(Joshua 9:1 – 10:29 Written as if a Greek scientist who came to Palestine to investigate the day the sun didn’t set were saying this.)
It was the strangest thing! You know how some days seem like they’ll never end, they just go on and on and you figure it must be bedtime but it isn’t? And then other days go so fast you can’t believe they are over already? Time doesn’t change, it’s just our perception of time, of what is happening. Check a time-keeping instrument and you’ll see that you were mistaken, that time always goes the same – or does it?
I always thought so until one day time did stand still! I am a Greek scientist (actually a Mycean, a predecessor to the Greeks) and I know it happened. I was there. Everyone who was alive at that time experienced it – the day the sun stopped and didn’t go down. Those on the other side of the world experienced the opposite – the day the sun didn’t rise! Stomachs got hungry, eyes became tired, animals went to sleep – but it was still midday! We kept watching our sundials and marking the shadows but for hours they never moved! It was a day like no other! Chickens got confused and didn’t roost. Tides didn’t move in or out. It was eerie, weird! Then all of a sudden things went back to normal again.
Most people shook it off and went about their business as usual. They weren’t overly concerned now that everything was back to normal. It really shook me up, though. I was struck double strongly. As a scientist, I studied the sun, moon and stars. As a man I was seeking the power behind this universe. It’s perfection and movement said it had to have a greater power behind it. Something was missing in my heart and somehow down inside I knew that that void would only be met when I met the God of the universe. When He exercised His power over His universe by suspending this one law for awhile, it really got my interest!
We didn’t know much about the universe in 1400 BC, but we did know some things. My people, the Myceans, are best known by the story of Helen of Troy and the Trajan wars, which happened about 100 years after I lived.
The place that was most advanced in its knowledge of the heavens and the earth was Egypt. I’d always wanted to go there, and this gave me the perfect chance. I wanted to study what that ancient writers had written about the universe. I also wanted to see what their current scholars had discovered about this time when the sun stopped moving.
After traveling there I discovered I had come to the right place! They were struggling as a nation because of a slave people, the Hebrews, who had left causing lots of destruction. I heard about 10 plagues, ending with the death of the firstborn in every home that didn’t have blood over the door. I was told about the opening of the Red Sea and the drowning of their army. Spies had brought back reports of something called manna, water coming from a rock, clothes that never wore out, and more recently of a river miraculously stopping flowing and a large city having its walls fall down from no seen force. Then I heard the story I was coming for. It told about a day when hail (which was most unusual) fell from heaven and only hit Canaanites who were fighting the Jews. Many were killed. It seems, as the story goes, their God stopped the sun from moving for that day so they could go kill all their enemies and not have any escape under cover of darkness.
I read about these events in the book of Jashar. My curiosity was so aroused, and my heart so drawn, that I had to travel there next. I knew they were killing everyone who wasn’t one of them, but still I knew I would never be satisfied if I didn’t fully pursue this new knowledge.
When I got there I found the people most open and receptive. They were very courteous, friendly and accommodating. They were honest, sincere people. That told me about that special day, and also about their God, Jehovah, the One who gave them the victory. As I listened my heart was warmed and my soul became excited for I knew inside that He was the One I had long been seeking! My head was filled with the answers about that long day and my heart was filled with peace and joy as I put my faith in this magnificent Jehovah Who was obviously the great Power behind the universe which I had been seeking!
I was told about how a powerful Canaanite coalition tricked them into making a treaty so they wouldn’t be destroyed. Joshua himself, though, admitted it was his fault for not going to God for wisdom before acting. Then when these Gibeonites were attacked by neighbors for deserting their confederacy the Jews were obligated by their new treaty to protect them. Their God fought for them, using hail and then extended daylight to totally defeat their enemies. It turns out this wasn’t the only time God changed the natural light and dark pattern on earth. He had made it dark in Egypt for 3 days before the Jews left – but it was still light in the area where the Jews lived (Exodus 10:21-23). There would in the future be a three-hour period of supernatural darkness over the whole earth when God Himself died on a cross (Mk 15:33) to pay for the sins of the world.
Oh what answers I found in this great Jehovah God – answers to questions I didn’t even know to ask! I stayed and watched them defeat enemy after enemy, always giving credit to their wonderful Jehovah. I never wanted to leave what I found, so I stayed with them the rest of my life. I continued to grow in knowledge as I read how He created the universe and kept it all going by His might. I also continued to grow in spirit as I discovered how He loves me and wants to help me find His best in my life. I made it a point to spend the rest of my life learning about Him and living for Him. What better use could I make of my life?
I invite you to check out this same God I found. Read about Him and wall the great things He can do in His book, the Bible. You, too, can read what Joshua wrote. He did so many great things, and He continues to do great things for His people even to today. Actually His greatest miracles are still to come. Follow Him and you’ll see them for yourself!
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)