S221P1 – In his hands: the sun

Jos. 10:12-14

At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”  And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.  Is this not written in the Book of Jashar?  The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.  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.

I remember learning a song about the size of the sun and how hot we think it is.  If the diameter and temperature we have determined are correct, that ball of fire and light is quite an awesome thing.  When we think of something so large and luminous as to be able to light up the Earth from so far away, we only can marvel at this.  Even from so far away, the brightness of the sun is too much for the human eye to behold directly for more than a few moments.  Even at such a great distance, its rays can burn the skin.  Whether we believe the sun is an object of mass or merely a light in the sky, we cannot deny the power and light that it has.  And yet, the sun yields to God.

God had just helped Israel defeat the warriors of not one king but of five different kings who had conspired to come against them.  This defeat did not come only by the sword.  Yes, the warriors of Israel were able to kill many of their enemies, but more men died from stones sent by God from the heavens to fall upon them.  This certainly would have been a time of terror for those kings and their warriors, but something even more terrifying was on the way.  When God stopped the sun, those five kings were so afraid that they hid in caves.  That was genuine fear, and it is a picture of the fear these men should have had of the Lord instead of coming against him and his people.

When we read this story, we might think that of course these men were terrified when they saw the power of God in that act.  However, the fear of the Lord is something that we should have without reaching that point.  The heavens and the Earth are enough to show his majesty.  The power of that sun along with the power of the oceans and the great storms should be enough to make us fear their creator.  For those of us who already fear him and love him, this should bring us to a place of confidence and awe because we serve the God who holds the sun in his hand.  Father, help us remember how great and powerful You are, that we would grow in our fear of the Lord and the wisdom it produces.