Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
They did what now?!? – This is so understated that it’s hard to absorb what’s happening here. The two spies were protected in the home of a woman, a Canaanite – people destined for destruction – and she’s a prostitute? That is shocking! The King of Jericho is aware these men came to Rahab but she sends those in pursuit of the spies off on a wild goose chase! Why would she put her neck out to save these men? Because she believes in God and has a greater fear of the LORD than of anyone.
I know (am convinced, have been persuaded) that the LORD has given this land to you…
…For the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
What a bold statement of faith! Note the past tense: “has given”. This is a done deal. She knows how this is going to end and has chosen a side – because of her belief: Jehovah is God over all. We’ve all heard about Him. We’ve seen what He’s done. We know how He fights for His people.
Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you.
This is bold too! …to claim protection by having these men take an oath before God to spare her and her family. And the symbol of that protection – the scarlet cord, to be placed in the window through which the spies escaped – brings to mind the blood on the doorposts at Passover, and the blood of our sacrificial lamb, Jesus. He is our deliverance, our way of escape, our covering of protection. So the woman who protected the spies in her home finds her protection in the house of the LORD through faith. Not only is she kept safe during the conquest of Jericho, but she is grafted into the family tree, taking her place in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews.
I will never tire of hearing how our God redeems and transforms lives through faith. Rahab’s story reminds me that there is no one beyond His reach. No matter who we are or what we’ve done, we can believe on His name and be saved. And this faith inspires action – we do what we believe. May I be prompted to take bold action – not motivated by the fear of man or limited by what others may think of me – but purely out of reverence for the One True God. May God give me the humility to accept that I’ve done nothing but say, “I’m with Him”. His favor towards me is completely undeserved. And may I be challenged to see God at work in people who seem to be so distant from Him. Our God is drawing all of our wandering hearts to Him. He takes delight in us. He captures our hearts with His love. He rejoices over us as a bridegroom rejoices over His beautiful bride.
The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See your Savior comes! See, His reward is with Him, and His recompense accompanies Him.’” They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.
Amy C. (guest on 66 Books)