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God’s Ultimate Daylight Savings Plan

Joshua 10:8-14

 

God created time, and will someday end it, and in heaven time will be no more.  In the meanwhile, we shouldn’t be surprised at the fact that God can stop time if He so desires.  Sometimes I wish we could do that, and often we wish we could speed things up.

 

Historical Background

The children of Israel are being led by General Joshua, and they’re taking over the land of Canaan.  That includes modern day Israel.  They were taking over that land one city at a time.

 

They had already taken Jericho.  Then they went up against Ai.  And there was sin in the camp, and Achan was the culprit.  God brought that to light, and Israel was made right with Him, and then they took the city of Ai.

 

The King of Jerusalem heard about these conquests:

v. 1-2       He was scared

  1. Basically a league of nations.  These 5 kings got together saying “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.  They’re about to find out that United They Fall, because you simply can’t fight against God.  Men have always pooled their efforts to try to kill Him, and you just can’t! 

 

The children of Israel heard about this union that was formed, and they, along with the Gibeonites pulled a surprise attack on them.

 

  1. These 5 kings and their mighty army are in retreat.  They run and run until they come to a narrow pass.  Joshua has them right where he wants them.  He realizes that he must utterly destroy this enemy, else they will surely come back to haunt him later.  Israel was told to finish the job, not do it halfway.  But he has a problem, there’s not enough time to finish the job, right.

 

Joshua prays for more daylight, so he can finish what he started.  Look at this incredible prayer of faith:

  1. Time stands frozen, and the earth experienced an extra day.

 

For years, skeptics made fun of this story and said, “Hogwash, that never happened, it couldn’t happen.  It’s just folklore, it’s a fairy tale.”

 

They say, everyone knows it’s not the sun that moves anyway, our planet revolves and rotates giving that impression!

 

That’s true, but Joshua here is simply using language that we all do.  After all, can you imagine him saying, “Earth, stop revolving and rotating, thus making it appear that the sun is not setting?”

 

The weatherman has been to school, and yet you can go home and watch the news tonite, and he’ll tell you when the sun will rise tomorrow, and set tomorrow night.

 

The important thing here is not how God did it; the important thing is THAT He did it.

 

He could have used light refraction to do it…he could have stopped the motion of the entire universe…he could have caused the sun to move in the opposite direction if he wanted to.

 

Other skeptics say, if something like this happened, it would be a major historical occurrence.  You’d think we’d have some mention of it in the annals of history, other than just the Bible.

 

The fact is, we do have other historical records:

Most every ancient culture that you can study has a record of an extra-long day.  Just like most of them have a record of a world wide flood.

 

Here’s some research for you:

Records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived in Joshua’s day, report the strange occurrence of an extra long day. 

 

Also, Herodotus, a Greek historian, wrote an account of an extra long day, left to us by the Egyptians.

 

Others cite records of the Aztecs in Mexico reporting the sun standing still, in a year denoted as 7 Rabbits.  That is the same year that other historical records show Joshua defeating the Philistines and conquering Palestine.

 

Other cultures:  Incas of Peru, Babylonians, Persians, Polynesians.  Some refer to the sun standing still; others call it an extra long day / night.  Why do you suppose?  (The sun doesn’t shine everywhere at once!)

 

History says this happened.

 

Someone may say, I can’t believe the Bible, it’s contrary to the laws of the universe.

 

In order to have a law, you need 2 things:

  • Someone powerful enough to create the law
  • Someone powerful enough to enforce the law

 

Is God powerful enough?  He is the Creator, by the way!  Can’t a clockmaker stop his clock if he wants to?

 

God doesn’t obey the laws of nature; the laws of nature obey God!

 

So, History says it happened…

 

Here’s some personal application:

 

What is in this for us today?

 

  1. The reliability of God’s Word.
  2. The reliability of God’s Care.

 

v. 14                “the Lord fought for Israel”

 

These heathen that Israel was fighting actually worshipped the sun…and the Lord used the very thing they worshipped as one of their gods to fight against them and prove that He is the only real, true, living God!  

 

You say, I wish He would fight for me.  I’ve got battles of my own.  I wish I could get Him on my side!

 

Hey, you don’t get Him on your side, you get on His side.  He’ll fight your battles if you’ll let Him.

 

Back in Joshua 5 Joshua was surveying the city of Jericho, and he encountered a strange character (the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ).  The man had a sword drawn.  Joshua asked, are you on our side, or their side?  The man answered, “No”.  Basically, he was saying I’ve not come to take sides…I’ve come to take over!  Who is on the Lord’s side?

 

3.     The reliability of God’s Power.

 

  1. God gives them a visual aid, the picture of them w/ their feet on their necks.  God says, remember this…this is what I will do for you, as long as you stay on my side.  And elsewhere God promises to put Satan under our feet.

 

Satan is a defeated foe, and he knows it.  He just hopes we won’t find out!  He’s a bully!

 

Ill.—in middle school, Steve Chavez (big guy) was picking on me…but dad taught me to stand up to him.  (punching bag in the garage)  I stood up to him in front of a crowd, and hit back, and he left me alone from then on!

 

Satan was defeated at the cross of Calvary, and now we can have power over sin / death / hell / grave.  Yes, we can have victory if we want it.

 

There’s a message here today for someone in crisis…whether related to your family / financial / emotional / spiritual life.

 

Yes, Christians have problems like everyone else…more, I think!  If getting saved is the end to problems then it has to be the front end!

 

The message is that Christianity is not the subtraction of problems, it’s the addition of power…and thus, the multiplication of blessings!  And that’s all the more reason to avoid the division that Satan wants to bring between us and God / us and each other!

 

v. 14                This means it’ll never happen again.  Never again will God stop the sun / bring time to a standstill.

 

One of these days, the sun will set on your life for the last time.  Jesus said, I must work the works of Him that sent me, for night cometh, when no man can work anymore."

 

Ill—farmer [outstanding!] works daylight hours, can’t do the real work after dark.

 

An artist was teaching some students how to paint…a beautiful sunset.  He took them out to a hillside, and they watched the sun set, all the while trying to paint it. 

The artist moved from canvas to canvas.  He stopped by a young man who was having trouble.  “I’m having trouble getting this barn right,” he said.

 

The teacher exclaimed (pointing at the horizon), “young man, look, the sun is setting, the sun is setting, and you’re trying to put shingles on a barn?!”

The sun will soon set on your life.  What are you getting done?

 

Got too many irons in the fire?  Priorities failing?  Doing God’s work last, if there’s time?  If you’re going to read your Bible and pray it’ll probably need to be in the morning to make it a priority and for it to ever get done. 

 

Ill.—people trying to buy back health—we give away our health trying to make more money and then we spend all our money trying to get our health back.  When will we get a grip on priorities and time management and look at the big picture and have some vision and get our lives in order?!

 

Ephesians 5:16 says, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

Psalm 90:12 states, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

 

You already lost an hour while asleep!  Let’s get busy!

 

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”

 

We wish we could make time stand still, but it stops for no one but God.  Let’s get serious about making the most of our time before time runs out!

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