Now our story picks up at that point. The routed armies were led by five kings. These five kings were apparently together directing the military operations. And when they saw the battle go against them and recognized that they were in great personal danger themselves, they hid in the cave near the town of Makkedah. And they went in to hide, thinking that in the battle the rush of the troops would pass by. Then after they had passed, the kings could emerge and make their way back to the city. They could regroup their fortresses and prepare to fight another day. 

In the middle of Joshua 10 there’s an interesting change in the nature of the narrative that describes the Israelite conquest of Canaan. Up to this point in the story, there have only been three real battles. There was the attack on Jericho and the destruction of that city; the attack on Ai and its destruction; and then there was the battle at Gibeon that began outside the walls of the city and continued southward as the Jewish armies pursued the retreating armies of the southern coalition. And all of that’s been given in considerable detail.

The second lesson is that we ought to expect great days of victory in our service of God. We don't see them every day. There ought to be periods of great victory in our lives where, because God has given us a task to do and we believe that He’s going to be faithful to us in helping us accomplish that task, we really can call out for Him for powerful action and expect to see that powerful action bringing about victory in the battles we face in our own lives. I recognize that we can presume upon God at that point. We can call upon Him to do things that God has never promised to do and won't do. At the same time, we also often fail to simply seize upon the promises He has already given.

I don’t think these words are poetical. I think they refer to a real event. I don't know whether God actually stopped the sun and the moon, though He could have. I incline to the view that the impression is that this is what happened, that the day was longer, that light prevailed for a long period of time by some means that we don't know. But I confess I really don’t understand what God did. This passage is not given to us, of course, to cause us to speculate on the nature of the miracle. Rather, it’s given as Paul said when he wrote to young Timothy, as all Scripture is given, for our instruction, our rebuke, our correction, and our training in righteousness. Because that is the case, when we look at a passage like this as a whole, we ask what we can learn from it.

Yesterday we concluded our study by mentioning the first explanation for the miracle of the sun and moon standing still. The second explanation is that the sun and moon appeared to actually stop because the earth itself actually stopped. Now as I say, anybody who believes in an omnipotent God in the final analysis doesn't really have difficulty with that. “Omnipotent” means “all-powerful.” And if “all-powerful” really means what it says, then to God all things are possible. The Lord Jesus Christ said that. He can stop the sun, the moon, and the stars. He can stop the earth; and He can do it without all of the bad effects that we suppose would have to follow on the basis of our knowledge of physics.