Today, Joshua started off his ‘military’ responsibility by sending out 2 spies to go view Jericho. This is slightly similar to what Moses did when he sent out Joshua himself and eleven others to go spy on Cannan (Num 13), with only Joshua and caleb bringing good news. This showed that Joshua really learnt from Moses, and was acting with a strategic intent. If you will go to war you must know about your enemies strengths and weaknesses.
We however started to see things begin to work out strangely (or rather divinely) as the spies came into a harlot’s house and decided to lodge there. At first glance, we will ask the question – why the harlot’s house? In truth, I can’t really answer the question of why they chose to stay in the harlot’s house. Generally, harlots (or prostistutes) are know to have all manner of visitors or strangers ‘patronize’ them, but one thing was sure, Rahab knew before their coming of the things God has been doing in/to Israel, so my best guess would be that they were stranded or needed a place (probably being chased), and the harlot helped them by allowing them into her house. There was no doubt that Rahab was seen when the men entered into her house and no wonder the King was demanding she turned them over.
Rahab decided to protect the spies by lying to the king that they have already departed while hiding them. While a lot of people will raise questions about Rahab’s method, God saw her action as an act of faith (Heb 11:31). We should remember that Rahab was a pagan, a gentile, not exposed to the Mosaic laws, but her action showed that she made a choice about which side to belong to, and she chose to be on the Lord’s side and that of His people. I believe that this is the reason why she was commended, and not for lying or ‘betraying’ her land!
One other trait I really admire in Rahab is her initiative! She went to the spies, spoke with them and made a demand from them to preserve her and her family when God gives them the Land. She was indeed bold and courageous (traits God wanted of Joshua). At times this is exactly what God wants us to do, to be bold enough to ask of Him and of people. Many things we miss out on, just because we are too shy to ask. As a popular saying goes, a lot of people will be willing to help you if they just know what you want. Be bold to ask, and you shall be given (Matt 7:7). We should however also remember that Rahab was willing to give before asking, so don’t look out to just be a receiver, be willing to help others and they will be more predisposed to help you when your time of need comes.
Finally, the spies went back reassured that God has given Israel the Land, the Lord has put their fear in the inhabitants of the Land, but they only got to know because they stepped out. Some things you are fearing are actually scared of you, if only you know, and how do you know if you don’t venture. We can do all things through Christ, we just need to be bolder and more courageous.
So help us God!
Some verses to remember:
vs 11: ……for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
vs 24: ….Truly the Lord has delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.