66 - One Very Long Day
March 7 - Nº 66 Joshua 10 – 11
Word spread that the Israelites had entered the land of Canaan, and that they had destroyed the cities of Jericho and Ai on their way. When the Canaanite King of Jerusalem learned that the people of Gibeon had become allies with this new invading nation, he was alarmed. He realized that if the Gibeonites and Israelites joined forces, they would be unstoppable. He immediately sent word to four other kings from the southern part of Canaan and invited them to help him attack Gibeon. He wanted to wipe out the Gibeonite army before the Israelites could come to their aid. So, these five Canaanite kingdoms (known as the Amorites) joined forces and began marching toward Gibeon. As soon as the attack began, the Gibeonite men sent an urgent plea to Joshua saying, “Remember us—we are your servants. Come quickly and save us!” God gave Joshua His blessing to fight with the Gibeonites. He told him not to be afraid—He would give all five kings into the Israelites’ hands. Joshua left immediately with his whole army. They marched all night long and caught the five southern kings by surprise. The kings tried to fight back, but the Israelite army was too strong. As the Canaanites turned to flee, God rained large hailstones down on them. More died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. Joshua knew he needed more time to complete the victory, so he called out to God, asking for the sun to stand still over Gibeon. God heard his prayer and honored it. The sun stopped moving across the sky for a full day. The Bible says, “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.” The five kings tried to escape. They hid together in a cave, but someone informed Joshua. He told his men to roll a stone across the entrance of the cave, and he stationed men there to guard it. When the battle was over, Joshua brought the kings out of the cave. He told his men, “Do not be afraid; do not lose courage. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death. Although the Canaanite nations had been given many opportunities to accept the God of Israel, they had rejected Him to worship other gods. God could not allow them to remain in the land He had chosen for His people (see Deuteronomy 9:4; 20:16-18). Joshua led his army from city to city in the south defeating each one of them. Then he turned his focus to the northern hill country. Even though the northern kings formed an alliance that produced a huge army of soldiers (“as numerous as the sand on the seashore”) that was equipped with horses and chariots, the Lord gave His people victory after victory. The conquest took about seven years, but eventually the Israelites controlled the land of Canaan. Joshua had done everything the Lord had commanded through Moses. Finally, the land had rest from all its wars.
Are you willing to stand up and fight beside God in matters that are important to Him? He wants us to join Him and fight with passion and commitment for what is right. We don’t need to be afraid! He will be with us—just as He was with Joshua!