Rahab and the Spies




In the story of Rahab and the Spies, we learn much about the character of Rahab. Though a lowly innkeeper (called a harlot in the NKJV), she responded in a rather surprising way when approached by the two Israelite spies. Her response showed, not only her great courage, but a desire to turn from the pagan gods she had served to the God of Israel.


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8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

Joshua 2:8-13, NKJV


Rahab and the Spies

In the story of Rahab and the Spies, we learn much about the character of Rahab. Though a lowly innkeeper (called a harlot in the NKJV), she responded in a rather surprising way when approached by the two Israelite spies. Her response showed, not only her great courage, but a desire to turn from the pagan gods she had served to the God of Israel.


Joshua had sent two spies to gather information about the land they were about to conquer - especially their first conquest: the city of Jericho. Stopping at the home of Rahab, the local innkeeper, the spies were surprised at what they heard. Not only did the local people have extensive knowledge of the nation of Israel, they were absolutely terrified. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you.


In this account, however, of Rahab and the spies, Rahab did not stop here but continued: For the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. The spies understood the significance of her words. Rahab was confessing a new-found belief in God. This was not the normal response of the people of the land. Though they may have feared greatly, they did not come to the same conclusion. They may have suspected that the Israelite's God was stronger than theirs, but they did not come to the conclusion that He was the one and only true God.


How can we not think of 1 Corinthians 1:27 (KJV)? But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.


Rahab, an innkeeper (or harlot in the NKJV) represented the lowliest of all people. Even her morality is called in question. However, God in His great wisdom, reached down into the pagan city of Jericho and claimed a harlot for Himself. So effective was her testimony of her new found faith that her entire family came with her and was rescued from utter destruction by the Israelites.


What a courageous and valiant woman of God! In her new faith, she defied the orders of her king, left her past behind (including her foreign gods), and followed the One who was, in her own words, on the only true God in heaven above and on the earth beneath.


Is this the God we serve? Be careful how you answer that question! Serving God is not the same as believing in God--or believing that He exists. The devils know who God is--they know He is the one and only true and living God, yet they do not serve or follow Him. I fear there are many professing believers in the world today who do not understand the difference! They believe that God is God--the only true and living God and they think that belief is all that is required.


Yet, when Christ said to His disciples, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men, He was asking them to leave all they knew behind and to follow Him. It was not enough that they would believe in who He was--they must forsake all others and follow Him.


Though we do not have many examples in the Old Testament of non-Jewish people coming to Christ, the story of Rahab and the spies stands as a shining example of God saving even some Gentiles during the Old Testament times. In the case of Rahab, God used her immediately to save the lives of the spies and give critical information to the Israelites of the emotional state of the inhabitants of the land.


May we, as children of God, be willing to leave the desires and cares of this world and seek a better country where God lives and rules. May we find that journey taking place even now while we are still on this earth. For in Christ lies all of our hope and all of our righteousness. He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Christ took our sin upon Himself and now presents us before God as His righteous children.


In thinking of Rahab and the spies, we must marvel at what an amazing God we serve, and think in amazement of the wonderful testimony of His saving grace in the life of Rahab, a lowly innkeeper in the city of Jericho.


God Bless You,

Linda





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