Thursday, May 21, 2009

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

This Sunday we will finish up our 3-week look at Rahab which is the first of three stories in our Chick Flicks of the Bible message series. We have already seen her encounter with the two Jewish spies and her bravery in saving their lives which resulted in their promising to save her life and the life of her family if she were to tie a red cord from her window in her house which was on the wall of the city. We now pick up the story of Rahab in Joshua chapter six. God has parted the Jordan River, which was at flood stage, allowing all of Israel to cross over and camp in the vicinity of the city of Jericho. As the King of Jericho hears of this amazing miracle, his fear of Israel increases resulting in his shutting up the city so that no one can enter or leave.

God also gives to Joshua the exact plans for taking the city. For six days all the fighting men were to march around the city one time in silence. This march was also to include the Ark of the Covenant, symbolizing the presence of God, accompanied by 7 priests carrying trumpets. These were jubilee trumpets used in feasts to proclaim the presence of God. This was not a military march, but a religious march showing that the God of heaven would fight for Israel (Numbers 10:10). On the 7th day they were to march around the city 7 times. To march around the city 7 times would take 3-4 hours. After the 7 cycles, they were to blow their horns and the people were to shout a loud shout.

Israel did exactly as they were commanded. Each time around the city allowed the fighting men to see the red cord hanging from Rahab’s house, whose story they would have known. As ordered, Israel marches around the city 7 times on the 7th day. At the end of the march, Joshua commands to people to shout and reiterates the promise that God has given them the city. He also reminds them to save Rahab and her family and not to take any items within the city for themselves. The people shouted and the walls fell flat.

Some skeptics speculate that it was an earthquake that caused the walls to fall flat or that the soldiers somehow ndermined the walls. Other skeptics speculate that it was the vibrations of the trumpets along with the marching feet that caused the walls to fall. Those skeptics have more faith than I do. To me it is a whole lot simpler to believe that God did exactly what He promised to do. And as promised, Rahab and her family are saved. It appears that the portion of the wall in which Rahab lived remained intact when the city walls fell.

The next time Rahab is mentioned is in Matthew 1:5-6 where we find that she married a Jewish man named Salmon. Remember that the two spies that Joshua sent into Jericho that were hidden by Rahab were never mentioned by name. Now here is a “chick flick” possibility. What if Salmon was one of the spies? How cool would that be! Either way, Rahab became the great-great-grandmother to King David. Rahab is then mentioned in the great Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11:31). She is one of only two women whose stories are detailed in Hebrews 11.

Imagine that…a prostitute who wasn’t even a Jew being one of only two women mentioned in the great chapter of faith in the book of Hebrews and in the line of the Messiah. Rahab is one amazing story of God meeting one woman right where she was and using two Jewish spies to move her to where He wanted her to be.

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