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The Longest Night


Joshua 10:1-14

There is a fascinating story in the Bible about a time when God’s People were fighting against an enemy that was trying to destroy them. When it became apparent that all they needed to win the war was a few more hours of daylight, their leader, Joshua, commanded the sun and the moon to stand still. And according to the Word of God, the sun and the moon stood still long enough for Israel to emerge from battle victorious. This then is the reason why one day in all the history of the world is just a few hours longer than all the other days.

What we often fail to consider, however, is the effect this lengthening of the day had on the other side of the world. You see, God has engineered our planet such that in order for one side of it to experience day, the other side must experience night. Therefore it only stands to reason that while Israel was experiencing the miracle of the longest day in history, somebody somewhere on the opposite side of the earth was being subjected to the longest night in history.

Many times night is considered in a negative way. Troubles that may seem to be only minor irritants during the daylight hours have a way of becoming major adversaries during the dark hours of the night. Fears that can be temporarily forgotten during the busy hustle and bustle of the work day sometimes reappear with increased intensity at night. Aches and pains that can be ignored while you are busy with the ordinary business of life often flare up and greatly trouble you when you lie down to try to sleep at night. Heartaches that are suppressed deep in the psyche during normal daylight living can spring up to trouble you without a moment’s warning when darkness prevails during the wee hours of the night.

And so it was, on that longest day of glorious victory in Palestine, all the way on the other side of the world there was the longest night that someone had to live through. We are not told how it affected anyone. Therefore we can only imagine how it must have been.

Perhaps there was a ship, struggling against a storm in the night, and the sailors were eagerly longing for the daylight to aid them in their fight against the wind and waves. And when daylight should have come, there was only more darkness. Imagine their confusion and their consternation. Why is this night so long?

Or maybe there was a father and a mother, doing their best to care for a sick baby, and desperately praying for daylight to come so the morning sun rays could once again ignite the fires of their hope. But the night just seemed to go on forever. And the baby keeps on crying. And they hold each other tightly, vainly seeking the answer to the question in each of their minds: Why is this night so long?

Who knows how many folks suffered the horrible nightmares of the longest night on the other side of the world from where God was giving His People victory in the longest day?

Maybe even now, you are experiencing in a figurative sense the longest night of your life, and it seems that there is no light to end your darkness. Just remember this: even during what was the longest night God was working victory for His People on the other side of the world! And even the longest night eventually came to an end, as the gray fingers of dawn began to banish the shadows of night.

So, my friend, if you are struggling and suffering through a seemingly interminable night of misery and woe and trouble and adversity, be assured that there will be a glorious sunrise, and you will once again sing morning’s song. And if your night seems extra long, perhaps it is because God is giving someone else a few extra hours of sunlight to help them secure their victory.

 

Rev. Tim D. Cormier
03/17/2006

(C) Copyright held by Tim D. Cormier. This document may not be reproduced in whole or in part, except for personal use, without the express written permission of the author.

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