Friday, May 15, 2009


Today’s blog is a continuation of yesterday’s blog as we preview our message for this Sunday from the story of Rahab. We saw yesterday that Rahab the harlot hid the two Jewish spies that Joshua had sent into Jericho and misled the King’s men, sending them on a wild goose chase. She then went up to the roof and had a long dialogue with the two spies. In fact, Joshua 2:9-13 is one of the longest uninterrupted statements by a woman in a Biblical narrative. Rahab expresses two truths. First, she says that she is sure that the God of Israel had given the Jews the land of Canaan. She also informs these men that the terror of Israel had fallen on all the inhabitants of the land.

How did Rahab come to such conclusions? Her faith came from the stories she had heard. She had heard the story of how the Lord parted the Red Sea so that Israel could escape from Pharaoh and the Egyptian Army. She had heard how the Israelites destroyed the mighty two kings of the Amorties (seen in Numbers 21:21-35). It is obvious that God had been working in Rahab’s life, preparing her for this encounter with these spies.

As a result, Rahab comes to a conclusion of faith. It is seen very clearly in Joshua 2:10 when she says, “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” This prostitute from Jericho now realizes the truth about the God of Israel. I wonder how many people all around us are like Rahab. Even though they seem far from God, God is working in their lives, preparing them. They have heard stories about God. They may even have heard stories about Grace Church. And right now God is orchestrating their lives…and possibly yours…preparing them for a divinely appointed encounter...possibly with you.

In return for her saving their lives, Rahab asks the spies to promise her that they would save her and the lives of her family when Israel attacked Jericho. The spies agree to this promise on three conditions. First, she cannot tell anyone of their intentions. Second, she must tie a red cord in the window. Due to her living on the outer wall of the city, this cord would be easily seen as the soldiers march around the city for 7 days as God will instruct them to do. Due to the red cord, they will know whose house was Rahab’s. But I believe that this cord also serves as a picture of the blood of Christ as was the blood over the doorposts when Israel was enslaved in Egypt. The final condition was that she and her family must stay in her house during the attack.

Because she lived on the wall of the city, Rahab was able to let the spies down the outside of the wall with a rope. She advised them to hide in the hill country for 3 days. Rahab then ties the scarlet cord so that it would hang from her window. James uses Rahab in his New Testament writing to teach that though saving faith is apart form works, true faith always results in works (James 2:25). The spies do exactly what Rahab urges and then they return to Joshua to give him their optimistic report about the mindset of Jericho resulting in Joshua being assured that God would give them the city of Jericho. And, no doubt, they told Joshua all about Rahab and her faith in the God of Israel, her bravery in saving their lives, the promise they made to save her and her family, and about the red cord hanging from her window.

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