Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “gee, I have SO MUCH to do today, but there is absolutely no way I am going to get all of it done?”
I think we can all remember a time when we had to fight five rival armies at once, chase down the stragglers, realize their leaders have escaped, go back to our camp, learn that the leaders are hiding in a cave, go to that cave and put a big rock in front of it, chase down the stragglers AGAIN, come back, take the leaders out of the cave, kill them and hang them on a tree, take them off the tree, throw them back in the cave, then attack one more city.
I mean, who HASN’T had to do that at some point in their life?
The Day The Earth Stood Still
According to the text, Joshua, in his pursuit of his enemies, makes what could be described as the boldest prayer known to mankind.
‘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.
Now, here is something I think it going on: Gibeon has joined forces with Joshua. Ai (Aijalon) has been defeated. I have heard (somewhere, correct me if I am wrong) that there was a lot of worship of the moon and sun in this area.
God has asserted that he is more powerful than those places and actually has authority over those “gods.”
So now, they serve him and allow His people to accomplish their goal.
One For All, All For One
That five-nation army I was talking about? Well, their target was not Joshua. They were aiming at Gibeon. The Gibeonites basically defected to Israel in the last chapter.
But Joshua wasn’t too happy about it.
So how will he respond when their city is attacked? Will he just let it go because he is still a little upset about getting hoodwinked?
They are a part of Israel now. And as such, an attack on them is an attack on everyone. Kind of like NATO.
I am glad to see that Joshua fights for the foreigners in his midst.
By the end of Joshua 10, Israel has defeated 12 cities and their kings. Hey! That’s one for each tribe!
Israel: 12, Everyone Else: 0
For those counting at home, the list of defeated cities and/or Kings is:
Jericho, Ai, Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Makkedah, Libnah, Horam (king of Gezer), a new king of Hebron, Debir.
This is going phenomenally well. Twelve cities and kings and Joshua has only lost 36 men. This guy knows what he is doing. And interestingly enough, He doesn’t seem to be doing all that much.
This chapter was largely silent on his strategy. He just took the cities.
The lesson for Israel here? Your strength is not your own. You have victory because you are obedient to the LORD.
Don’t forget that.