How do we read Scripture for the sake of congregational preaching? This Book? This book is for the people of The Lord who would come after these people. I believe we should read it corporately as Christ’s church / Yahweh’s people. Holding ourselves to the same standards Yahweh was teaching to HIS people then, the Israelites. Also looking for personal application as to how we relate to God.
The lives of the characters we see are perfectly orchestrated and recorded declarations of WHO the God of Scripture is, who we are, and what we can be in communion with that same Triune God!
Who is Rahab? Who and what does she become? She is the owner / operator of an Inn / Brothel (which was and is still common) She has some familiarity with the King and the King with her… She has a family she cares about, parents, siblings and their children She is an all in believer of The Lord / Yahweh / The God of Israel. She is one who by faith becomes part of God’s plan to capture the city of Jericho, but also part of His plan to birth a Messiah from a people she would be grafted into! Eventually she marries Salmon of the tribe of Judah and is the mother of Boaz from the book of Ruth. She is listed in the genealogy of Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph. (Matt. 1:5)
BIG Themes of the Book of Joshua:
- Our obedience can fuel the miraculous / Active faith gets us in on the action
- We are to take possession of what God promises us / Believing HE can do it
- Trusting God’s sovereignty enables us to be strong & courageous / Risking all
- The exercise of true faith requires us to act / Obedience is doing not thinking
- Disobedience leads to disaster / Delayed or partial obedience is disobedience
- Leadership matters to all of us / Leading when called to, following otherwise
- God always fulfills His Promises / HE is who HE is, not what we experience
1 Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.
- Jericho was the focus of the surveillance, basically the only thing there…
- They got to the city, went directly to the brothel (a good place to hear things)
- The spies trust in Yahweh to protect them, they use zero stealth…
- She is the owner / operator of a ‘house of prostitution’
- It was also a place to lodge (menu of services: beds, food, drink & such)
2 But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab: “Bring out the men who have come into your house, for they have come here to spy out the whole land.”
- The King has heard about the Israelites so security is heightened
- Who else would be around, everyone was laying low because of Joshua’s army
- The King is very sure that spies have been sent, how could that be?
- They must not have been very stealthy spies, they believed God would protect
4 Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5 They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.”
- She has a complete plan and puts it into motion before the King’s guys come
- How does she know what to do? How does it go down? “Quick, come hide!”
- Is there a connection / attraction between Rahab and one of the spies?
- Was one of the spies Salmon who she would later marry?
- Her story confirms the King’s info & makes it look like they got spooked & split
- Why do the Kings men believe her without hesitation?
6 (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) 7 So the king’s men went looking for the spies along the road leading to the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. And as soon as the king’s men had left, the gate of Jericho was shut.
- She was able to get them hidden without anyone else seeing her do it
- The timing was perfect: the king’s men would not come back that night
- The Spies would have to cross the Jordan where it was shallow…
8 Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. 9 “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror.
- She pours out her heart, telling them of how convinced their Lord is THE LORD
- How could she understand the land was going to be given to them by God?
- She fears God’s power as it is being displayed by the Nation of Israel
10 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed.
- They heard about the Red Sea…
- They knew the strength of the two Kings who had been completely destroyed
- Translated: ‘completely destroy’ is literally: ‘Fully Consecrated to The Lord’
11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.
- She’s convinced of who God is & what He is doing, she figures everyone is
- She doesn’t realize that she belongs to God, she says: ‘The Lord YOUR God’
- She fully understands Yahweh’s absolute sovereignty & proves it by her actions
12 “Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that 13 when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.”
- She is the one who wants to swear an oath to The Lord (what a surprise!)
- Her faith in The Lord spurs her to ask for a lot, but she believes God can do it
- She wants them to swear by The Lord! She believes HE will make it happen
- She displays God’s influence by getting help for her family, not just herself
- The only thing she asks for is that they all will be allowed to live
- OK, if your plan gets us home safe we will take care of you & your family
- The giving of the land is taken as a given
15 Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window. 16 “Escape to the hill country,” she told them. “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you. Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.”
- It was no accident her house was part of the city wall
- The hill country was the opposite direction of their camp
- She know that the Kings men’s will not search for more than three days
17 Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. 18 When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house.
- As much as God is directing Rahab, HE is directing the spies
- They provide a way for her family to all be saved, a way to identify the house
- Scarlet cord is reminiscent of the “passover’ blood on the door frame
- The blood saved everyone in the house, the cord will do the same
19 If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. 20 If you betray us, however, we are not bound by this oath in any way.”
- The protection has boundaries, like God’s protection in our lives works
- They are responsible for making sure their side of the bargain is kept
- The responsibility for their deaths means the spies would be put to death
21 “I accept your terms,” she replied. And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window. 22 The spies went up into the hill country and stayed there three days. The men who were chasing them searched everywhere along the road, but they finally returned without success.
- The ‘covenant’ is completed and agreed to and the spies did as they were told
- The kings men did exactly what Rahab thought they would and come up empty
23 Then the two spies came down from the hill country, crossed the Jordan River, and reported to Joshua all that had happened to them. 24 “The Lord has given us the whole land,” they said, “for all the people in the land are terrified of us.”
- Safely returned they told Joshua everything (the exact terms of the deal)
- And they were definitive: it is going down, in fact it has already happened
- They are convinced God is keeping HIS promise to give them the land
The spies and Rahab consistently act as though Yahweh is all powerful and makes everything happen. Rahab is directly prompted by God to recognize and help the spies, demonstrating Yahweh’s active and absolute sovereignty
Rahab believes in Yahweh’s power and will risk her life to do HIS will because she believes God is who He says He is. She is more afraid of God than of the authorities. This healthy awe and reverence of The Lord is a great example to God’s people.
Rahab invokes The Lord’s name over their deal. By faith, she is literally putting herself in Yahweh’s hands. She and the spies agree to put their lives on the line for each other living out their active faith in Yahweh.
The oath or covenant is dependent on each party ‘keeping faith’ / being trustworthy. Both Rahab and the Spies are pledging to The Lord as much as they are pledging to each other.
The spies completely depended on God, they saw first hand how their faith was rewarded, and they glorified Yahweh in declaring the surety of His promises! When we join God in active faith HE will grow that faith and HE will be glorified!
How will Rahab’s faith be rewarded and glorify Yahweh?
On a one to five, five being best, how dependent are you on God in: Your career? Your schedule? Your Family? Your Ministry? Your Entertainment / Recreation?
Is your goal that they all be fives?
Do you have a healthy ‘Fear’ of The Lord / Yahweh / Jesus Christ? What in your life would be an example of your health?
When you make commitments, do you keep them because of your faith in Christ or faith in the things or people you are committing to?
What are some tangible and accountable ways you have been wanting to act on your faith? What is keeping you from acting?