Observation: Joshua, Moses’ appointed successor and a faithful follower of the Lord, leads the Israelites into numerous battles, bravely doing whatever it takes to conquer the land God promised them. In chapter 10, Joshua leads the Israelite army in a surprise attack on their enemies, and he prays that the sun will stand still so that the enemy cannot flee under the cover of darkness. In a true miracle, God answers his prayer and the sun doesn’t set, allowing the Israelites to defeat their enemy.
Application: There’s nothing like early spring, those first few days after we turn the clocks ahead and daylight seems to stretch on forever, Mother Nature’s way of rewarding us for surviving the dark, cold winter. As days get longer and longer, it seems like the sunshine is endless. But even in the longest days of summer, the sun goes down eventually.
Except for when God gets involved.
At the beginning of this book, Joshua was faced with a difficult task: lead the Israelites, God’s chosen people, into the Promised Land. It was something that Moses, his leader and mentor, the one who the Lord knew “face to face,” never achieved. When Moses passed away, he handed the reigns of leadership over to Joshua, a man “full of the spirit of wisdom” (Deut. 34:9). And that was that – Joshua was up.
God spoke words of encouragement into Joshua as he assumed the leadership reigns:
“This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (1:9)
And, the Lord kept his promise in what was one of the greatest miracles ever recorded. In pursuit of conquering the land God promised them, Joshua leads the army in a surprise attack on their opponents, the Amorites. The Lord, reminding Joshua not to be afraid (10:8), ensures that the victory is theirs.
So, the Israelites fight all day, but night is near. And night means the Amorites will have time to re-organize an attack against the Israelites. So, there’s only one solution: make sure it stays daylight.
Joshua, who was surely drained from a long battle, stands with confidence in front of his people and prays a humanly impossible prayer: that the sun would stand still.
And it does.
“So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies… There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer.” (10:13,14)
Joshua didn’t pray a “safe” prayer. He didn’t ask God to give him favor or blessings or even cry out in fear; instead, he asked God for exactly what he needed in the moment, a seemingly impossible celestial miracle.
When Joshua prayed with faith, the sun stood still.
When you pray with faith, what happens?
Do you believe that you serve a God who can make the sun stand still? Do you believe he can heal, restore, and redeem? Do you believe he can do the impossible?
Let’s hold on to the words of Matthew 19:26 today: “With man, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
All things are possible. It’s possible for the sun to stand still. It’s possible for your broken relationship to be mended. It’s possible for you to break free from your addiction. It’s possible for you to be free of the guilt and shame you face. It’s possible for you to be healed. With God, it’s all possible.
So, pray like it is. Let’s have the courage to pray like Joshua, prayers that are big and bold and ambitious, prayers that come from an overflow of our faith and commitment to the God that created us, that guides us, that makes us strong and courageous.
Prayer: God, I bring my biggest needs to you today. I pray the impossible in your name, and I pray with a faith so big and bold that I believe you for anything and everything. Amen.