22nd March 2023
Read - Joshua 2:1-7 and James 2:25
Message Alan Burke
We pick up today forty years after the people crossed the red sea. God swore that they would not enter his rest because of their rebellion, their hearts that went astray (Ps 95:8-11). Their rebellion had seen them wonder for forty years until that unbelieving generation died out in the wilderness. Now they are about to enter the promised land and Joshua who had went to spy out the land all those years earlier is now about to lead the people into the land (Num 13:14). He sends two spies in to the promised land on a scouting mission. He had a fair idea what the spies were going to see as they entered the promised land and what the people were going to be faced with (Jos 3:14-17). He knew that Jericho was the first city that they would encounter when they entered, a massive fortress city and it is where the spies themselves went on their mission. The spies end up taking refuge in the house of a woman called Rahab and her profession is such is that she would have been looked down upon, viewed as a second class citizen, one who would have lived on the fringes of society.
Word got back to the King that there were spies in their midst, they were at Rehab’s and that she had taken them into hiding. Straight of we see the faith of Rahab as she has hidden the spies and when she is asked about it by those sent by the king she is willing to risk her very life for their safety. Think about the situation that she is in, and at this stage we not told of the reason for her doing this, but what she does shows that she is willing to risk everything with no guarantees. If the kings men had come into the house and searched it the spies would be found and once found the spies would have been excused, and the best Rahab could have hoped for is that they would only kill her and let her family live. The possible consequences for not only Rahab but her family were server and after all who would care about a person like Rahab. Added to that, also think of how Rahab hides two men that she hadn’t clapped eyes on before, hides them on her roof under stalks of flax and she had no guarantee either that they wouldn’t sell her out. Rahab in each part of this was taking a massive risk, but she was showing her faith in how she was willing to risk it all, her life, the life of her family, everything most people hold dear, all because of her faith in the God of Isreal.
The lie she spun was believed by the men at her door, her house was not searched, they men came and then went in peruse of the spies as far as the fords of Jordan. In the midst of this we have the wonderful hand of God at work, for there is no reason that Rahab should have been believed by the kings men, none at all, yet they take the lie that she has spun and they go in search of the spies. The only reason for this the sovereignty of the Lord God, in how by His providence He was powerfully preserving and governing all that was taking place. For the promised land was His to give and He was the one who was bringing about his peoples entry into it. The only reason why Rahab’s house wasn’t searched and the whole plan didn’t come crushing down around her was because of how God was working in the midst of all that was taking place.
What I want to leave you with today is Rahab a woman who was willing to risk it all because of her faith, a faith that was seen. In James 2:25 we are told "Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction” (Ja 2:25). The context there is about the necessity of works, it is making the point, faith without deeds is dead, it is not enough to say that I have faith, faith must be seen in our actions, it must be manifest, it is not just a knowledge of who God is, the people of Jericho were filled with a fear because they had a knowledge of who God is but they all but Rahab and her family perished because Rahab by her faith was willing to act. Our faith should be seen.
Q107 What doth the conclusion of the Lord’ s prayer teach us?
The conclusion of the Lord’ s prayer, (which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen. (Matt. 6:13)) teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, (Dan. 9:4,7–9,16–19) and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. (1 Chron. 29:10–13) And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen. (1 Cor. 14:16, Rev. 22:20–21)