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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Very First Daylight Savings Time

Benjamin Franklin has long been credited as the originator of Daylight Savings time but I beg to differ. There is a story in the Bible in which Joshua called upon the Lord to stop the sun in the sky to give his army daylight to complete the battle. Battles were hard to fight in the dark. It was hard to tell an enemy from a friend at night. The enemy could regroup and retaliate if they could escape into the night. Israel needed more daylight if it was to defeat this enemy at this time.

Joshua stands before the people and calls for the sun and the moon to stand still. What an incredible thought! Yes, this was an obvious need but, no, it is not obvious to consider it. Our problems are solved within our scope of possibility. In other words, we cannot solve problems outside our ability to think. Our past experiences give us what we believe is possible.

I once heard of a truck that got stuck under an overpass. The driver did not realize his load was a couple of inches taller than the clearance and hit the overpass with enough force to wedge the truck so well that everything people thought of failed. They tried tow trucks to pull the truck from the overpass. They tried large fork lifts to raise the overpass. Nothing seemed to work.

A little boy rode up on a bicycle to watch the ordeal. Finally, he said, "Why don't you just let the air out of the tires?"

The men, who were exhausted by this time looked at each other with astonishment. They hadn't thought of that. So, they let the air out of the truck and trailer tires and moved the whole load out within a few minutes.
Joshua came up with the idea of stopping the sun and moon right where it was to finish the battle. It was the first time for daylight savings. Who would have thought of it?

So, the next time someone says that Benjamin Franklin is the creator of Daylight Savings Time you can correct them. No, it happened thousands of years before Franklin. Joshua is the real originator. He was thinking way outside the box.

Joshua 10:12-14 (NIV)
12 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." 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

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