Today’s reading includes one of the more controversial miracles of the Bible, the day the sun stood still. Why so controversial?
Well, those who discount the possibility of the miraculous look at the miracle of the sun standing still in the sky as one so complicated with regard to physics that it — well, just couldn’t have happened. Consider, for example, the momentum of everything on earth (trees, people, oceans, etc.), if it suddenly were to stop in its rotation; and that’s just one of many difficulties. They are difficulties, however, only if you’re human; not if you’re God. As in many other objections to the miracles of the Bible, the doubters’ gods are too small. The God who creates the universe out of nothing, on the other hand, has no problem suspending as many laws of physics as He needs to, in order to accomplish His will.
Interestingly enough, there actually are other witnesses of the sun’s standing still scattered across the globe. Mr. Harry Rimmer, a creationist of the mid-20th century, summarized some of these traditions as follows:
In the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico have a like record, and there is a Babylonian and a Persian legend of a day that was miraculously extended. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo. Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length.
All this is said to merely point out that the one and only true and living God is powerful beyond our imaginations or ability to grasp. We really need to stop trying to judge God’s ability by man’s ability or what we have observed in this world. God is much, much greater and is limited only by His own holy choices.
This should make us reflect upon the real power of prayer. Of course, there are those who are disappointed pray-ers, who have asked the Lord and have not received what they asked for. I’ll not get into the details of why God sometimes decides to answer us with a “No”, but reading James 4 will help answer a few questions, if you have those kind. But notice what Joshua did — Joshua took God at His word; he took courage as God commanded; he acted strongly upon God’s will; and in the case of his attack on the kings of southern Canaan, he prayed in faith to the Lord and then immediately, with no reservations, pressed the attack as if would happen. How many prayers do we “kill” by walking by sight — failing to do our part by taking the first step.
The rest of the reading for today, of course, is the rest of the conquest of Canaan, defeating the northern kings of Canaan who had allied themselves in hopes of defeating Israel and her God. No one could stand before Israel.
God, grant us the faith, the courage, and the strength of obedience that we see in the heroic story of Joshua! With You on our side, Lord, no one can stand before us either.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.