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16 May 2020 – Joshua 10:12-14

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
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. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! – Joshua 10:12-14

Adolph Harstad writes:

Much discussion centers on precisely what did happen that day in connection with sun, moon, and earth. Many skeptical commentators flatly deny the supernatural event. Some point to the poetic language of the account and say that the writer is expressing in figurative terms that Israel was able to pack about two days of fighting into one day. Some speak of an electrical storm that flashed its lightning all night so that it almost seemed like two straight days. Some point to the volcanic eruption of the Island of Santorini (Thira) of about 1400 B.C. and relate its fallout to the hailstones that killed the fleeing Amorites. Others suggest a rare refraction of the sun’s light so that the sky remained bright even after the sun set.

We, of course, fully acknowledge God’s supernatural act as recorded here in the inspired and inerrant Scriptures. Yet even among fellow commentators who affirm God’s Word, there are various idea about the nature of the miracle. Did the earth suddenly stop rotating on its axis Did god tilt the earth so that the Middle East became “the land of the midnight sun”? Did God suspend the usual natural laws of motion, momentum, and gravitational force between the earth and the sun, perhaps even freezing astronomical time itself in space while allowing earthly time to keep going?

We may never be able to answer such questions about how God performed the miracle. However, it is a certainty that He did perform it and that the normal motion of the earth, moon, and sun in relation to each other ceased for about a whole day. The result was that the sun remained in mid-sky and provided this extra day of light. The most important fact is that through this miracle Israel’s God intervened in a spectacular fashion to give His people a mighty victory. “The LORD was warring for Israel” (10:14).

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 54
Q. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word and works.