Joshua 10: 1 – 21
Joshua never forgot the day the Red Sea parted for the hordes of Israel to pass through. That was the day he resolved never to leave Moses’ side. When all the tribes crossed through to the other side of the sea, he started to follow Moses in the dogged manner that only boys know how to employ in following their heroes.
Moses had seen him with eyes like saucers standing on the other side of the Red Sea when they came through it. He seemed incapable of taking his eyes off Moses. And Moses himself was too confounded by the miracle of the open sea to chide anyone who was dazzled by it.
As the days passed, Joshua became a part of the furniture around Moses. He could not be sent away. So Moses sent him. What he loved about the boy was his willingness to accept that God was real, and that God was with Israel. While his brother Aaron the high priest doubted the power of God after seeing all the miracles and led Israel to sin with the golden calf, Joshua simply grew in faith day after day. He was with Moses when he went up the mountain for the Ten Commandments, a trip Moses’ family members missed. He saw God with the seventy elders, a sight Aaron missed. He walked on the pavement of sapphire and saw the reality of heaven. His faith was sealed up that mountain and from there on, his fundamental philosophy in life was simple. If God approved of anything, it could be done. If you prayed and asked God for anything, it would be done. Never mind how. Never mind when.
The years dragged into decades as they wandered around the wilderness. God’s exhibitions of glorious power grew fewer and fewer, as God waited for the unbelieving generation to die off. God seemed to be content with the unnoticed miracles of feeding them every day, healing their bodies so they were never sick, and keeping their clothes new. But Joshua noted even these ‘mundane miracles’. His awe and inspiration never waned.
Joshua waited with God and Moses. And after 40 years, Moses knew Joshua could lead Israel with no compunction. He had learnt to understand man and God. He had learnt to obey God and speak to man. He had learnt to keep what inspired their movement. What Joshua did not have was Moses’ rod that seemed to stir the miracles. Moses took it up to the mountain to die with it.
And that didn’t matter because soon, Joshua was to find that the power was not in the rod. It was in the direction of God. The Jordan in full flood had opened wide to let the nation through. Why would God let them cross in flood season? Well He did. That’s what compelled all the nations around to know that the people were unstoppable. The thick fortress of Jericho’s walls came down after the strange six day march. All without the throw of a spear. Then the Ai debacle and victory after victory. Joshua knew that anything and everything was possible to the person whose heart was set on a journey spurred by faith.
But this day that stood still was beyond anything that even Joshua had imagined. This particular battle was overwhelming and frightening to even remember. The biggest nations with sophisticated weaponry had banded together against Israel. And if night fell, there was no telling what could happen to the morale of his little army or what advantages the cover of darkness would give the hordes arrayed against them.
So Joshua had to draw on extraordinary strength. When Moses faced the red sea, it was God who told him to stretch his rod. When Joshua faced the flooded Jordan, it was God who directed that the ark was to go ahead of the people into the water. But what do you do when God is silent and yet you must win? Joshua turned his heart to the inspiration of the miracles he had seen earlier. If it had happened before, it can happen again. He screamed in the direction of the sun and the moon –
‘Sun; stand still upon Gibeon; and you Moon,
in the valley of Aijalon!!!!!!’
‘And the sun stood still and the moon stayed, until the people had finished the war against their enemies’. The chronicler put his quill down, filled with faith and ready to take on any new challenges himself. Then added
‘And there was no day like that before it or after it that the Lord hearkend unto the voice of a man:’