Day 84: The Sun Stands Still

Joshua 10:12-14 Joshua’s order that the sun stand still stems from the ancient belief that the sun, stars, and moon revolve around the earth. That, however, does NOT change the essence of the MIRACLE. (CCC 159)


Ch 11:1-23 Joshua-with God’s help-led Israel to victory over the northern kingdoms, completing their struggle to secure the Promised Land. (CCC 268-271)


Psalm 128 Psalm 127 closes with the assertion that children are a blessing from God, and this psalm continues that thought: A man’s wife will be “like a fruitful vine,” and his children “like olive shoots around your table,” and these are the blessings of a man who “fears the Lord.” Along with this comes a wish for a long life so that “you see your children’s children.” Unity with God and keeping his Commandments results in a harmonious and happy family. (CCC 2373)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 33: Southern Campaign (Joshua 9-10)
Upon entering the central part of the Promised Land from the east, Joshua takes control of the southern part of the country (Josh 10:40), including territory from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. The people are successful because the Lord "fought for Israel" (Josh 10:42).

Key Event 34: Northern Campaign (Joshua 11)
After the southern campaign, Joshua moves north, where Hazor is "the head of all those kingdoms" (Josh 11:10). The Lord tells Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them" (Josh 11:6), and the Lord again gives his people victory (Josh 11:8).

  • Gibeon’s neighbors immediately attack, and Gibeon pleads for aid.

  • Bound by covenant, Israel marches through the night and attacks the five kings who have amassed against Gibeon.

  • The Lord fights for Israel and wonders such as a hail of stones falling down upon the enemy, as well as the sun standing still at the request of Joshua, help deliver Gibeon’s enemies into Israel’s hands.

  • Just as Joshua is bound by covenant to fight for Gibeon, so, too, the Lord is bound to fight for Israel.

  • Unlike the Gibeonites, who hear what God is doing through Israel and choose covenant obedience to the Lord (Jos 9:1-7), the five kings and their peoples (the Amorites, Hittites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites) choose rebellion and attack Israel.

  • This rebellion brings a humiliating end.

  • The kings are discovered hiding in a cave, where Joshua commands his military leaders to walk upon their necks, illustrating that Israel will tread upon their enemies.

  • Perhaps there is an echo here of the promise that the seed of the woman will crush the head of the serpent and its seed? (Gn 3:15).

  • The struggle, however, is not over.

  • The five kings in the southern half of the Promised Land have been defeated, but now the king of Hazor summons the kings of the northern hill country to attack Israel.

  • Once again, his attack follows the report that he has “heard” about Israel’s wonderful deeds.

  • But rather than responding with faith to this report, the kings respond with rebellious fear, which Scripture describes as hard-heartedness (Jos 11:20), echoing Pharaoh’s refusal to heed and obey the God of Israel.

  • With Israel’s entry into the land, the people have two choices, obey God and join Israel (Gibeon), or rebel against the Lord and perish.


And the Land Had Rest

  • By the end of Joshua 11, Joshua has victoriously led Israel against the two major coalitions of Canaanites, the kings of the north and of the south, with the result that there is no serious leadership in the land that can oppose Israel.

  • The narrative concludes with the observation, “And the land had rest from war” (Jos 11:23). Joshua foretold this “rest” for Israel, if they would only fight and trust in God.

  • This theme of “rest” echoes God’s “rest” from the work of creation, in which he transformed the land that was formless and void into a good and inhabitable land.

  • Now the Promised Land has rest from the work of the conquest, whose arduous fighting brings order and makes the Promised Land a place inhabitable for Israel to settle.

  • Israel’s defeat of the pagan tribes is akin to God’s defeat of chaos in creation.

  • The conquest ushers in a new creation, with Israel called to be the image bearers of God and to exercise his dominion over the land.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Caviins)


  • Praise the Lord 😁

  • Joshua 10: THE SUN STANDS STILL

  • A lot of Christians may hear this story and find themselves pondering Galileo or the Copernican Revolution (POP QUIZ!!! What was the Copernican Revolution? Recognizing that the Earth revolves AROUND the Sun)

  • So how was this possible?

  • Back in the day, Christian scholars pointed to this passage in Joshua 10 as an argument AGAINST Galileo

  • This may or may not have been accurate

  • It’s actually a little less accurate than one might think

  • The issue of Galileo was NOT an issue of SCIENCE VS. FAITH

  • It was more of an issue of EGO VS. EGO

  • The ego of Galileo vs. the ego of the Pope

  • This was NOT a battle of SCIENCE VS. FAITH

  • Copernicus was a CATHOLIC CLERIC and a SCIENTIST

  • He had ALREADY CLAIMED that the Earth revolved AROUND the Sun

  • This was not met with any RELIGIOUS ARGUMENTS

  • A lot of religious people of this time were VERY INTERESTED IN SCIENCE

  • The Pope who had gotten into this kerfuffle (one of my favorite words, but I can never seem to spell it correctly) with Galileo was formerly a PATRON of Galileo

  • THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY

  • Here is what we NEED TO UNDERSTAND

  • Good Faith and Good Science NEVER CONTRADICT EACH OTHER

  • What DOES CONTRADICT are BAD FAITH OR BAD SCIENCE

  • Good Faith is PURSUIT OF TRUTH

  • Good Science is PURSUIT OF TRUTH

  • TRUTH CAN NEVER EVER CONTRADICT TRUTH

  • The truth that FAITH pursues is SUPERNATURAL TRUTH

  • The truth that SCIENCE pursues is NATURAL TRUTH

  • Both of these things are VERY GOOD THINGS

  • THEY WILL NEVER BE IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER AS LONG AS THEY ARE TRUE

  • People would claim that when the SUN STOOD STILL, this was an ACTUAL DAY that was extended to TWO DAYS

  • THE SUN ACTUALLY STOOD STILL

  • THE EARTH’S ROTATION STOPPED

  • What people were able to see the sun in the midst of the sky for 2 DAYS

  • This could have been a SUPERNATURAL MIRACLE

  • Anyone heard of Fatima? (POP QUIZ!!!! What happened at Fatima? THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN!!!! By the Way, I urge you to watch the movie Fatima it is EXTRAORDINARY)

  • Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal

  • She told these children that there would be a sign on October 13, 1917

  • ON THAT DATE, IN THAT PLACE, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE showed up

  • Many of them were believers

  • HOWEVER, MANY OF THEM WERE SKEPTICS AND EVEN ATHEISTS!

  • Many of these skeptics were just there to prove that nothing was going to happen

  • We know it turned out differently

  • EVERYONE WHO WAS THERE, WHETHER THEY WERE BELIEVERS OR NOT, SAW THE SUN DANCING IN THE SKY

  • EVERY SINGLE PERSON THERE

  • EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

  • The sun was shimmering and began to move around the sky

  • We KNOW this is impossible according to NATURE and SCIENCE

  • But what does SCIENCE pursue?

  • NATURAL TRUTH

  • WHAT DOES FAITH PURSUE?

  • THE SUPERNATURAL TRUTH!!!

  • If this were a natural event, the ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM would have been thrown out of whack

  • If this were a natural event, EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD would have noticed it

  • People in the area of Fatima saw it, but NO ONE ELSE around the world saw it

  • LOCAL NEWS SOURCES even saw this in Fatima

  • So, in that case, was there a VIOLATION of the Laws of Nature i.e sun, orbit, etc

  • We don’t know

  • But what we DO know was that the EXPERIENCE of the people who were THERE was UNMISTAKABLE and UNDENIABLE

  • The Cosmos was NOT thrown into CHAOS

  • So, now the question is could something like this have happened in Joshua 10?

  • ABSOTIVELY, POSILUTELY!!

  • We do also recognize that Scripture uses FIGURES OR SPEECH or even POETIC LANGUAGE

  • Yeah, the battle was SO FIERCE and the battle went SO WELL for the Israelites, that the amount of victory they got was like a battle that went on for 2 days

  • So if someone reads this chapter in the view of POETRY, similar to Genesis 1-11, that’s GREAT

  • ORRRRRR…….

  • We can also say that YES God can perform MIRACLES

  • He has done it EVEN MORE RECENTLY

  • There has been, for lack of a better term, photographic evidence of skeptics and atheists who EXPERIENCED THE MIRACLE OF THE SUN

  • GOD CAN DO THESE KINDS OF THINGS AND HAS DONE THESE THINGS

  • Joshua 10 should NOT bother us because GOOD FAITH AND GOOD SCIENCE NEVER EVER CONTRADICT EACH OTHER

Now, Fr. Mike is going to address all this violence and battles that happen in the Old Testament

  • When it comes to all these BATTLES, this is not necessarily God’s PLAN A

  • REMEMBER THIS

  • God’s PLAN A was that his children would BELONG TO HIM

  • God’s PLAN A was that the WHOLE WORLD WOULD KNOW HIM

  • God’s PLAN A was that we WOULD SAY YES TO HIM WITH EVERYTHING WE ARE

  • God’s PLAN A was that we WOULD LIVE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER

  • God’s PLAN A was that we WOULD LIVE IN HARMONY WITH HIM

  • God’s PLAN A was for ALL NATIONS, ALL RACES, ALL PEOPLE, ALL OF IT, WOULD LIVE IN HARMONY WITH HIM AND WITH EACH OTHER

  • God’s PLAN A is NOT DEATH

  • God’s PLAN A is NOT DESTRUCTION

  • God’s PLAN A is NOT VIOLENCE

  • It is ONLY A RESULT of our BROKEN HUMANITY and OUR BROKENNESS that God ALLOWS IN HIS PLAN what we just read in Joshua and what we are going to read in the next couple of days

  • The Book of Joshua is a VIOLENT BOOK in which God is SOMEHOW, MYSTERIOUSLY, AND ACTUALLY INVOLVED

  • That is VERY PROBLEMATIC for a lot of us

  • We are used to hearing God is a GOD OF PEACE

  • Jesus is the PRINCE OF PEACE

  • AND YET, you MUST remember this next part as we look back on the ENTIRE STORY

  • We are reminded of the fact that THIS IS NOT PART OF GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN

  • The People of Israel WAGING WAR was NOT HIS ORIGINAL PLAN

  • IT WAS THE RESULT OF ALL THE BROKENNESS IN THE WORLD AND IN US

  • IT WAS THE RESULT OF THE FACT THAT WE DO NOT LIVE IN HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER

  • God’s ORIGINAL PLAN, PLAN A, STARTED WITH PEACE!!

  • PEACE ON EARTH

  • PEACE WITH HIM

  • PEACE WITH US

  • PEACE WITHIN US

  • And God’s PLAN ENDS WITH PEACE!

  • If you go to the end of the story, what God reveals is that ALL TRIBES, ALL NATIONS, ALL RACES, EVERYONE

  • John writes in the Book of Revelation that he saw a MULTITUDE OF PEOPLE, ALL TRIBES, ALL RACES, ALL PEOPLES GATHERED INTO ONE

  • This multitude of people are REUNITED AS ONE HOLY FAMILY, ONE KINGDOM ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN

  • This is not a battle of races, a battle of ethnicities, a battle of peoples that GOD WANTS

  • What God WANTS is the TRIUMPH OF HIS NAME

  • What God WANTS is that ALL PEOPLE HELP PEOPLE EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THIS BROKEN WORLD TO COME TO KNOW HIM

  • What God WANTS is that ALL PEOPLE COME TO BE UNITED ONCE AGAIN WITH EACH OTHER

  • But…

  • Along the way, it is VERY VERY MESSY

  • Along the way, it is VERY VERY TROUBLING

  • We experience this EVEN TODAY

  • This is NOT what God wants

  • What God ULTIMATELY wants is our UNITY

  • What God ULTIMATELY wants is our PEACE

  • God reveals that the WAY to that may be difficult and full of destruction

  • But at the end of Joshua 11 it says, “And the Land had REST from WAR”

  • THAT IS WHAT GOD WANTS

  • For US

  • For OUR HEARTS

  • For OUR COUNTRIES

  • For OUR WORLD

  • God wants us to FINALLY AT SOME POINT HAVE REST FROM WAR

  • Sometimes, it is HARD to wrap our hearts and minds around these things

  • So what do we do?

  • Tell God, “Ok Lord, let’s keep on reading. Let’s keep on moving forward. Let’s keep on trusting. Let’s keep on fighting, not AGAINST each other, but keep on fighting FOR EACH OTHER. That’s why we pray for each other.”

  • Pray for each other

  • Pray for Fr. Mike


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we know that you have revealed yourself to us and so we thank you. We know that what you revealed is that you desire justice, you desire peace. You are the God of peace. In fact, you reveal to us fully that yourself revealed fully in the revelation of Jesus is that he is the Prince of Peace. And yet, when we hear so many stories of war and of battle and of violence, it can cause us to question. So we ask you, Lord, to please give us interior peace. Give us a sense of understanding of what it is that you want to teach us today, and what it is that you want us to receive today. We make this prayer in the name of the Prince of Peace, in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”