The story we about to embark upon is a story about faith and its blessings; a story about God’s mercy and grace; and a story about God choosing the most unlikely people to do His work. It’s also a story about God’s redemptive purposes going forth.
Begin by reading Joshua 2:1-24.
Good leaders will not back away from obstacles. They will find a way around them. They might remove them, climb over them, or walk around them. They are not afraid of road blocks. As Joshua begins to take the reins of leadership, he immediately encounters a huge obstacle —the heavily fortified city of Jericho. This walled-off city was the Israelites’ way into the Promised Land, but it was tightly shut up (Joshua 6:1). Jericho covered about eight acres of land, with walls surrounding the city. The walls consisted of an inner wall and an outer wall. The inner wall was 12 feet thick, the outer wall was 6 feet thick, and the entire structure stood about 30 feet high. Needless to say, this would have been quite a challenge for any army to break through. Then again, the army about to attack was no ordinary one because their God was BIGGER than any man-made structure.
Still, Joshua needed to know what they were up against. What did he do, according to Joshua 2:1?
Summarize Joshua 2:1-7.
It would take a lot of bravery to do what Rahab did. She risked everything to keep the spies hidden. I wonder if after it was all over, she sat scratching her head and wondered where such courage came from. No doubt, it was from God – the One she would later become acquainted with. It’s also interesting that she was a prostitute. In Israel, her profession would have been grounds for death, but we don’t know how her culture looked at such a profession. She may or may not have had friends. On this day, though, God’s righteous character would collide with the sinful nature of a woman to accomplish His purposes.
What does this tell you about your God in relation to you? How does this give you hope?
What does this passage show you about Rahab?
I see a woman with tremendous courage. Courage like the lion in “The Wizard of Oz” at the end of his journey! Courage to stand and face her accusers! Courage that wouldn’t let her back down! This would have been a perfect opportunity for her to look good in the eyes of her country. If she turned the spies in to the authorities, perhaps they would have given her high recognition. That surely would have felt good after a lifetime of possible shame. Instead, she lied! Rather than identify herself with her heathen gods, she identified herself with the people of a foreign God. She put the lives of these two men she had just met above her own comfort and security. She protected them from death. Evil would not rear its ugly head on this night. God prevailed in more ways than one.
Do you exert such courage when it comes to standing up for God? Or are you weak, timid, and scared to make a stand? Sometimes I find myself teetering on the fence. Should I or shouldn’t I? Am I strong enough to withstand the backlash that often comes from speaking truth?
Today I read an inspiring true story. Several pastor’s wives stepped out of their comfort zones and did what many in the church would balk at – they began a ministry in a strip club. They faced their fears and disregarded judgmental people as they ministered to the girls that worked in the club. Slowly, the girls began to come around. These courageous pastors’ wives witnessed God do unbelievable things. And it all started with a few women running hard after God. God can do the same with us if we are willing to venture outside our little bubbles and exert courage, just like Rahab did.
As I ponder this story about Rahab, the harlot from Jericho, I’m asking God to stir up a courageous spirit in me. I’m asking God to help me step forward for Him. How about you? Will you do the same? Write out your prayer to God.
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