Joshua Chapter Two (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss the canvassing of Jericho.

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Read Joshua 2:1-7

C. The Canvassing of Jericho: Rahab and the Spies. Joshua sent out some spies to see what was going on in the Jericho area. The men ended up in a prostitutes house. Her name was Rahab. She lied to protect the spies from the King of Jericho’s attack.

Applications -

- Sendable people. Notice in vs. 1 that Joshua had some sendable men to go and spy out the land secretly. First, there is a need for sendable men and women in our churches today.

To be sendable, one must be capable of doing what one is being sent to do. One must be trustworthy. And one must be humble enough to be sent to do what is assigned, instead of just going to do what you want to do.

Second, similar to the secret spies of the text, some things are sensitive. There is a need for the leader to have eyes and ears all round the church for the sake of both solving problems when they are small and to operate as efficiently as possible.

Let’s work on developing, being, and supporting sendable people for the sake of God’s work. This application can also be aimed at our family, community work, and jobs.

- Eyes and ears of your leader. Notice in vs. 2 that the King had eyes and ears working for him and the kingdom. On one hand, we see that God got the glory out of the ungodly people being destroyed. But on the other hand, a key part of their demise was the lack of communicating with the King.

In similar fashion, when your leader is in the dark about what is going on, the whole kingdom is in danger. Let’s work on communicating with our leaders those things that are going on that may impact the common good.

When flying on an airplane, you should tell somebody about the strange and suspicious behavior of those around you. If someone is stealing and bullying people on your job, you should tell the authorities, especially when you can be the next victim.

When people are causing trouble in the church (e.g., false teachings, malicious gossip, being mean, etc.), you should report it to the authorities, because a little leaven leavens the whole loaf (see I Cor. 5:6-7).

- Ethical/moral decisions. Notice in vss. 4-7 that Rahab lied. She said the spies had left, but they were actually in hiding on her roof where she had put them. In ethics, there are two schools of thought that come to mind.

One school of thought would say that she pursued the greatest good and is not guilty of not pursuing the lesser good. They would argue that self-preservation and aiding the Lord’s people was a greater good than living up to the law that says, “thou shall not bear false witness.”


Another school of thought would say that she did the least of the evils and grace is available for essentially the collateral damage. They would argue that telling the truth and being destroyed with the rest of the people was a worse evil than simply lying to protect your family.

So even though lying is wrong, God forgives, especially given the circumstances. The Pastor urges us to seek a peaceful conscious in negotiating the twists and turns of life. On one hand, we should be thankful for God’s grace. But on the other hand, we should not abuse it. 

Think about women staying in abusive relationships, instead of getting a divorce; children obeying molesting parents; and soldiers following orders to kill innocent civilians. Let’s seek peaceful conscious in negotiating the twists and turns of life.

Read Joshua 2:8-14

Rahab talks about how the people of Jericho are afraid of God and His people. They have heard about their deliverance from Egypt and conquest of the Amorite Kings. A deal is struck between the prostitute and the spies. If the prostitute would protect the spies, the spies would protect the prostitute and her household.

Applications -

- Faith or fear. Notice in vss. 9-10 that the people were afraid of what they heard, and Rahab’s faith was inspired by what she heard. Faith truly comes by hearing. Some hear of God’s might and develop faith in God using His might to take care of His own. Others hear of God’s might and develop faith that God will use His might to punish them.

Let’s develop a faith that trusts God to take care of His own, while we make sure that we are His own. Prayerful Bible study and obedience with the support of other believers can help us develop our faith. Accepting Christ as our savior by faith is the answer to, how are we to be assured of being one of God’s people?

- The power of God. Notice in vss. 10-12 that God is the God of Heaven and Earth. He is not just one or the other. He is both and the other. God is a big God. For those who are saved and who belong to God, God’s power should give us peace and comfort. God will take care of His own.

For those who do not belong to God and especially those who are opposed to God, there should be so much fear of God that you get right with God, while you still have time. God doesn’t want us to simply be terrified of Him. God wants us to be afraid enough to repent and obey. Let’s work on making sure we are right with God, so we can find comfort in His power.

- Our word. Notice in vs. 12 that Rahab was comfortable taking the word of the spies. In other words, this was a time when a person’s word meant something. In like manner, when a person of God gives his/her word, it should mean something. In too many cases, it doesn’t.

Think about how little of our church covenant is kept by even a half of our members. When we don’t keep our word, it makes us look bad and it makes our God (i.e., who we represent) look bad. Let’s work on being people of our word.

We can start by living up to agreements that many of us have already entered into like our church covenant, wedding vows, and employment contracts. Some people would do well to work on promising low and performing high. It is better to do more than promised than less.

Conclusion: A key idea in the book of Joshua is that God will bless obedience. God has much for those who obey His will.

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