take the first day of each month on this calendar and see what was being celebrated. (Except for January, because I liked what is celebrated on the 2nd; and February, because I wanted to see what was celebrated on my Birthday):
Jan. 2 – National Buffett Day, National Science Fiction Day
Feb. 17 – Random Act of Kindness Day
March 1 – National Pancake Day
April 1 – April Fool’s Day
May 1 – National Lemonade Day
June 1 – Dinosaur Day
July 1 – International Joke Day
August 1 – Spiderman Day
Sept. 1 – American Chess Day
Oct. 1 – National Homemade Cookies Day
Nov. 1 – National Calzone Day
Dec. 1 – Eat a Red Apple Day
What about today: September 19 – National Meow Like a Pirate Day; National Talk ike a Pirate Day; Wife Appreciation Day; Intercoastal Cleanup Day; National Butterscotch Pudding Day; National Woman Road Warrior Day
These days may have significance for a particular group of people. However, there are days that changed the course of history as well. I want to see if you can help me with the following days/dates:
December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor
June 6, 1944 – D-Day – the invasion on Normandy.
November 22, 1963 – The Day JFK was killed
April 4, 1968 – The Day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed
July 20, 1969 – The day we landed on the moon
April 12, 1981 – First Space Shuttle Launch
January 28, 1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger crashed
January 1, 2000 – Y2K – There were problems, but not what was potentially anticipated
September 11, 2001
Then we all have days that personally changed our lives:
The day I got my driver’s license (the exact day I got my license, the speed limit changed from 70 to 55…not kidding.
The day I got married (you couldn’t wipe the small off my face)
They days Marti and I’s children were born (simply miracle days)
The day I said goodbye to my best friend
The most important date for everyone in the world:
The day Jesus rose from the dead!
As we prepare for giving an offering that will change some people’s lives forever, I want to remind us all how when God is involved in the day, miraculous and amazing things can happen.
Joshua 10: 12-14…
A Note on the Book of Jasher…
Most scholars believe the Book of Jasher was probably a collection or compilation of ancient Hebrew songs and poems praising the heroes of Israel and their exploits in battle. It is not only mentioned in our text today, but also in 2 Samuel 1.
The fact is that the divine Author of the Bible used materials chosen from many different sources, fitting them into His grand design for the Scriptures. We must understand that history as recorded in the Bible did not occur in isolation. The people mentioned in the Bible interacted with other people. For example, though the Bible is clear that there is only one God, the Bible mentions a number of the gods people worshiped both within Israel and in the nations around.
What a crazy day for Israel…one that would never be forgotten.
But what exactly led up to what God did for them that day?
If you go back to the beginning of chapter 10 in Joshua we find this:
Joshua 10: 1-11…
Some things to highlight from these first eleven verses:
Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. Gibeon was a great ally for the Israelites. Something the king of Jerusalem was none too happy with.
So, the five kings of the Amorites—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
The Gibeonites sent this message to Joshua and the Israelites: “Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
Just before the battle Joshua hears this from the Lord: “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
Do you think Joshua had a flashback to a place called Jericho? He probably remembered the plan that God gave him and His chosen people. March around the wall six times…and the 7th time around give a great shout. And the walls came tumbling down. In other words, if you do what God tells you to do the results are pretty good!
When Joshua and his army got to Gibeon: The Lord threw the Amorites into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. In fact, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
So, what led to this amazing One Day event that changed the course of history at Gibeon?
The Day Began with Prayer (Joshua 10: 12)
Joshua cried out to God…that is true prayer. When you believe that God will hear you when you pray. When you believe that He will answer you when you pray. When you believe that the victory (no matter how impossible it may seem) is yours when God is on your side.
What if we lived started every day like that?
What happens when we start each day with prayer?
First, it puts our heart and mind in the right place. Our focus is on God, not us.
Second, it speaks to our humility and need for God.
Third, it opens the way for God to have His way in our day! We put ourselves in a posture to allow God to do whatever He wants and we are content with that.
The Day showed God’s great and awesome Power (Joshua 10: 13a)
A variety of explanations have been given concerning this event.
Some suggest a “local miracle” in which God allowed light to remain in Gibeon, much like the Hebrews had light even when the Egyptians were in the dark (Exodus 10:23). However, the text seems to indicate an actual change of the earth’s rotation, since it says the sun did not set.
Others argue that the language of the passage is poetic and therefore not to be taken literally. This view causes other problems. Primarily, how is a reader to know that this event is figurative and not other events? Applying figurative interpretations to difficult biblical passages does not truly answer the difficulties.
Another view attempts to explain the event as an eclipse that gave the appearance of a long day in which the sun did not set. Alternatively, some combination of an eclipse and refracted light in the atmosphere could have made the day appear longer than normal. God timed the event to miraculously coincide with Joshua’s prayer and moment of need. The main weakness of this view is that an eclipse typically lasts for minutes rather than hours.
Probably the best explanation is simply to take Joshua 10 at face value—God performed a stupendous miracle, causing the sun to delay its “setting.”
God stopped the motion of the earth.
There are objections to this explanation, based on the physics of motion, but the God who created the world and established natural laws is perfectly capable of compensating for any collateral complications. We may not have a scientific explanation of how God performed this miracle, but He did.
Interestingly, Israel’s enemies worshiped the sun and moon. The stopping of the motion of heavenly bodies and the extended period of light to help Israel clearly affirmed the Lord God as the true God. The Amorites’ own gods were powerless to aid their cause as the God of Israel moved heaven and earth to grant His people the victory.
Joshua described the miracle just as we might describe it, from an earth-bound perspective.
From the perspective of someone standing on the earth, it does appear that the sun moves. We ourselves commonly speak of “sunrise” and “sunset”; it is the way we express ourselves.
While we may not fully understand how this “long day” occurred…
A miracle does not have to be scientifically proven—just accepted. (vss. 13b-14)
Joshua prayed, and God supernaturally provided the light necessary for Joshua’s army to win its battle.
Can you imagine the stories that were told because of that one day when the sun stood still?
“You remember papa when the sun stayed out an extra day?”
“You remember father how we were able to defeat the Amorites that day because God gave stopped the sun from setting and that gave us the victory?”
Each of us has a day (most likely more than one) when God showed up in a big way. And we can remember every detail of what happened and we can tell the story to our kids, grandkids, friends, etc.
Here’s the thing…you always want the Lord on your side! That’s what makes the difference. It wasn’t the day itself…it was what God did on that day. That’s what made the difference.
A miracle is just that. It’s God working in a supernatural way…there’s no other explanation. That is also faith.
Conclusion: Your “One Day” offering transforms their every day.