Monday: Psalms 51-53; Joshua 10.1-15; Jude 1-25

From: Mark Booker

By God's amazing providence, on the day when a solar eclipse awed us in this country and the sun and moon are very much on our minds, we read about the battle of Gibeon in Joshua 10.1-15 and about God's sovereign power over the sun and the moon. In the course of Israel's battle with the Amorites at Gibeon, God fights for them and he uses the forces of nature - a hailstorm, the sun, and the moon - to aid their cause and lead them to victory. In v13 we're told that "the sun stood still, and the moon stopped" and this enabled Israel to win the victory. 

No one is sure, from an astronomical perspective, what exactly went on that day. One explanation is that the sun's light was blocked in a solar eclipse! Whatever the case may be, this text affirms that God is absolutely sovereign over the forces and bodies of nature. The sun and moon were instruments in the hands of the almighty God that could be used for the benefit of his people (see a similar instance in Habakkuk 3.10-11).  

Like many of you, I've been overwhelmed by a closer reflection on the size and power of the sun in the past couple of days. Isn't it astonishing that even though the sun is 300 million miles away we can't look at it for more than brief glance without suffering real damage? That is power! But that power is harnessed by the God of the universe and deployed for the benefit of his people. That's astonishing. And, I trust, incredibly comforting. He does this for his people!

The heart of our faith depends upon what is affirmed in Joshua 10: God stands over the creation as it's sovereign Lord and he exercises his power over creation on behalf of his people. Israel's great rescue in Exodus 14 was the result of God parting the sea. Israel's rescue in Joshua 10 is the result of God's intervention with the hail, the sun, and the moon. Our greater rescue features God's power over the death and decay of the body shown in Jesus's resurrection and guaranteed for us. All of these are interventions in history, in nature, in the normal course of things - for the sake of his people. And what they show us is that all creation is under the charge of its Creator, and when he speaks, it obeys. It will do his bidding...for our deliverance. This is our great hope.