Study from God’s Word… Josh 9: 1 – 27; Josh 10: 1 – 43; Josh 11: 1 – 23 [14: 15b]; Josh 12: 1 - 24; … Passage for Reflection: Joshua 6: 4 … NIV 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
My Journal for Today: As I was led to read about the conquests God provided for Joshua and His people over the many tribes and people of that day, … as God delivered the Promised Land into the hands of the Israelites, we come across a remarkable story about an even more remarkable historical event. In pursuit of one of his enemies, Joshua sings out a prayer from an old Song Book in Israel in today’s focus passage, and God stops the sun in the sky, allowing God’s forces to pursue and defeat the enemies of Joshua.
And, … what’s up with this, we might ask? You mean we can pray for something so extraordinary as a sun-stopping even and expect God to suspend the laws of nature to give us what we desire? Have you ever wished you had more time to carry out some task in life? Well, why didn’t you just pray that God stop the day; and give you the time you need to get your task accomplished? … No, we don’t pray that way, because, even though we believe in a wondrous and miraculous God, we, as Christians should – and most of us do – know that God, though He can do what He did for Joshua, even stopping the sun, will do what He, God, wants to do to accomplish for His good purposes.
We have a tendency to put God is a box, which is just as big as our knowledge and experience provides for our understanding. And we also have a tendency to want our God to carve out a future for us which fits in with our desires and focuses on our personal needs. But we need to revisit a truth from God’s word [see Isaiah 55: 8-9 - linked], upon which I often have to meditate to remind me that God is God, and I am not! And I also need to remember the truth evolving out of my interaction with God, as I pray for what I perceive to be my needs/desires.
My friend, we know from both the OT [see Ps. 37: 4] and the NT [see John 15: 7] that God will – in fact – give us the desires of our hearts, when – but only when – we are couching our pursuits within the center of God’s will and purposes. But we must also remember that we serve a God, Who is powerful enough to suspend the very laws of nature for His purposes. That’s how Jesus walked on the water and raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. And we, as born-again, Spirit-filled Christians, have the same power in us; but it is a power which is tempered and controlled by the same God who has and still exercises that power for His good will.
What we need to do is believe in the wondrous sun-stopping power of our God, the same power which raised Jesus from the dead to life eternal. And then, we need to seek to do His will and conform to His good purposes; because when we do this, we will be able to see God’s mighty hand lift us up (see Isaiah 41: 10) and to show us where we need to go in life to be used for His glory. As Pastor Smith says in my devotional for today, … we should avoid being ”… desensitized into thinking that, just because [we’ve] never seen the sun stand still, God either CAN’T or DOESN’T work in [our lives].”
My Prayer for Today: Creator God, my mind is too small; and I try to shape You into a form to fit my life. Help me to conform to Your will as You shape me for Your glory. Amen