Hello guys! One of my favorite ladies is this week! And gotta say, the hot coffee right now is divine. And really needed. *yawn*
The people of Jericho were in trouble and they knew it. Rumors had been flying at how the Israelites were coming and how their God had led them out of Egypt miraculously — actually parting the Red Sea so they could cross! This Jehovah was clearly powerful, giving the Israelites victories wherever they went. And now, it was said that Jehovah had promised to give Canaan to the people of Israel, who were camped…gulp…just opposite Jericho, across the Jordan River! Their own gods were silent…and inactive. Yup, no doubt about it–fear, hopelessness, and despair was settling into the hearts and minds of people living in the fortified city of Jericho for surely their gods were no match for the all powerful Jehovah.
Can you feel the tension?
Joshua of Israel sent two spies to Jericho to get the lay of the land. And when they needed a good hiding spot, they found themselves at Rahab’s House of Pleasure. Yup, that’s right, Rahab was a Harlot. Perhaps not the obvious choice for a hiding place, but in this case, the correct one! When the king demands Rahab hand the spies over, she shows not just a little gumption. She tells the king’s men, “They’re gone already, but if you hurry, maybe you can catch them!” Ha! She’s actually hiding them on her roof because she realizes that the stories and rumors flying across town aren’t just stories and rumors.
Rahab figures it out. Jehovah must be the all powerful God, just look at the evidence. She’d heard about the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. She’d heard that God defeated the kings and nations with whom even Jericho had had problems. Would she choose a God who helps and seemingly cares or would she choose stone gods that do nothing yet want sacrifices? She decides it’s time to get with the program. Rahab admits to the spies that she believes “The Lord has given you this land” (Joshua 2:9)
Woot woot! Go Rahab! It takes courage to recognize the real God and courage to profess it like Rahab did. Jericho was a busy place with people going about their daily business, living for themselves or their gods. Doesn’t that sound a lot like life today? Sure, the majority of people today might not be heading to the temple of idol gods to offer sacrifices. But perhaps today’s idols have different names: wealth, success, pleasure etc. and perhaps people do sacrifice plenty for things (morals, ethics, family, relationships.) Either way, choosing to serve the One True God is not the popular thing to do.
To obey God as Rahab was choosing to do, in the midst of a world in chaos, was not the expected response. She was going against the tide. The rest of Jericho was trying to figure out how they were going to fend off Israel and Rahab was getting her spiritual life in order, aligning herself with this mysterious and invisible, yet powerful God.
“When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” Rahab points out. (Jos 2:11) Everyone’s quaking in their boots except Rahab, the only one brave enough to proclaim that Israel’s God is God.
Rahab discovered her courage because of the Lord, despite the rest of Jericho’s courage failing. What an incredible woman! When we accept that “the Lord your God is God,” He’ll provide the courage we need to live it in the midst of our chaotic world, swimming upstream from everyone else.
Have you found your courage?