Daybreak: Joshua 2:1-24
“Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.” (Joshua 2:15)
When I was nine years old, my grandparents took me on a week-long trip to visit my aunt and uncle. After an enjoyable stay, we packed the car and began our two-day journey home. It was a comfortable ride in their roomy Cadillac.
Several hours into our trip, as the noon hour approached, we began to talk of stopping for lunch. Then I remarked, “I smell a forest fire.” Grandma replied, “Oh, God forbid!” We pulled into a rest area, and when Grandpa lifted a sack of food off the floor of the back seat, it burst into flames! Immediately, Grandpa started beating the flames with his hands, attempting to put out the fire. I looked on, knowing I should do something — but what could I do, just a child? Suddenly an idea came to me and I ran to a water fountain, filled a can with water and ran back. With that water, Grandpa extinguished the fire.
A hole in the muffler, we learned, had caused intense heat to burn a hole through the floor of the car. When Grandpa lifted the sack off the floor, the added oxygen fueled the smoldering fire, causing an outburst of flame.
I did not know that God could use me, but He did that day. Although I saw myself as a child, dependent on others to care for me, God saw something different. Through my actions, the “helpless” became the “helper,” and a difficult problem was remedied.
Rahab knew immediately that the Israelite spies were the foreshadowing of God’s judgment upon the wicked. She knew a difficult situation loomed ahead. However, instead of standing there wondering what she could do, she chose to act. She used what means she had at her disposal to act in the cause of God, and the Lord rewarded her for her obedience and trust.
Today, the Lord is looking for those who will take action for the cause of God. Merely knowing we should do something is not sufficient. Our faith in God is evidenced by an active use of our means. Do not consider yourself too young, too old, or too unworthy; put your faith into action today.
The Israelite spies could have gone anywhere in Jericho, but God was guiding them. They may have been drawn to Rahab’s house because of its location on the city wall. Archeological finds indicate that the city of Jericho was fortified by two thick and high walls, about 12 feet (4 meters) apart. Houses were built between these two walls, likely on logs or beams. As this was not the most protected part of the city in case of war, this area was likely home to the poor — maybe even a slum district — the logical address of a harlot such as Rahab.
More than one Jericho excavation has found heaps of mud bricks and layers of ash and debris, indicating that the walls fell and the city was burned. Possibly of even greater interest, however, was the finding of a German excavation in 1907-1909: a short section of the lower city wall is still intact! That section was located on the north of the city, only a short distance from the wilderness hiding place the spies likely fled to after their escape from the city (Joshua 2:16, 22).
After flax was harvested from the field, it was laid out to dry, then spun into thread to make cloth. Rooftops of houses in Biblical times were flat and used as places for social gatherings, as well as work and occasional escape from the heat inside. Rahab hid the spies on the roof among the stacks of flax she had drying there. The stacks of flax drying on the rooftop would indicate a time period of late March to early April.
Located on the outermost wall, a window of Rahab’s residence overlooked the country outside the city. While not the safest place during a conquest, this did afford a pleasant view for the occupants of the house, and in this case, a clever escape for the Israelite spies.
Although Rahab participated in idolatry and sin early in her life, God nevertheless detected a spark of faith in her heart and drew her to Him. He selected a most unlikely means to accomplish His end. But once she came face to face with God’s people, Rahab immediately declared her intentions and began a new life of faith in the living God. She took action. Rahab is a testimony of the power of God to change lives and the power of faith in God to change circumstances.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The land contested
A. The preparation for the conquest
2. The sending of the spies (2:1-24)
a. The mission of the spies (2:1)
b. The search for the spies (2:2-7)
c. The promise of the spies (2:8-14)
d. The escape of the spies (2:15-21)
e. The report of the spies (2:22-24)
A Closer Look
- What reasons did Rahab give for hiding the spies?
- What do you think gave Rahab the courage to side with Israel rather than with her king and her country?
- Where do you think Rahab first exhibited faith in God?
- How can you put your faith in God into action in these areas of your life this week?
On the job
In your neighborhood
Rahab is remembered as a woman whose faith was boldly displayed in works of bravery for the cause of God. Is there something you could be doing for the cause of God?