We gained a full hour this month in most of the U.S. Magically in the middle of the night on November 1, we doubled up on that two-o’clock hour and woke up sometime later a bit more bright-eyed and early for church. This concept of daylight savings dates back to 1895, when it was presented as an idea for the purpose of conserving energy and making full use of the daylight hours.
But the Bible tells of an even more miraculous daylight savings, an account of the day the Lord made the sun stand still so that his servant Joshua could lead the nation of Israel to victory over the Amorites.
On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies. . . . The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since. . . . Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! (Joshua 10:12-14).
God gives us another show of his almighty power by suspending his own laws of nature again: King Hezekiah had grown ill, and through his prophet Isaiah the Lord told him that his time on earth was about to end. Hezekiah prayed and wept to the Lord, saying, “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes” (2 Kings 20:3). And the Lord answered, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you” (verse 5). And then Hezekiah asked for a sign that this would be so.
Basically, Hezekiah asked God if he could turn back time as the sign, and God sang back, “I can find a way.” Read 2 Kings 20:1-11 for the whole story.
So what do these accounts from the B.C. era have to do with us today?
1. Our Creator-God is in control of the universe. Since God created everything, we can be confident that he can circumvent the laws of physics that he put into place and that he can do this miracle without wreaking havoc on his creation. Some have tried to argue away the miracles in both of these Bible accounts, citing eclipses or seeking other rational explanations. But since we know that God is all-powerful, we know that he can stop the sun and moon (or stop the earth from rotating), freeze the laws of physics, and still maintain the universe. Any other view is a dishonoring view of an omnipotent Creator-God. He doesn’t need our help to explain away a divine miracle with a humanistic and rationalistic explanation.
As we read in various verses in Job 38, God queries: “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Who marked off its dimensions? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?”
Boom. Our Creator-God is awesome.
2. God listens to our prayers. In both of these accounts, a mere servant of God prayed for something crazy. Joshua asked for the sun to stand still. An impossible ask—why would Joshua ever think that this one battle for this one small nation was worth halting the earth in its tracks? And Hezekiah, asking God to halt his own death? What made him think that his life was so important that God would extend it 15 years? How bold of him to ask God for a sign like turning back time. Such boldness on the part of Joshua and Hezekiah. And God blessed their prayers. He listened, and he said yes.
3. God is a good guy to have on our side. The God who laid the foundation of the earth and who can change the course of that earth to give us daylight savings in a pinch. The God who can turn back time. The God who can give orders to the morning and the night. The God who will fight for us against earthly and spiritual enemies. The God who can do all that and then still is willing to listen to the human beings whom he created. The God who cared so much about his creation that he wanted to save it by sending his Son into time and space to die on a cross so that we might experience the joys of heaven in his awesome presence. This is the God we have by our side and on our side night and day.