Life has a way of presenting us with moments that can challenge our faith. A crisis is no time to surrender to our emotions but to hold firmly to faith. These moments are what having faith is for!
There is something about the current battle you’re fighting that God is using to remove or refine things within you that will eventually destroy you if not removed.
In Joshua 9, Joshua finds himself at a crossroads which demands a decision. This moment will have a lasting impact on his future and the people he’s leading.
Have you ever been hoodwinked?
For those under 40 (LOL), to be hoodwinked means to be tricked or deceived by someone. For example, Joshua and the people are hoodwinked by a tribe called the Hivites. They deceived Israel into making a covenant before God to be allies.
The problem was God instructed Joshua to evict anyone living in this area. Allowing this co-occupation introduced the Israelites to idol worship and false gods. It would later fracture a united people.
Everything God attempts to remove from you through obedience is for your well-being.
The things we want or think we can’t live without are things that God knows will become divisive in our faithfulness and devotion to Him.
In dealing with the request from this unknown tribe, Joshua made one fatal mistake.
“So the men (Israel) took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord.” Joshua 9:14
Not consulting God before making this decision caused him to compromise God’s specific instructions. In a culture of honor, your word was binding. God does not take promise-making lightly.
“It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:5
This is an integrity issue. If another person’s action causes you to compromise your integrity, that’s a personal character issue.
In Joshua 10, the Hivites send a messenger to Joshua for help. At that moment, Joshua has another significant decision to make.
- Do I honor the covenant and fight for the Hivites?
- Or am I justified in breaking my promise because I was deceived?
Without hesitation, Joshua gathers the “mighty men of valor,” the elite warriors in Israel, and begins the 21-mile journey to defend the Hivites in the middle of the night. That is a portrait of integrity.
His decision to do the right thing triggered this incredible response from God, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” Joshua 10:8
Josh and his warriors have to be exhausted from this long hike in the desert, in the middle of the night, but that’s when God showed up.
In the first of three supernatural acts of God, we learn in Joshua 10:10 how God threw the opposing armies into panic, and they began to retreat in fear. As they are running away, “the Lord threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died.” Joshua 10:11
What’s even more miraculous is how the hailstones only hit the fleeing enemy, another supernatural act of God. As Joshua and the army are in hot pursuit, Joshua prays and asks God for his biggest and boldest request yet.
In Joshua 10:12-14, Joshua prays and asks God to suspend the setting of the sun so that they can finish the battle. If they did not defeat the enemy at once, they would have the night to regroup, recharge and return with great force.
God answered Joshua’s prayer!
This was a supernatural event of all supernatural events. There is no way to explain this other than God!
As people of faith, we do not have to explain the supernatural nor deny science, but by faith, we accept that God can defy natural law if He chooses too.
Yet, it’s not entirely unbelievable when you recognize God is the creator of all things. If anyone can stop the sun and moon from setting or rising, it is the One who created them with a single word!
And, as AMAZING of a miracle as this is, that is not the biggest miracle in this story.
“There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.” Joshua 10:14
In Joshua’s mind, greater than the miracle of stopping the sun from setting was that the LORD heeded the voice of a man. Likewise, God hears you when you pray!
- God listens to those who do His will. John 9:31
- The prayer of a righteous person has great power. James 5:16
- If we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14
- God hears the cries of His people. Psalm 34:15
The challenge of prayer is knowing God’s will in a given situation. This is why we must learn to lean into the Holy Spirit who will help us pray, Romans 8:26.
Make prayer a top priority in your life, as it is the gateway to seeing the supernatural power of God in your life!
Never. Stop. Praying.