Bible Study Day 15: God Listens to a Man

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Joshua 10 -23

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“13 …the sun stood still in the middle of the heaven and was not in haste to set for about a full day. 14 There has not been a day like this before it or after, that Yahweh listened to the voice of a man; for Yahweh fought for Israel.”

Joshua 10

Introduction

Joshua could have been more concise.

The sun stood still for an entire day, and that was the second most shocking thing to happen that day. God, for the first time and only time in history, listened to the instructions of a man. I don’t mean ‘listen’ like listening to music, I mean ‘listen’ like listening to your parents. Several notable patriarchs have lived and died whom God did not ‘listen’ to; however, in this instance, He listens to Moses’ successor. Some would call this a glitch in the matrix, perhaps, but I see it as God further demonstrating His character.

Why Did God Listen?

At this time, Moses had already passed away, and Joshua was anointed to lead Israel into the promised land. The land was inhabited by several people most notably the Amorites. It is at this moment God tells Joshua that he has ‘given them into your hand.’ With this knowledge, Joshua leads the attack, and amid battle, he speaks to God saying, “Sun in Gibeon, stand still, and moon, in the valley of Aijalon.”

God demonstrates a unique characteristic in this, as His people are conquering their enemies He listens to the instruction of His first anointed war leader. Moses and others had their fair share of battles, but Joshua was a soldier before being selected. God knew that Joshua was making a wise command, and God listened to Him. Many factors had to be considered in order for God to listen, Joshua had to be leading, the Israelites had to be on their way to victory to gain the promised land, and God had to be in their favor during the battle. All this needed to occur for God to listen to a man.

Another key actor in this equation is Joshua, Moses’ successor to lead the Israelites. Joshua was a soldier and God’s chosen to not only lead the Israelites but to lead them into the land promised by God to their ancestors. Joshua was a man of integrity and both feared and loved God; when Moses sent him to scout the land his fear of God was the confidence he needed to know that victory was theirs on his report back to Moses. Joshua wore God like armor, and God decorated Joshua as the war hero he was, and the ultimate honor any military leader in history can have is God listening to his order.

Why won’t God listen to man?

Since the beginning of time, God has a plan, and when you’re omniscient, you don’t need to deviate from that plan. God’s ultimate plan is one of redemption and restoring His creation with him. When God listened to Joshua, it was in aid for the Israelites in battle, not in how God should He redeem His people from their sin. He doesn’t listen to man now because He doesn’t need man’s input on anything. His ultimate plan of redemption was sealed when Christ died. The world’s relationship with Him changed after that from aiding His people in a victory over the Amorites to now aiding His people in a victory over themselves.

Conclusion

For God to listen to Joshua, a confluence of events needed to happen, and the same is true when God atoned for our sins. If you ask God to give you the ability to fly He probably won’t listen, but if you ask Him to provide you with strength in a sorrowful situation, He is there. God does not listen to us the way He listened to Joshua at that moment. He does something more, redeems us. Not only in the sense that atonement for our behalf has been met but redemption from ourselves. Our Lord said, “whoever loses their life for my sake will find it,” there is not much to be gained from God listening to us; there is an eternity to be earned if we listen to Him.

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