Lent Devotion for March 21
"One Unique Day"
Reader: “There has never been a day like it before or since,”
Response: “a day when the Lord listened to a human being.”
SCRIPTURE: Joshua 10:9–15
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!
15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
Reader: "The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
Joshua and the Israelite army were in the midst of cleaning out the Promised Land, battle after battle, victory after victory. Through some clever deception, the Gibeonites had made a treaty to be slaves to the Israelites rather than getting destroyed (Chapter 9). Now they were being attacked by five kings and cried to Joshua for help. Notice the Lord told Joshua ahead of time he would be the victor. The troops did an all-night march and launched a surprise attack sending the five joint armies into total confusion. During the battle, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people asking God to have the sun and moon stand still in the sky so he could finish up the battle. Joshua had seen Moses address God many times in front of the people thereby letting people see and hear their leader’s conversation with God demonstrating the leader’s faith and trust and relationship with God. Joshua was doing what he had seen modeled by Moses, his mentor. God answered his prayer in a miraculous way that is simply unexplainable. As a comment in The New Living Translation, p.391, 10:13, says, “Not all miracles can be understood, whether in purpose, in scope, or in the mechanism.” I have read several articles trying to logically or scientifically explain the mechanism of how this was even possible. My question is, “Is it possible that the God of all creation might be able to do something that the human mind could not grasp, understand, or explain?” (Like the resurrection of a dead person, create billions of galaxies, or create a universe from nothing.) A little human humility is in order here. The point was Israel’s leader was in communion with Yahweh and God reminded His people of His power and care for His people. The battle belongs to the Lord, both then, and now.
"Battle Hymn of the Republic” from Great Britain (Watch on YouTube)
"Lord, give us faith that right makes might.”
- Abraham Lincoln