Sun, Stand Still!

Bible:

And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. And the Lord threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

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 10:6-14 ESV

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:44-46 ESV

And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. Matthew 27:51 ESV

Reflection:

Every morning the sun rises in the east. It seems to come up from under the hills, water, trees, or whatever you see when you look east. In the evening, the sun sets in the west. It sinks down below whatever you see when you look west–maybe a city skyline or a flat prairie. This happens all over the world. Of course, we know that it’s not actually the sun that is moving. Instead the earth is rotating, turning one part toward the sun while the other side of the globe is turned away from the sun. But we still say that the sun rises and sets.

When several kings came out to fight Gibeon, they called to Israel for help. Israel had made a covenant with them, so their soldiers came to help the Gibeonites. God fought with and for Israel, throwing down big stones on the enemy armies. Joshua asked God for another miracle besides that. He asked the sun and moon to stand still while he led the Israelites to finish the battle. Did God make the earth stop rotating? We don’t know for sure how it happened, but we know there was a miracle. God made the day much longer than usual. The God who created the universe can do anything he wants to with his creation. He heard Joshua’s prayer and helped him in an amazing way.

There was another time when God was at work and strange things happened in his creation. This was the day Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was fighting a battle with sin and death, and amazing things happened. The sky became dark at noon, and it stayed dark until three in the afternoon. There was also a big earthquake when Jesus died, so big that rocks split in two. The curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was torn in half from top to bottom. This showed that Jesus’ death had opened the way for people to come to God. All of these amazing signs showed that God was at work in what Jesus did on the cross. He was dying to save us and make us his own people forever.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your great power in creation and in sending Jesus to die for us. Thank you for hearing our prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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