Earlier this week, on Tuesday, we experienced the summer solstice. That is, spring officially turned into summer as we celebrated the longest daylight hours of the year. From here, I am afraid, it is all downhill until December 21, 2022 when we will experience the shortest daylight hours of any day this year.
Of course, then the cycle will repeat itself and we will will once again increase our daylight hours until a year from now – we are still enjoying daylight as we approach 10:00 pm eastern. I have to admit that it is wonderful to have so much sunlight, even if the temperatures are near 100 F the last several days.
There are areas of the United States, such as the northern reaches of Alaska, that have much more daylight than we do here in the lower 48. The extremes of light and dark throughout the year make it quite a contrast from what we experience here. In all honesty, I don’t know that I would like virtually 24 hours a day of sunlight and then almost 24 hours of dark at other times of the year.
There are several interesting stories in the Bible about the sun and its journey. One of them has to do with the army of Israel and Joshua, the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. In a battle with one of their adversaries, Joshua realized that it would take longer than a normal day to win a battle that they were engaged in.
In fact, it is thought that the battle began before daylight, sometime in the dark of the night, and as the battle raged on, Joshua realized that it would take longer than a traditional day to win the battle. Of course, they counted on the assistance of God for the victory.
So… in one of the rare instances we see in the Bible, a human, Joshua, petitions God for more time. He implores the Father to keep the sun in the sky longer so the battle could be won in daylight. Think how close Joshua must have been to God for him to make that kind of request of the Creator of everything.
To cut to the chase, God honored the request and the enemy was handed over to the Israelites. Our verse for tonight highlights the part of the Scripture that recounts this story in the book of Joshua.
We are told, in Joshua 10:12-14, “On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O 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 man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!”
It’s quite a story, isn’t it? My encouragement tonight is that God loved the Israelites and loves us as well, as adopted sons and daughters. It is His desire to help us with our goals as long as they are in line with His plans for our lives. My prayer is that we will all have the courage to call on God for outrageous help when the times call for it. After all, He is the master of it all and there is no limit to the power that the Father has. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…