no day like it before or since

Today's devotion from Joshua 10.

Joshua 10 records many major victories for the Israelites as they sought to conquer the Promised Land. But arguably the pinnacle of this chapter is the battle with the five kings in Gibeon and the sun standing still.

God was not just blessing the Israelites, but He was an active combatant on their behalf. Realizing this and seizing upon it, Joshua asks for an audacious thing in front of everyone. He commanded the sun to stand still. The reason given in scripture is found in verse 14, “There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to a man, because the Lord fought for Israel." (Joshua 10:14, CSB)

The reason God listened was because He was at war for them. Now, there are many things that we need to consider. Why would God not just say a word and destroy the enemies of Israel? Why would He use ongoing warfare instead of just sending a plague? When asking these questions, we need to remember that everything God does has a reason behind it.

In fighting alongside the Israelites, God revealed part of His character and a principle that would carry on through scripture. He has chosen to invite us to participate in His work. It is in His character to desire our involvement in what He is doing. Even for Christians today, God has invited us to fight along with Him by issuing the Great Commission.

The principle at work is that God doesn’t often repeat Himself. When you encounter Jesus in the New Testament, He heals the same ailments each in different ways. The reason is so we don’t worship the means or method, but the source. God doesn’t want His people to become trapped in a programmed method. He wants His people to be dependent on Him.

Putting these two together, we see that the author of Joshua’s account was right. This will never happen again. You can’t go out and command the sun to stand still. But you can have that kind of faith when you see God at work with you.