Prayers that Stop the Sun and the Moon


There are many spiritual lessons in the Book of Joshua. From it, Christians can understand the character of God and His principles of work, learn to rely on Jesus Christ, the commander of the grace of salvation, on earth, and live a triumphant life.


Chapter 10 of Joshua records an unprecedented, unique event in human history. That is, God listened to the prayers of Joshua and actually made the sun and the moon stand still so that the Israelites had more time to defeat the allied army of the five Amorite kings (v.1-5). This monumental piece of history brings to us at least the following four spiritual lessons:


1.           God likes people to seek after him: After the battle of Jericho, Joshua and the people displayed their post-victory negligence and self-assurance when they attacked the city of Ai and made their treaty with the Gibeonites. They were tricked into negotiating peace with Gibeon because they did not inquire of God (Joshua 9:14).  If they had inquired of the Lord once they found it hard to determine friend or foe, God would surely have enlightened them. When Joshua asked God to stop the sun and the moon, God acceded without hesitation. This adequately proves that God is pleased to listen to the prayers of those who fear Him. Therefore, we should learn to pray to and communicate with God no matter when, where, and why.


2.           God listens to prayers of faith: Joshua asked God to perform a great miracle that totally defies the fundamental order of nature and the universe, and that is to stop time. This was an extremely bold petition possessed of great faith, because he knew that the will of God was for them to kill the enemy. “…Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel …” (v.12): Joshua petitioned God in front of his commanders to do this unprecedented miracle because he wanted the people to know the will and power of the Lord. God responded to his faith in front of the people as well because his request corresponded to the will of God. “He (Jesus) replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” (Matthew 17:20)



3.           God is willing to work together with man: On the surface, Joshua was telling the people to take revenge on their enemies when he asked God to stop time (v.13), but in fact, he was allowing the people to have more opportunity (time) to witness the deeds of God with their own eyes, and learn to work together with God to defeat the enemy. At that time, God had already hurled large hailstones down onto the enemy from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites (v.11). So it was plain that God had the power to work alone to totally destroy the enemy. But God wanted the Israelites to complement His plan and His time, and work with Him to capture Canaan as their inheritance. “The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.” (Deuteronomy 7:22) If we can submit to and complement God’s time in our deeds, that will bring more desirable results.


4.           God has promised us victory: Before Joshua went into battle with the enemy, God had already promised him victory - “I have given them into your hand.” (v. 8). Therefore, the Israelites were able to gain immediate triumph. God had sworn to their forefathers rest on every side, so not one of their enemies were able to withstand them (Joshua 21:44). Now God is promising us triumph through Jesus Christ – “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19) – in order that we will not be frightened because of difficult circumstances or the attacks of Satan.


By: Daniel To