NO DAY LIKE THAT
Joshua 10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. 7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. 8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. 9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. 10 And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. 11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. 12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.
This segment of the history of Israel begins with the result of their having been tricked by the men of Gibeon into sparing their natural lives, and therefore being incorporated into Israel’s community as slaves henceforth to draw water and chop wood. Yet we not only find Joshua rushing to their aid, but also the LORD himself assuring Joshua in verse eight, that not only was it his will for Israel to do so, but that he would cause this to be effectual in accomplishing his task of destroying the Amorites from the land.
The true church is a gracious spirited church, acting out the mercy of their own merciful Lord upon whatever objects he sovereignly puts into their path! Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. But who are these “right wing, moderates,” calling themselves “christians,” who are selfish, mean, greedy, unkind, and despise the poor? They certainly are not of the spirit of the born again, new creations in Christ Jesus!
The Lord Jesus went about doing good! And he did good to everyone. All you had to be in order for him to heal you was – sick! You didn’t have to be religious, a “Calvinist,” nor even one of the elect! He had compassion on all his creatures! Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Luke 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where. 11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. This present day conservative gang has a mouth for exacting on others their own prejudices (which they have mistaken for convictions), but they don’t have the heart of Christ! Matt. 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Jesus was identified as being the Messiah by his relation to the poor! Matthew 11:2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
In fact, God has chosen the poor of the world to be that segment of the social structure to contain the greater portion of the elect! James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? Is not that the segment of the social structure in which he chose to present his own self? 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (See also 1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
But the charity of Israel to the Gibeonites was not the cause, or the issue of this unique day! Nor did this day get its defining quality from the fact that God had stopped saying to Joshua, “As I was with Moses, so shall I be with thee!” As in verse eight we hear the Lord again saying to Joshua, I have delivered them into thy hand.” It was a day when Joshua stood in his own personal faith and responsibility before the Lord. But that is not the issue here!
Nor was it the fact that now Joshua’s victories are no longer spoken of by saying, as he did unto the king of Jericho! (10:28,30). For now each time there is a victory over a different city, the immediate previously conquered city is referred to for that example. (Read Joshua 10:32, 35, 37, 39.) For now there is such maturity among Joshua and Israel, that the Lord is becoming to them a more present help in trouble (Psa. 46:1), no longer having to encourage them by the recollection of the defeat of the first city that was mostly destroyed by God’s sovereign act of imploding their walls.
Finally, the uniqueness of this day was not even that the sun and moon stood still, giving Joshua more time to destroy his enemies before they could fortify themselves by fleeing into other walled cities! The Scriptures do not state that, even as miraculous as this is, the solar system being halted in its course to be the issue of the glorious difference of this one day!
For another man of faith, in another day, shall be granted even to make the solar system be put into reverse! Listen at that record: 2 Kings 20:9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
What then was the issue that made this day like no other? The record plainly tells us, And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. What an amazing thing! Surely to those religionists, only excited by miracles, this is a let down! They would rather dwell on the sun and moon standing still in their courses! But to those who are deeply thankful for their redemption and for the intercession of Christ, (Rom. 8:34), and the Holy Spirit, (Rom. 8:26), this is a marvelous thing! The Lord will actually hear and make effectual the voice of a man!
You do realize the importance of that first word, Then at the beginning of verse twelve, don’t you? God was fighting for Israel! And he was so engrossed in doing so that he was killing more Amorites from his dark hail storm than Joshua and the men of war were with their weapons. Then Joshua speaks to the Lord in the presence of Israel and commands the sun to come out and stop God’s hail storm! And God hearkened to him and made Joshua’s commands effectual! For when God hears us, he grants our requests! 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
It was as if the captain of the Lord’s hosts (Joshua 5:13-15), became subservient to his general! For Joshua commanded nothing but that which he had been instructed by the Lord! For it was the LORD (who had) said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. (Josh 10:8). Therefore, based on God’s promise, Joshua seeks to fulfill his place of responsibility before God and the entire universe!
For this is the Sovereign Lord of whom Isaiah writes in Isaiah 44:26, That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: And of whom Isaiah farther states in Isaiah 45:11, Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
And our Heavenly Joshua (the Lord Jesus Christ) is still with us today, by the Holy Spirit. Remember what he taught us! Matt. 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
And remember who he is! Luke 8:24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Dear soul, it is not that the sea, and it’s waves obey us that makes this, our day of Christ, so unique! It is that we have the ear of God! For the storm of God’s wrath has been abated, and His Son has stood still in order to give his church power in prayer, receiving their petitions which are for God’s glory!
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
James 5:16 … The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Mal. 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Pastor Gene Breed, February 5, 2012