Sun Stand Still
Another awesome sermon, by Steven Furtick, regarding the verses in Joshua 10.
So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army,including all the best fighting men. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 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. 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. 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.” 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.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! Joshua 10:7-14
So, why does this story matter?
1 -It demonstrates the magnitude of a defining moment. The context of the story takes place after the defeat of Ai. Five kings of Canaan joined forces to attack the city of Gibeon for making an alliance with Israel. Upon hearing of this move, Joshua and his men marched through the night from Gilgal to Gibeon where, with the Lord’s help, Israel waged war. In the midst of battle, Joshua prayed to God that the Sun would stand still until Israel could vanquish her enemy. It teaches us that God can turn any of our mistakes into a miracle.
2 – Symbolic for all the impossible things we are believing God for. What seems difficult to us isn’t even remotely difficult for God. There is no such word as ‘impossible’ for Him. He is the creator of all. He is able to make anything happen with the touch of a finger or a word from His mouth. When we feel the size of the need is to big, we need to realize it’s never too big for God. Joshua commanded 13 words and the sun stood still. That is all it took.
3 – It presents us with a paradigm with a whole new way to pray. Sun Stand Still prayers boldly believe God for the impossible. Often, we don’t pray boldly, but instead only ask God for little things that He is already doing (ie. God be with us today – when we know God is with us every second of the day). What if we prayed for healing? What if we prayed for financial restoration? Restored marriages? It seems as though what we pray reflects what we believe about God. And, if there is nothing we are believing God for that is intimidating to us, it’s probably an insult to God.
4 – It teaches us that asking and acting go hand in hand. Joshua had to fight the battle for himself, but the Lord helped him. If we are going to pray to make the Sun Stand Still, we better be willing to march all night, just as Joshua did. We can’t ask God for an A on our test, yet never have even opened a book or done homework. God isn’t just going to drop miracles out of the sky. We must have a persistence to pursue what we pray for.
I love that God spoke in past tense in verse 8 (I have given them). We serve a God who speaks about our battles in the past tense, because He already won them. He is victorious. He has already gone ahead and fought for us. He is the same God now as He was when He made the sun stand still. If He can do that, He is fully able to perform any other miracle. Our bold prayer is as we seek out the holistic approach to conceiving, that He blesses us abundantly with children.
So, what Sun Stand Still prayers are you praying for?