The Day The Sun Stood Still
1) The history of events that led up to our text.††
When the King of Jerusalem (which then was an Amorite city) heard about what Joshua and Israel had done to the cities of Jericho and Ai, and how that they utterly destroyed them, and when he heard how that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and had become Israelís servants, he was afraid. He then called together four other Amorite Kings in the land, and these five kings formed a alliance to fight against Gibeon for making peace with Israel.
When the Gibeonites saw that the Amorite armies were come up against them, they sent for Joshua and the armies of Israel to come and save them. Joshua and Israel responded to their cry and came up at once and fought against the Amorites. Which brings us up to our text in verse 10.
2) We want to discuss for a moment the miracle of the sun and moon standing still.
1. This was not just an illusion, or poetry, but the sun and moon really did stand still. Many have tried to explain away this miracle as they have other miracles. But the Scriptures are emphatic that this was an actual, literal miracle.
2. Now, how God did this miracle no one but God knows. Men have come up with different ideas (stopping of the earthís rotation, or time). But there is no natural explanation for this miracle; it was purely supernatural.
3. This was perhaps the greatest visible miracle ever witnessed by mankind. The sun and moon stood still, as it were, for a whole extra day (12 or 24 hours). It affected the earth, the solar system, and perhaps even the entire universe. The whole world would have witnessed it. No one could have denied it. By this miracle God showed that He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He showed that He is in absolute, sovereign control of the entire universe.
4. Why did God perform this miracle? Letís notice four possible reasons:
1) One, to give His people a swift and complete victory over their enemies.
2) Two, to magnify His servant Joshua in the sight of Israel and the nations.
3) Three, to magnify Israel and their God in the sight of the nations.
4) Four, to show the adulterous heathen world that God is the God of all gods. Baal (or sun) worshippers would see that Israelís God had power over the sun. Yet even after this mighty miracle, even Israel went on to worship Baal!
3) The players in the story.
There are different approaches to preaching this passage, but our approach this morning will be to study the cast of players that were involved in this event. 1) First we will see Gibeon the servants of Israel. 2) Secondly we will see the coalition of the enemy. 3) Thirdly we will see Joshua and Godís nation Israel. 4) And fourthly we want to see the God Who fights for His people.
1. First letís notice Gibeon the servants of Israel.
1) How the Gibeonites became Israelís servants (chapter 9). Joshua made the Gibeonites servants of the house of God.
2) It is wisdom for a nation to fear God and His chosen nation Israel.
3) A friend of Israel is a friend of God.
4) God honors the nation that honors Israel.
2. The coalition of the enemy (verse 5).
Lets notice four thoughts here.
1) The enemies of God hate and fear of Godís people. Godís people are a threat to their wicked, sinful ways. Godís people expose the darkness of their sins. We are a threat to their wicked and perverse lifestyles and their idolatry. Therefore they hate the presence of Godís people in the land.
2) They hate all who will make peace and alliance with Godís people. The heathen nations hate all who make peace with Israel. The heathen hate those who take sides with true Christianity in the world.
3) The enemies of Godís people will unite to fight against them. Just like in Joshuaís day, nations today unite against Israel. Infidels in our nation today are uniting against true Christianity.
4) But in the end their evil schemes will fail. I want to be on the winning side, donít you?
3. Joshua and Godís people Israel
We want to notice five thoughts here.
1) Israel was faithful to defend their servants (vs. 6-7). They honored their word, and showed their integrity as a righteous nation.
2) Israel was swift to the battle (vs. 7, 9- they were eager and ready to battle).
3) Joshuaís faith and confidence in the Sovereign God (verse 12). Joshuaís prayer was most profound, and no doubt by divine impulse. He certainly believed in the sovereignty of God.
4) Joshuaís determination for a complete victory (wasnít satisfied to call it a day).
5) Joshua and Israelís strength to fight on (those that wait on the LordÖIs. 40:31).
4. The God Who fights for his people (verse 14).
We want to notice four thoughts here.
1) The Lord encouraged Joshua and Israel to fight (verse 8). Godís people are not to be spiritual pacifists, but are to be militant! God encouraged them not to fear, and promised them victory. We are not to fear our spiritual foes. Fear is a great obstacle.
2) The Lord fights for His people against their enemies (verses 10-11). Did you know, to be an enemy of Godís people is to be an enemy of God! And, to fight against Godís people is to fight against God. It is vain and foolish to fight against God. All the kings and armies in the world are no match for God. Worst of all, to be an enemy of God is to damn your own soul. And all men by nature are enemies of God. It says that the Lord discomfited the enemy (noise & confusion of battle). The Lord also rained great hail stones upon the enemy.
3) God hears the prayers of His people in their hour of need.
4) God is sovereign over all His creation. There is nothing that He canít do; there is nothing too hard for Him. There is nothing or no one that is not subject to His mighty power.
Some typology of Joshua and Jesus.
1. The names Jesus and Joshua mean the same. Joshua means- Jehovah is salvation, or Jehovah the Saviour. Jesus is Jehovah our Savior.
2. Joshua led Israel through the Jordan River into the promised land. Jesus leads His people through the deep waters of death all the way to the promised land of Heaven.
3. As the captain of the Israelís army Joshua went before Israel, so Jesus, the captain of our salvation, went before His people by the way of the cross.
4. Joshua called on God to keep the sun from setting, but Jesus won the victory for his people in three hours of darkness, when the Father eclipsed the sun with His mighty hand, while His only begotten Son was made a curse and an offering for our sins.
5. Through this great miracle Joshua was magnified in the land; through the miracle of the cross Jesus was magnified throughout the world, throughout the generations of time.
Some typology of end times.
Many things about this story are typical and prophetic of the end time events during the Great Tribulation period.
In the end times Jesus will lead the armies of angels to do battle on the earth.
There are going to be phenomenal sign and wonders in the heavenly orbs. The sun will become black as sackcloth ,and the moon will become as blood. The stars are going to fall from heaven, and the heaven will roll up like a scroll.
God is going to cause the sun to scorch men with fire and great heat. And God will cause great hail stones to fall on the earth, which will weigh nearly 100 pounds each.
This is the great day of the Lord, in which He will fight against the great alliance of His enemies on the earth, and in the course of seven years God is going to literally destroy billions of souls with His great and mighty plagues.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:22 ďAnd except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the electís sake those days shall be shortened.Ē
At the end of those days, Jesus will lead the armies of glorified saints back to the earth on white horses for the final battle of Armageddon, in which all the wicked remaining on the earth will be destroyed by the sword that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
Are you saved this morning? If not, then you are an enemy of God. And when the Lord comes again you will face Him as your enemy. Your only hope is to repent like Gibeon, and believe the Gospel this morning.