As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, 2 he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors. 3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel.”5 Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.
6 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.” 7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 8 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.” 9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. 10 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. 11 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.
12 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.”
13 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. 14 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.
15 So Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.
Wow, what an amazing victory the Lord gave Joshua, Israel, and the people of Gibeon. God is so gracious to forgive us of our wrongs when we don’t deserve it. Just prior to this scene, the Israelites disobey God’s command to ‘not make oaths or take slaves from the people of the promised land’, and made a treaty with the Gibeonites. Because of their oath to them, the Israelites now help them to win their battles, as they are now considered part of the Israelite people.
By God’s sovereignty the war is won, and in large part by God himself doing the work. The same is true of our battles today. If we are God’s children (set free from sin by faith in Christ), we too, have God on our sides, fighting our battles. Joshua acknowledges God in his prayers before the fight and in faith tells the moon and the sun to stand still. The Bible tells us that by our faith in Christ we can move mountains.. or in this case.. supernaturally stop the cycle of the stars!
Mark 11:23 “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.” – words of Jesus
The Lord makes very clear that our faith, that He is all powerful, will move Him to do as we ask. What we must remember is that God gives us the strength to have this faith that can move mountains, and it is in His will that we are able to do this. “He (Christ) is the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) So by God’s hand the Amorites are defeated.
- Is there a promise to remember?
When God gives His word, it will not return void. God told Joshua that the enemy would be handed over to him.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
- Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?
Our example is Joshua. He was receptive to hearing what God had said, and believed that He would do what He said, thus giving Joshua a faith that defies reality.
- Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?
What is our attitude when God clearly shows us what our lives should look like through His word? Here He gives us the example of Joshua; a sinner who believed that God was powerful enough to forgive him, and also give him victory. Our lives should be in constant interaction with the Father who forgives, and uses our past to further our future with Him.
- Is there a sin being revealed?
My sin is unbelief. If I was standing there with massive armies in front of me, would I really trust that God would, or could, deliver them over to me? What is more; would I be bold enough in my faith to tell the moon and sun to be still, knowing that God would honor that because of my faith in Him? Application: We, too, are called to be faithful, and believe that what God says will come to pass.
- Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?
Father, give me that faith that moves mountains. Give me a desire to know who you are, and what you expect of me through your word. I know that when you give a promise you keep it, and I want to believe with my heart that the promises you have given me will not return void. Give me that faith, Lord. I am yours for use, and yours for molding. Make me strong and courageous like Joshua. Make me into the person that you desire of me, for your glory.