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DAILY DEVOTIONS
 

  In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos' (matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos' which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground' a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.

In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style than the 'Varying topics' one.

Having dwelt on the topic of Christian journey in the previous month, now in the month of Febraury, I intend to focus on a monumental piece of Jewish history….the Conquest of Canaan, with its particular relevance to modern day breed of Christian spiritual warriors.

Once again, let me wish you a happy and an edifying read…

Suresh Manoharan




February 26th

A GREAT MIRACLE



On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
"O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
  O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." - Joshua 10:12
 
  Can any meditation on the “Conquest of Canaan” ever be complete without focusing on one of the greatest miracles (stopping of the sun and moon on their tracks) ever to have occurred on planet earth? In the Biblical context, this was a miracle at par with the parting of Red sea, River Jordan and raising of Dead Lazarus (John 11).

Let me also present some geo-historical aspects (refer map VIII) of this miracle, which happened when Joshua and his men were engaged in a battle with five kings (Joshua 10:3-11)-all part of the process of “Conquest of Canan”. Upper Beth-horon was nearest Gibeon—about ten miles distant, and approached by a gradual ascent through a long and precipitous ravine. This was the first stage of the flight of the enemy forces, who realized as the battle progressed that they would not be able to stand against Joshua’s army. The fugitives had crossed the high ridge of Upper Beth-horon, and were in full flight down the descent to Beth-horon the Nether. The road between the two places is so rocky and rugged that there is a path made by means of steps cut in the rock. Down this pass Joshua continued his victorious rout. Here it was that the Lord interposed, assisting His people by means of a storm, which, having been probably gathering all day, burst with such irresistible fury, that "they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." The Oriental hailstorm is a terrific agent; the hailstones are masses of ice, large as walnuts, and sometimes as two fists; their prodigious size, and the violence with which they fall, make them always very injurious to property, and often fatal to life. The miraculous feature of this tempest, which fell on the Amorite army, was the entire preservation of the Israelites(who were not far away) from its destructive ravages. A case of yet another miracle within a miracle.

Gibeon ("a hill") was now at the back of the Israelites, and the height would soon have intercepted the rays of the setting sun, rendering the complete rout impossible on that day and giving the adversaries the time to recoup, the next day, once they had reached the safety of their cities. The valley of Ajalon ("stags") was before them, and so near that it was sometimes called "the valley of Gibeon" (Isa 28:21). It would seem, from Jos 10:14, that the command of Joshua was in reality a prayer to God for the performance of this miracle; and that, although the prayers of eminently good men like Moses often prevailed with God, never was there on any other occasion so astonishing a display of divine power made in behalf of His people, as in answer to the prayer of Joshua.

What this miracle of “sun standing still” facilitated was the complete rout of the enemies on the same day, without giving them any opportunity to regroup.

Oh what a great and powerful God we serve! Are we calling upon Him, in the midst of our problems, or are we trying to solve them with our own finite strength. Remember, He is ever ready to help (Psalm 50:15)!

Prayer:

Father sometimes we sin by limiting Thy power. When faced by problems, enable us to depend on thee at all times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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