June 21 – When It Literally Happens

Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
“O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Joshua 10:12-13 (NASB)

Today, for those living north of the equator, this is the day with the longest span of daylight. It is so by design. However, there was a longer day. Joshua, leading the armies of Israel according to God’s sovereign and holy command, was acting according to what the LORD God promised. “I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.” (Joshua 10:8) Joshua needed and prayed for more time to fully rout the enemy. To do justice to our passage, it’s best accepted as an outright, monumental miracle. Joshua, moved by the Lord’s will, commanded the sun to delay. Some say it was an eclipse hid the sun, or a local refraction of the sun’s rays, or it only seemed to Joshua’s men that the sun and moon stopped as God helped them accomplish in one literal 24-hour day what would’ve take longer. However, such ideas fail to do justice to this passage and needlessly question God’s power as Creator. The sun does not move but the earth revolves so it appear to move, God who created all things as they are, could also stop the earth’s rotation and the sun would appear stop.

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