By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Joshua 10:12-13-12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
This account in the Book of Joshua is one of the incredible reminders of the all-powerful God of Creation.
Recognizing the need of His people, the Creator of the universe has the ability to transcend natural law and perform His wonders.
In the Bible, this transcendence of natural law is known as a miracle. The fact that The Lord is able to perform such wondrous miracles is an evidence that He is the one true God.
When studying with skeptics of the Bible, I often point out that the fact that Christians do not accept the Bible as the Word of God without evidence. Instead, the evidences of its’ authenticity and claims are continually being demonstrated.
One such example is in regards to Joshua’s “long day.”
While many critics of the Bible laugh and mock the account here in Joshua, the fact is that there are several confirmatory evidences of this “long day” from the historical accounts of several other nations.
“There is only one way to prove the authenticity of any statement, and that is to see if there are any independent witnesses who can verify it – to see if they can corroborate it and say yes, this really did happen. If no witnesses can testify to the event, that would not necessarily mean that the event did not occur; only that it went unwitnessed. But in this case we are fortunate, very fortunate indeed, because there are several such witnesses, all of them independent in time, culture, language, religion, and what have you. We will examine some of them here….Not all of our witnesses will speak of a Long Day. Some will speak of a long night because they lived in a different part of the earth to what was once the land of Canaan, the site of the miracle. Others not so distant, will speak of the sun hovering over either the west or eastern horizons. Some will speak of a delayed sunrise. But we must allow them to give their own version of events and listen carefully to what they say. Of paramount importance is that we understand the nature of the task before us. We are not here to examine the different ways in which God might have wrought this miracle, how He might have suspended this or that law of physics, or whether it is even possible to explain the miracle in purely naturalistic terms. The question we have to answer is whether the miracle happened at all. The Book of Joshua tells us that the sun stood still that day, and that the moon also stayed its course. Does the Book of Joshua speak true when it says this, or does it lie? In other words, are we considering here an actual historical event, or are we not? It stands to reason that if the miracle of the Long Day never happened, then the historical records of other nations are not going to testify that it did. We will find nothing in those records of that nature. The sun and moon are bodies which do not govern merely the skies above Israel. They govern the entire earth, and if anything happens to disrupt their natural cycle, than that disruption will be noticed around the earth, and not just in Israel. Hence we may expect the records of other nations to have noticed such disruption – if it ever occurred. They will not have recorded the event in the same terms as those expressed in the Book of Joshua. They will have known nothing of Joshua, Canaan, the God of Israel, or anything else mentioned in that Book. But they will have known that something had happened to alter either the length of that day, or the length of its corresponding night, depending where on the earth’s surface they lived. Our task is therefore simple. We are merely to see if the event occurred at all by considering the records of ancient nations around the globe which testify to its reality. If they do so testify, then is the case proven. The Book of Joshua will be seen to have stated the truth….So, here we have the Book of Joshua describing a day when, by the power of God, the sun stood still and the hours of daylight were extended by the space of a whole day. Added to this are testimonies from no less than nineteen wholly diverse witnesses from around the world that one particular day was unnaturally – or even supernaturally – extended by at least the space of a whole day. These testimonies are taken from lands and cultures ranging from Babylonia, across the Americas and the Pacific Islands, to Japan and China. Any court of law in the world would be more than happy to see such an array of testimony for any given event, and we must remember that we have barely scratched the surface in our search for such testimony in this short chapter. There are doubtless many other accounts from nations, peoples and tribes around the world that will happily add their own voices to the Book of Joshua’s account of the Long Day. 16 What this tells the critics, I do not know. But I know what it tells me. The record of the Long Day which appears in the Book of Joshua is an authentic account of a truly historical event.” (Bill Cooper, The Authenticity Of The Book Of Joshua, 856-977 (Kindle Edition, emphasis added M.T.)
Notice with me several important lessons.
First, we see again that the Bible is confirmed as a credible and authentic Document, even in its’ notations of miraculous events and occurrences.
Despite the ravings of the infidels, the Word of God stands true.
Second, the power of the God of the Bible over all of the forces of nature demonstrates again to us that He is the one true God.
As Jethro observed in God’s miraculous triumph over the gods of Egypt in the Ten Plagues:
Exodus 18:11-Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.”
Finally, we learn from this that the God we serve is not far removed from the world. Indeed, He is infinitely and perfectly tied to it by His Divine love (Psalm 139:8-15).
This God has demonstrated His love for sinful man especially in the atoning death, burial, and Resurrection of His Son three days later (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).
Why not today repent of your sins as a believer and be baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38)?
If you are a child of God who has left His church, why not repent and pray today, claiming His promise of forgiveness (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9)?
The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.