Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Day The Sun Stood Still


   “At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.   Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.    
   There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man,  for the LORD fought for Israel.” - Joshua 10:12-14

       One of the most incredible events of all time is told in the book of Joshua where the Lord fought for Israel by causing the sun to stand still for a whole day.    With the advent of the various sciences following the Industrial Revolution in the 1700’s  came The Attack On Supernaturalism within the church wherein this and other miracles  were being rejected.  Theologians such as  Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1884) whose willingness to question the validity of a literal hermeneutic influenced  others during the 1800's to take his precepts to the next level by rejecting anything of a supernatural nature in the Scriptures.   This  included  the denial of miraculous  events such as a literal 6 day creation, parting of the Red Sea and onto the very resurrection of Jesus Christ!    Despite this Satanic onslaught there remained champions who fought diligently for the faith and  among them were  Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield of Princeton Seminary  and Warfield’s friend  Herman Bavinck  from  the Netherlands.  
   In more recent times we can thank people such as Dr. Henry Morris (1918 – 2006) one of the founders of The Institute for Creation Research and John C Whitcomb (1924-)  who together wrote The Genesis Flood taking up the mantle for a literal 6 day creation as well as  the rest of the miracles in the Bible. 

Regarding Joshua’s Long Day Dr Morris says:
“Some quibble about the language employed, suggesting that Joshua thought the sun "moves," instead of the earth. The fact is, the motion of any heavenly body must be given in terms of relative motion (since all objects in the universe are moving in some way). Scientists normally assume the fixed point of zero motion to be the one which makes their equations most convenient to use, and this usually is the earth's surface at the location of the observer. Joshua's language was . . . quite scientific!

Furthermore, many scholars have documented numerous traditions of a "long day" (or "long night," in the western hemisphere) about the time of Joshua. The biblical story is well supported as a real fact of history. There was a long day!

Such an event required the direct intervention of the Creator Himself. He who had started the earth rotating in the first place, when He separated day and night (Genesis 1:3-5) , now slowed it down again until it stopped, and the daylight continued until Joshua could rout the Amorites.

God may not usually answer prayers and fulfill promises by such a mighty miracle as this, but He does answer prayer and keep His Word, and this unique event shows He is willing and able to do whatever is needed to accomplish His will. "The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went. . . . Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people" (Hab 3:11-13)” (1)

   For  further application of this amazing event, Matthew Henry  writes:
“Surely this stupendous miracle of the standing still of the sun was intended for something more than merely to give Israel so much the more time to find out and kill their enemies, which, without this, might have been done the next day.

First, God would hereby magnify Joshua (ch. 3:7), as a particular favourite, and one whom he did delight to honour, being a type of Him who has all power both in heaven and in earth and whom the winds and the seas obey.

Secondly, He would hereby notify to all the world what he was doing for his people Israel here in Canaan; the sun, the eye of the world, must be fixed for some hours upon Gibeon and the valley of Ajalon, as if to contemplate the great works of God there for Israel, and so to engage the children of men to look that way, and to enquire of this wonder done in the land, 2 Chr. 32:31 . Proclamation was hereby made to all the neighbouring nations. Come, behold the works of the Lord (Ps. 46:8)

Thirdly, He would hereby convince and confound those idolaters that worshipped the sun and moon and gave divine honours to them, by demonstrating that they were subject to the command of the God of Israel, and that, as high as they were, he was above them; and thus he would fortify his people against temptations to this idolatry.

Fourthly, This miracle signified that in the latter days, when the light of the world was tending towards a light of darkness, the Sun of righteousness, even our Joshua, should arise (Mal. 4:2), give check to the approaching night, and be the true light. To which let me add that when Christ conquered our spiritual enemies upon the cross the miracle wrought on the sun was the reverse of this; it was then darkened as if it had gone down at noon, for Christ needed not the light of the sun to carry on his victories: he then made darkness his pavilion.

And, Lastly, The arresting of the sun and moon in this day of battle prefigured the turning of the sun into darkness, and the moon into blood, in the last great and terrible day of the Lord” (2)

(1)    "Joshua's Long Day" by Henry Morris
(2)   Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible


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