Joshua takes to heart God’s encouraging words. (See “Joshua – Be Strong and Courageous”)
His first task is to send two spies into Jericho to check things out. (Remember, Joshua himself was a spy years before.) Now this is no easy task. After all, the leaders of Jericho have been made quite aware that thousands of people are camped just across the Jordan River from them.
Therefore, the first challenge is to even get through the gate of this walled city—unnoticed. Alas, the spies do manage to get in.
Now very close to the entrance, they find an inn, managed by a woman named Rahab, who quietly takes them in. She realizes they are Israelites, but doesn’t tell on them. In fact, she protects them and hides them on her roof and covers them with stalks of flax.
The king learns of the spies’ presence in Jericho and that they were seen going to Rahab’s, so the king sends soldiers to her house.
“Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.” Joshua 2:3
Rahab covers for the spies and sends the messengers on a wild goose chase out of the city.
What will Rahab do now? Did I mention that Rahab happens to be a prostitute? Does she plan to use her alluring charms on the spies?
Quite the opposite. You see, with her house being located up in the wall, close to the entrance of the city, she hears the talk of those who come and go just below her house. She also hears the talk from those who use her “services.” What did she hear?
“We have heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.” Joshua 2:10
Perhaps there are other events that she heard about that aren’t mentioned—enough that she realizes that their one God is far more powerful than the many gods of her people. Rahab says,
“…the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:11b
What are the chances that these two men who know nothing of the city, find their way to a receptive, helpful woman to protect them?
Think also about the fact that she has lived all her life in this pagan city, far removed from the God-fearing Israelites. What are the chances of hearing the stories of these people?
While her people are struck with fear, she wants to protect these men and know more about their God.
We never know when someone is ready to hear a message from the Lord and that He is ready to use us. Perhaps we need to be “spying out the land” as well.
Hmm, let’s ponder this prostitute a bit more next week!
~ Joyce ~