Summary: This message on prayer will encourage people to cry out to God for the miraculous.
“The Miracle of Prayer” Joshua Ch.10
Pastor Bob Hunter
We’ve been studying the book of Joshua in the O.T. Last week we talked about the peace treaty Israel signed with the Gibeonites. That was in Ch. 9. So Just when you thought maybe things would settling down a little bit, chapter ten comes along. With it Israel is faced with yet another battle. This time they must face a coalition of kingdoms that are coming against their new found neighbors, the people living in Gibeon. Things are about ready to get ugly, so lets see what happens... Are you ready to hear about this? (Dramatically read story in Joshua 10:1 ff)
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard and personally witnessed some pretty ridiculous and unbelievable prayers in my life. Sometimes, I wonder if God knew what he was doing when He told us to pray unceasingly; that is to ask anything in His name... God has given us a pretty wide open invitation, hasn’t He. In fact, I’ve heard kids pray for pet fish. Adults pray for favorites sports teams. Pastors pray for lightening to strike. And lay people pray for same thing, and for it to strike their Pastor preaches. Some people have constipation of the brain and direahea of the mouth when it comes to prayer. There’s no limit to the ridiculous nature of some prayers.
Today I want to shed a little light on this subject, and talk to you about the miracle of prayer. By all estimations Joshua’s prayer, in the presence of all Israel, was pretty unbelievable. He was definately laying it all on the line. I would even hazard to say that some people probably thought it was ridiculous. But interestingly enough God took seriously. At first glance it appears unrealistic and naive. But God responded to it.
The story begins to unfold with Joshua facing the 5 Amorite Kings. Who at the time were Israel’s enemy. The kings and their armies were coming after the Gibeonites. Joshua wasn’t about to let that happen. The Gibeonites were now Israel’s un-welcomed allies. It was God’s will for Israel to put the Amorites in their place. That’s what chapter 10 tells us. But in order to do it, Joshua needed a little extra help. So he asked God to do something unheard of and unprecedented. Joshua asked God to make time stand still. Now I know that pushes the limits of our imaginations. But without any hesitation, Joshua publicly prayed for this in the presence of all Israel. And when he prayed, he asked God to make the Sun stand still and the moon to stop so he could finish the job and defeat the Amorites. If there was a list of top ten most unbelievable prayers in the Bible this one would probably be in the top three. I mean how often does God bring time itself to a screeching halt just because we ask him to? Hun? It just doesn’t happen. In fact, the Bible says this request was unprecedented. Nothing had ever occurred like it before. Asking God to suspend the laws of nature, that’s a pretty big request. Praying for God to halt the entire solar system? Now that’s a pretty tall order.
But miraculously, God saw the importance of this request. The moment Joshua completed his prayer, God answered without any delay or hesitation. And for the first time in the history of the universe, the Sun, the moon and everything in the Solar system quit moving for almost a whole day! Everything froze in place so Joshua could continue his work defeating the Amorites and defending the Gibeonites.
Now without question this miraculous event is a stretch of the imagination. It ranks up there with Jonah being swallowed by a whale, and Moses parting the red sea. But consider this if you will? The laws of nature cannot be easily defied. Unless your the God who made the laws in the first place. And thats what we are dealing with in Joshua 10. In order for their to be a law, there must be a law giver. In order for the law to effectively govern and operate there has to be someone wise enough and strong enough to enforce the law. That person is God. And if God made the law, then He certainly has every right to suspend it, amend it or rescind it. That’s what we’re dealing with here. Joshua prays to the God of the universe, the soveriegn creator; he’s praying to the law giver himself. And for a period of about a day, the laws of nature were suspended on Joshua‘s behalf. Only a God can do that. And when God temporarily, suspends, amends or recsinds a law, miracles take place! The sun and moon standing still can only be explained as divinely miraculous. God was responsible for it.