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The Day the Earth Stood Still

Words of Faith Final

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Words of Faith 9-17-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 10

    [9] After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. [10] The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. [11] As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

    [12] On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."  [13] So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

    The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. [14] There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!

    [15] Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.


     The first movie I remember watching as a child was a campy old sci-fi flick called "The Day the Earth Stood Still".  I watched the movie with my brother and my Grampa on a Friday night with popcorn and root beer floats.  The movie was about a benevolent alien visitor who shut down the whole world to get the human race's attention and urge them to follow a path of world peace. The real story is even more exciting!  

     The Lord God delivered a great victory to Joshua and the Israelites.  The Lord used confusion and hailstones and stopped time at midday to cause the defeat of five kings in the southern region of Canaan.  Needless to say, the Lord has a variety of tools to choose from when affecting a victory for His people.

     This is one of those interesting passages that is sometimes pointed to by those who argue that the Bible is not reliable.  The text says that the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, but as modern people, we know that the sun does not stop because it does not move. Aha!

     This is really a silly argument.  The Bible is not inaccurate here; it simply describes the miracle from the perspective of those who saw it!  Today, we do the same thing when we list the time of the "sunrise" and "sunset" in the daily paper.  We know that the sun does not rise or set.  But it is much more awkward to write in the newspaper, "the time of the daily first appearance of the sun above the eastern horizon" will be at 6:02 A.M.

     The truth is that the Word of God is marvelous in its scientific accuracy and its patient description of matters in ways that we can understand.  In His Word, the Lord certainly could have revealed His design and plan to use deoxyribonucleic acid to carry human and animal genetic information and hereditary characteristics. But 4000 years ago, this was not necessary for us to know yet. Instead, He said through the Psalmist: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well" (Psalm 139:13-14).

      The Lord put the desire within us to discover scientific things like chains of nucleotides twisted together into a double helix and joined by hydrogen bonds between adenine and thymine or cytosine and guanine. (Yes. I had to look that up!) Prayerfully, the Bible provides the wisdom to handle such awesome knowledge when we find it.

     The truth is the miracle Joshua observed is still beyond explanation.  We know from physics that halting the rotation of the earth would be catastrophic.  The earth rotates at about 1000 miles per hour.  You don't have to be an engineer to consider the probable result of rapid or instant deceleration at this speed.  So then, how great is this miracle that happened on the day the earth stood still?  Time stopped for a while.  The enemy begged for the sun to go down, but it would not.  

     At the end of the day?  God is good.  God is faithful.  God wins victory for His children that He has called according to His purposes.


     O God, I take the simple things for granted so often.  The rising and setting of the sun.  The miracle of how You made me.  The precious truth of the Bible.  Thank You for explaining things in terms that I can understand.  Thank You for giving Your wisdom so that I can make my way in a complicated world.  In Jesus' name.


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

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Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.