DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
Daylight Saving Time (DST) was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe DST. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of DST. DST was extended in 2007 by four weeks from the second Sunday of March to the first Sunday of November. We know it as “Spring forward, fall back.”
But did you know the original Daylight Saving Time started with Joshua in the Bible? In Joshua chapter ten there is the story of the Long Day of Joshua. This is where Joshua prayed for more daylight, so he could defeat Israel’s enemies in their southern campaign into the Promised Land. And guess what? God honored his request! (Josh 10:14) And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.
Different explanations have been offered as to what actually happened, such as an eclipse, a comet or meteorite, a tilting of the earth’s axis, refraction of the sun’s rays, the presence of God manifested in light, etc. Perhaps the best explanation is that God caused the rotation of the earth to slow down so that it made one full rotation in 48 hours rather than in 24. This fits in best with Joshua 10:13b . . . “the sun . . . did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.” God would then have stopped the cataclysmic effects that would have naturally occurred, such as giant tidal waves and objects flying around earth. Day and night belong to the Lord (Psa 74:16).
Some scholars say that Joshua was asking that the sun stop shining, not that it stop moving. The long night’s march, largely uphill and with full battle gear, left his troops tired. According to this theory Joshua asked God to stop the sun from beating down on his troops before exhaustion overcame them. Therefore, Joshua was seeking a cooler day, not a longer one.
God is not imprisoned by His own creation. He is able to use or suspend the very laws He built into it. There is room for honest questions about the nature of the miraculous but there’s never room for questioning the reality of the miraculous. If we can’t believe that God can do anything (Jer 32:17, 27) then we have to do away with the inspiration of Scripture, the Virgin Birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, etc.
I have often seen how the Lord sometimes extends my day in the sense that I am able to get so much done. When I look back in the day I am amazed that the Lord compressed so much in a single day that I just have to give Him the glory. Then I think about the long day of Joshua and this wonderful verse: (Psa 84:11) For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.