A Day of Wonders
Joshua 10:14
And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD listened to the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.

The Canaanite kings were slow in gathering their forces together to repel the advance of Joshua, but they were ready enough to come down in vengeance upon the Gibeonites for having made peace with him. The men of Gibeon found the advantage of having a strong and generous protector, one who would be true to his pledges, even though they had been extorted from him by fraud. Joshua responds at once to the cry that comes to him from the beleaguered city, and God makes its deliverance the occasion for a signal display of His power and the furtherance of His purpose in the overthrow of the kings. The blending of the natural and supernatural in the events of this day is very remarkable. The two elements are so interlaced and interwoven that it is not for us to say where the one ends and the other begins. We only feel, in following the course of the narrative, that we are in the presence of a marvellous Divine power that carries all resistance before it. Such records as this, however, have their true effect upon us when they lead us the more clearly to recognise the supernatural force in the natural, to discern behind the common, familiar order of things the mystery and majesty of the Divine. With the vexed question as to the historic truth of the declaration that "the sun stood still in the midst of heaven," we have not now to do (see Exposition). We simply note that, if the use the historian makes of the poetic quotation from the Book of Jasher compels us to regard it as having some basis of fact, there is no need on that account to believe in any actual arrest of the order of the universe. May not natural agents and natural laws be used miraculously by Him who is the Author of them? Just as He who created the hailstones could, without injury to the Israelites, turn them as engines of destruction against their foes, so surely He who at the beginning "commanded the light to shine out of darkness" could, in ways to us unknown, prolong the day in answer to Joshua's prayer. Two broad lessons grow out of this:

I. THAT GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY OVER NATURE IS SUBSERVIENT TO THE HIGHER PURPOSES OF HIS SPIRITUAL KINGDOM. We look through these outward incidents to the Divine end which they were all helping to work out. God was "forming a people for his praise." Giving them a local habitation, that they might the better conserve His truth and show forth His glory. He drove out the heathen before them, and planted them there that they might bear rich fruits of blessing to the world, that in them and in their seed all the earth might be blessed. Everything is to be looked at in the light of that moral purpose.

(1) The whole visible universe exists for spiritual ends the revelation of the invisible Divine beauty and order; the magnifying of the law of eternal righteousness. Its activity and its rest, its discords and its harmonies, its terror and its loveliness, all have a moral meaning and intent.

(2) The forces and laws of the universe are against those who are against God. You must be morally one with Him if you would have them befriend you. "The stars in their courses fight against Sisera." How terrible to think of some of the forms in which the Creator might, if He pleased, array the powers of nature against sinful men! His long-suffering beneficence is their only safeguard. "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed" (Lamentations 3:22).

(3) The created universe attains its consummation only in the final spiritual triumph of the Redeemer. The groaning creation waits for the "manifestation of the sons of God." The glorious presence of the Lord will be "the restitution of all things." There will be "nothing to hurt or to destroy" in the "new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness."

II. THAT MAN IS AN EFFICIENT INSTRUMENT IN SERVING THE CAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS JUST SO FAR AS HE HAS FAITH TO LAY HOLD ON THE SOVEREIGN POWER OF GOD. "There was no day like that before it or after it," not because there was anything singular, unparalleled, in God's "hearkening to the voice of a man." This was simply a conspicuous and noteworthy example of a universal law. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man "has always" availed much." The resources of heaven wait upon it. Such prayer is

"A breath that fleets beyond this iron world,
And touches Him that made it."

(1) Let the Church "stir itself up to lay hold on God." Its strength lies in faith and prayer. The Lord will never fail to "fight for Israel" when she is true to her high calling. The weapons of her warfare are mighty through Him. "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early" (Psalm 46:5). This pledge of Divine protection and deliverance is given, not to ecclesiastical systems, which may have much that is of man rather than of God in their constitution, but to that Church which Christ has redeemed and chosen out of every land and nation to represent His own cause of truth and righteousness. When the Church goes forth in the energy of faith and prayer, its enemies flee before it.

(2) Let the individual Christian recognise the true source of moral power. No emergency of life need be overwhelming to one who casts himself unreservedly on God. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Move on steadily in the path of duty and fear not. In all conceivable times of difficulty and danger, of temptation and sorrow, Christ's answer to the cry of His faithful ones is the same - "My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in weakness." - W.

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: There was no day like that before it or after it, that Yahweh listened to the voice of a man; for Yahweh fought for Israel.

The Sun Standing Still
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