Joshua at war
1 Now it came to pass when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it – as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king – and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, 2 that they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 3 Therefore Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up to me and help me, that we may attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.” 5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king Jarmuth, the king Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they and all their armies, encamped before Gibeon and made war against it. 6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, sayin, “Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us.” 7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, and he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. 8 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.” 9 Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. 10 So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword. 12 Then Joshua spoke 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 still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped till the people had revenge upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
This is an extraordinary passage. It must have taken alot of faith for Joshua to command the Sun and Moon to obey him. Equally, I find it amazing that God heeded to Joshua’s request so quickly. We too can believe for the impossible. The Lord may allow us to be in situations in which we have no choice but to believe for the impossible. In fact, this is how He shows us His immense power, and His love towards us. Please note a few brief points about Joshua’s request, that can help us:
1) It was in agreement with God’s will. Joshua needed this miracle so that God’s enemies – the Amorites – could be defeated. If you want God to act on your behalf, make sure it is in line with His word – the Bible.
2) It was in accordance to God’s promises. In verse 8, God had promised Joshua that He would fight for Israel. Another illustration of this point is in Genesis 18:14 when the Lord promised Abraham and Sarah a son, though Sarah was well past child-bearing age.
3) Joshua believed without doubt that God could do the impossible. He demonstrates this in verse 12 when he made the request boldly in the sight of all Israel. It is one thing to half-heartedly say “Lord, let the Sun be still” so no one around you can hear. It is completely different to proclaim it loudly before a whole nation. Joshua’s faith in God was pleasing to Him (see Hebrews 11:6).
The key to Joshua’s miracle is believing God’s promises to Him. We too will face circumstances that test if God is true to His word. For example, you may be in financial straits and see no way through, yet God promises that He will provide for all your needs (Philippians 4:9). Your marriage may be on the verge of collapse, but God reminds you that He created and honours it (Genesis 2:24, Hebrews 13:4). I encourage you to believe God’s word instead of what you can see with your natural eye. Remember, “the just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). Over and over, in the Bible (some cases highlighted in the “7 points!), God has shown that He can turn situations around in ways that baffle the human mind. Here are a few scriptures that will help you believe God’s promises, even when they impossible to fulfill:
Genesis 18:14 – “Is anything too hard for the Lord?…”
Isaiah 55:11 – “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to me void but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
Matthew 24:35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Mark 10:27 – “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”