FromThePastor pic

Pastor’s Message

 

 

 

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”  And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped…”  Joshua 10:12b-13a
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            You have probably noticed that the days are getting shorter.  When I took the boys to band before school this morning, I didn’t even see any orange in the eastern horizon.  The time change will help with the darkness in the morning, but that just means that it will be dark when I drive Benjamin home from basketball practice after school.  At this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere), the days are getting shorter.  But, check out what happens in Joshua chapter 10!  I would invite you pause at this time and read Joshua 10:1-15.  I was directed to this passage when Pastor Adams (from Trinity Lutheran in Berrien Springs) asked me to fill in for him at the last minute for his chapel service on Wednesday.  They are doing a series for chapel called “Heroes of the Faith,” and Joshua 10:7-15 was the text for this week.  The events of Joshua 10 are part of the conquest of the Promised Land.  God is giving the children of Israel, recently rescued out of slavery in Egypt and led for 40 years in the wilderness by Moses, the land that He had promised to Abraham and his offspring.  God had already brought the walls of Jericho crashing down after the people marched around them for 7 days, blew their trumpets and gave a great shout.  He had given them another victory over a city called Ai.  In this text, five kings of the Amorites from different cities join together against Joshua and his allies at Gibeon.  The Lord told Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands.  Not a man of them shall stand before you.”  Trusting in this promise, Joshua led his men all night long on a march from Gilgal to Gibeon—some 17 miles with an elevation gain of 3000 feet!!  They surprise the Amorite’s, and the Lord throws the Amorites into a panic at their sudden arrival.  As the Amorites flee, the Lord rains down great hailstones on them decimating their forces.  Yet, some of them remain and will probably be able to escape in the coming darkness and live to fight another day.  So, Joshua prays to the Lord in verse 12 that He make the sun stand still so that they can pursue and overtake their enemies.  We are told that the sun stood still and did not hurry to set for a whole day.  I’m not sure what time of year it was when this took place—whether the days were getting longer or shorter—but no one had seen anything like this!  The Lord kept the sun shining there for a whole day!!  Did He stop the earth from rotating or do something different?  We just don’t know what or how, but the One who created the earth and sun made the sun shine for a whole day in answer to Joshua’s prayer.  Joshua and the children of Israel had a complete victory over those 5 kings of the Amorites who had opposed them.

            I found it fitting as we approach All Saints Day to learn a couple of things from one of our Lord’s Saints—Joshua, the son of Nun.  Two things stood out to me, and these go together.  Joshua trusted in the Lord’s Word and promise to Him, and Joshua was bold in his prayer and actions as he trusted in God’s promises.  It would never have occurred to me to pray that the sun stand still, but Joshua believed the Lord’s promise that He was giving them into his hands and not a man of them would be left standing, and so he boldly prayed for the Lord to extend the daylight so that they could finish the task the Lord gave them to do.  As I reflect on this I wonder if sometimes we are not bold enough in our actions and prayers.  As we listen to God’s Word and do the things that He sends us forth to do, let’s be bold in both our actions and our prayers.  God can handle it—He will handle it!!  He is Lord of this creation and Lord of our lives, AND He loves us, so we can be strong and courageous in all we do and wherever we go as we serve the LORD! 
 

Courageously Yours,

Pastor Liebich