What Joshua Didn’t Ask

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There are numerous miracles described in the Bible.  Many of them had lasting impacts on those who witnessed them.  Just think of all those who were healed of various diseases (Matthew 9:18-34), and even those who were pulled back from death’s grip (John 11:38-44).  However, only a handful of miracles had an immediate impact on the entire planet at the same time.  I’m thinking back to things like Creation (Genesis 1) and the flood (Genesis 6).  These miracles were felt globally.

There is one other miracle that was felt globally, and it’s absolutely fascinating to me.  It comes in Joshua 10 when Joshua led the children of Israel to help Gibeon in their war against the kings of the Amorites.  Something very unique happened in this battle that had never happened before (Joshua 10:14).  Joshua asked for the sun to stand still until they could complete the defeat of the opposing forces (Joshua 10:12-13).  Have you ever stopped to think about what impact that had on the world?  The indication from scripture is that the sun literally stood still (well, for all you science folks, I guess that meant the earth actually stood still and stopped spinning on its axis).  From a scientific point of view, what impact would that have had on the planet?  While it was daylight longer for Joshua, it would have been nighttime longer on the other side of the planet.  We were concerned what the eclipse in 2017 was going to do to animals – just imagine what kind of impact this had!  A quick Google search of “what would happen if the earth stopped spinning” says that everything not attached to the earth would keep going.  Imagine standing on a moving platform that just stops all of a sudden – you would keep on going.  The control God has over this planet to make something like this happen without it destroying the planet is astounding!

But there’s something else very astounding to me about this request that Joshua made, and it has nothing to do with science.  Look at the request Joshua made.  He requested for the sun to stand still “until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.”  What is really neat to me is what Joshua DID NOT request.  He did not request “God, please go ahead and kill the rest of these enemies since it’s getting late.”  He did not request, “God, we are getting tired.  Please give us some rest.”  He did not request, “God, send some more of those hailstones you’ve been throwing on the enemy.” (Joshua 10:11)  Joshua did not ask for the job to be done for him.  He did not even ask for the job to be made easier.  He simply asked for the resources necessary to carry out the work that needed to be done.  In this case, the resource he needed was more time before it got dark.  God provided it.

Do I have the courage to do something like that?  When I see someone in need, do I ask God to take care of them, or do I ask God to give me the resources to take care of them myself?  When I have a difficult decision to make, do I ask God to show me the answer, or do I ask God to give me the wisdom to make the best decision?  In other words, do we want God to do the heavy lifting for us, or are we willing to do all the grunt work?  If God had wanted to spread the gospel to the entire world Himself, He could have done that easily by giving everyone a miraculous dose of knowledge.  However, He sent us to do it (Mark 16:15).  He told us to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27).  He didn’t tell us to let Him know when things are too tough, and He’ll do it for us.  He told us to do it, with His help.

When I pray, do I ask God to do something for me, or do I ask Him to give me the right tools so I can do something for Him?

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