By Joe Chesser
It’s that time of year again. It’s time to turn our clocks and watches back one hour. Yahoo! An extra hour on Saturday night! What will you do with it? Stay up an hour later on Saturday night? Sleep an hour longer on Sunday morning? I suspect most people will just absorb it. Our body clocks will simply adjust.
Thinking about having this “extra” hour on Saturday night reminded me of a story in the Old Testament (Joshua 10). During the conquest of Canaan, Joshua was leading the Israelite army against a coalition of five kings of the Amorites. After an all-night march Joshua’s army surprised the enemy and threw them in to confusion. The enemy began to flee, and then two very amazing things happened. To show Israel (and their enemies) who was fighting for Israel, God caused huge hailstones to fall from the sky, killing more from the hail than from the Israelite swords.
But that’s not all. And this is the part of the story that I thought of because of turning our clocks back an hour. Joshua prayed for something many of us do when there is more to get done in a day than there is time to do it. Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still! His prayer wasn’t just a thought that flashed through his mind. Joshua prayed to the Lord in the presence of the Israelite army for the Lord to cause the sun to stand still. And God did it!! “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day! 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” (Joshua 10:12-14).
There are several things about this story that are amazing. The first thing is what it tells us about God and time. Time is meaningless to God. He is eternal. He has no time restraints. For God to make the sun stand still for about a day was nothing to Him. But He did create people within the boundaries of time. Time is very important to us, and how we use our time should be given serious consideration. Joshua didn’t want the extra time for himself. He wanted it for the battle he was fighting for God.
Joshua believed in prayer and Joshua believed in God. Why else would he make such an audacious request of God in the presence of so many people? The Bible tells us that the prayer of a righteous man prayed in accordance with the will of God is powerful and effective (James 5:16, 1 John 5:14-15). This story vividly illustrates both the ability and the willingness of God to answer even the most outrageous prayers.
God wants to give us victory. He is willing to do some amazing things to make it happen, even giving us whatever time we need to get it done. We still have to fight and we still have to pray, but our God can do anything He wants to do – even make the sun stand still for a day! Don’t squander your time. Use it in the service of God.
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org