Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel. - Joshua 10:12-14
I think we're all pretty familiar with the story of the day the sun stood still per Joshua's request. It's an intriguing tale and, unfortunately, one of great debate since the earth revolves around the sun and technically, the earth would need to stand still, not the sun. All I can tell you is that there will always be critics of the Bible--those who refuse to believe what they cannot understand. Well, I certainly don't understand exactly what took place that day, but I believe it happened. That's what we call a miracle!
In a recent study on this passage, however, I noticed a second miracle that I had overlooked until God opened my eyes to it. It's not big and flashy. It doesn't necessarily involve distorting the laws of nature or the laws of physics. But as my weary mind and body read through this account a few days ago, I stumbled upon a miracle of comfort.
Leading up to the day of battle in verse 12, Joshua and the children of Israel had marched all night from Gilgal, an uphill journey of 15 to 20 miles. Then, as far as I can figure from the wording of the Scripture, they fought all day long and what would have been all night after that. Don't you know they had to be exhausted? I certainly would have been. Marching all night. Fighting all day. Then, just when you think night is about to fall so that you can have a bit of rest, no, the day continues on and on and on for another entire day. Huh?
I know that the human body is fearfully and wonderfully made and that, in times of need, a person can push himself beyond the limits of what he thought was humanly possible. (Can you say "Incredible Hulk"? Hehehe!) But can an entire army do that? Is it possible for an entire army to go days without sleep? And, remember, we're not just talking about lying around watching television. They were marching uphill for an entire night and then entrenched in combat for the next 24 to 48 hours. Swords swinging. Sweat dropping. Muscles bulging. Yet, despite their obvious fatigue, they still defeated their enemy. In my mind, that's a mighty big miracle!
Are you tired today? Have you convinced yourself that you cannot possibly make it another day? Does weariness have a grip on your heart? If so, take comfort from this passage. God gave Israel strength and energy for the battle they had to face. He will do the same for us. Whatever the need. Whatever the situation. Whatever the battle. We can do all things through Christ because He is our strength. Don't give up. Don't give in. The battle's not over. I know you're tired, but God's grace is sufficient. Rely on His strength and send the enemy running for cover!
The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. - Psalm 29:11