Joshua is now the leader and the people are ready to follow Him as long as he stays in tune with God. We see that Joshua also sent some spies but this time he only sent two and not twelve to go and check out the land but especially Jericho. The Israelites first conquest is going to be Jericho and so Joshua knew it was important for them to take this fortified city first which would split the region and help with them being succesful with the other conquest in the area. Although God had already promised them this land there was still action they had to take. Gods promises do not mean we do not show diligence in carrying out His will.
The City of Jericho
Being a large city the spies were probably able to enter it and walk around but at some point they were discovered to be Israelites. The news of Israel’s conquest and the miracles of God had already made an impact on the nation. Someone in the city must have saw them go into Rahab’s house and it was reported back to the King and he sent guards to go and find the spies.
How did the spies know to go into Rahabs house?
Some say because her house was more like an Inn or a crowded place that they thought they might be not as conspicuous in there. I believe God guided them exactly where He knew they would be safe because God already knew Rahab’s heart.
Since the King knew they were in the city it was up to Rahab to hide them. She lied to the guards who would not enter her house either because of a middle eastern tradition, superstition or because she was a prostitute. She not only lied to them but gave them false information to send them away from her.
This creates a struggle because we know that God is against lying but at the same time she is honored because she did not let them know where they were.
Isaiah 16:3 Give counsel; grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; shelter the outcasts; do not reveal the fugitive;
Some believe because of her culture and her lifestyle that she did not even know that what she was doing was a sin. Some believe that middle eastern thought if you welcome strangers into your home then you are obligated to protect them. The Movie Lone Survivor showed some of this mentality.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
Rahab had a fear of God that was more powerful than her fear of man. We do not know what would have happened if she would have been caught but that did not matter to her. She knew the true God was the one the Israelites worshiped and these men were probably an answer to a prayer she had to God. She hid the men on her rooftop which would have been covered with stalks of flax which would have been on the roof to dry out.
1) Rahab’s choice went against her culture
2:8-11 “For we have heard how the Lord…
Miracles of God do not mean that people will follow Him. The whole city had heard the same report that Rahab heard and they knew that the God of the Israelites was the true God.
When Jesus was on the earth He did so many miracles that they could not all be recorded yet people still rejected Him.
John 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
Our culture is going to continue to deny God because they want to live their lives the way they want. People can see the things of God in our culture yet they still deny they exist. God has made Himself known (Romans 1) yet people refuse to believe.
Jericho was a place that worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of love. Everything they did and practiced had to do with sensuality and they had a “if it feels good do it,” mentality. This was a city full of sin and even though they heard the reports of God they had no desire to stop their ways and start following Him. They could have easily repented but instead they kept doing what they wanted. This was not a shock to God because like all of our sins God knew ahead of time what they would do and what they would become.
Genesis 15:13-16 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.15 As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age.16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
God will allow sin to continue in our culture just like He allowed them to continue in their sin until they reached a certain point. God will allow us to destroy our own lives and walk down paths of sin even though He has made it clear to us that He exist. (Romans 1)
“The Iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete”; meaning they will reach a point that I will tolerate their sin no more. God sovereignly knew the choice they would make but He also allowed them to make it. So 400 years later, right on cue for God, Joshua is getting ready to lead the Children of God to destroy the wickedness of the city of Jericho. God also knew that Rahab and her family would be saved and that is why He was patient with the city knowing that some would come to know Him as the true God.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
I know we sometimes get tired of seeing the sin in this world but we have to remember that God is not done reaching People and so we need to hope and pray that some, just like Rahab and her family, will come to know the true God. We must stay diligent in fulfilling the great commission (Matthew 28:16-20) which means sharing about Jesus Christ with others.
We also must remember that God is only going to tolerate sin for so long and we need to be careful to not take our own sins lightly. We tend to see other peoples sins as a bigger deal than our own but to God all sins are a big deal. The Bible is clear that God will not tolerate sin forever and just like the days of Noah the days of people living in sin and rejection of God will come to an end. (Romans 1, 2:5: Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Revelation 14:10)
2) Rahab’s Choice led to immediate obedience
Joshua 2:21 tells us that as soon as the spies left she tied the scarlet cord out the window. She knew it would be a least three days till they made it back but she did not hesitate in her obedience. We sometimes make decisions about what we should do but then we delay actually doing them.
Similar to the Lambs blood being spread on the doors for the death angel to pass over in Egypt (Exodus 12) so this represented her being protected from the invasion that was going to come. The spies would know who to save simply because she placed the scarlett cord out of her window.
James 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
James 2:14-26 says that faith without works is dead. In other words Talk is cheap. You cannot earn your salvation but how you live shows what you believe. One of the issues in Christianity is people say they are Christians but their actions do not show that they are Christians.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We are saved by Grace but that saving grace should lead to us living for Christ. Just like Rahab acted on her faith so should everyone who believes that Jesus Christ paid for their sins on the cross act accordingly.
3) Rahab’s Choice saved her family
None of us live in a bubble and the lives we live affect those around us but especially our families. Rahab’s faith saved her family because not only did she hang the scarlett cord out the window, she also brought her family into her house where they could be saved. For good or for bad your choices make an impact on your family
Joshua 6:23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel.
4) Rahab’s Choice changed her destiny
This woman went from being a prostitute to being in the family line of Jesus. If you study Matthew 1 you will see in verse 5 her name mentioned as being part of Jesus family tree.
Some have tried to change her past by saying she was a hostess or Inn keeper because they cannot understand how Jesus could come from a woman of this stature. The Beauty of christianity is that God can take anyone and make them clean.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Rahab confessed that God was the true God and we know this because she says in verse 11 “The Lord your God is God and he is God in the Heavens above and on the earth beneath” It is the Holy Spirit that draws a person toward God (John 6:44) and the first thing God shows you is your sin (John 16:8). She knew the wrath of God was coming (Joshua 2:9) and she knew her only hope was to be saved.
All other religions are about you trying to earn your way to God where Christianity is all about God working His way to you. God came to us (Matthew 1:23) in the form of Jesus and died for us (Romans 5:8) so that we could be in right standing with God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Rahab knew she was a sinner but so many people do not see that the things they do are just as bad as any sin Rahab committed. Rahab knew she needed to be saved and sadly, too many people in our society do not think they need saving. You will hear people say that they are not that bad but the reality is our sin is gross to God (Isaiah 64:6) and if we do not ask God to save us then we will not be saved from the judgment that will come.
We all have one choice to make that determines our eternity. It is not about how many sins you did or did not do. It is not how many good works you accomplish in this lifetime. The only thing that matters is if you believe that what Jesus Christ did for you on the Cross paid for your sins.
Colossians 2:13-14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Whatever sins you have committed cannot be made up for by the good you try and do. You have to trust that what Jesus did not the cross took your sins and they were paid for there. You will not have to stand before God wondering if you did enough in your lifetime to outdo the bad you have done because Jesus paid for our sins. You are debt free with God when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. (Romans 8:1) We have to decide if we are going to follow Christ or not just like Rahab had to make a choice.
Luke 9:23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
God will take you where you are and change you and even put you in His family tree. The bad news is you cannot be good enough, but the good news is you cannot be bad enough.
Have you decided that you are going to give your life to Christ? It is as simple as telling Him He can have your life, but it is difficult because you have to die to yourself. What you give up this side of Heaven is nothing compared to what you will gain in the life to come. You have to trade the seen for the unseen but the relationship with Christ our God is what you were created to have and it is the only things that will truly fulfill you in this life and the greatest thing about living eternally with Him in Heaven.