Joshua Chapter Two (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to continue our discussion of the canvassing of Jericho, especially the issues related to Rahab and the spies.

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Body:

Read Joshua 2: 8-14

C. The Canvassing of Jericho: Rahab and the Spies (continuation). 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 -

- Our families’ wellbeing. Notice in vss. 12-13 that Rahab had a great concern for her family being taken care of along with herself. There are many people who seem to be so focused on their own wellbeing and so unconcerned with the wellbeing of their family.

To be fair, some who appear to be unconcerned have gotten to this point after many failed attempts to help their family members improve their situation. Think about trying to help someone get off of drugs and they keep going back.

Think about trying to help someone get a job and they keep quitting. So, sometimes there is a reason why people seem to be unconcerned. But there is still a certain amount of nobility to Rahab’s concern for her family.

Let’s do what we can to help our family’s wellbeing. Attached to this point are ideas like family evangelism, passing on economic stewardship wisdom, and helping family member navigate the twists and turns of life (e.g., relationships, career, health, etc.).

- Practical faith. Notice in vs. 14 the mixing of faith and practicality. On one hand, there is mention of how the Lord will provide the land. On the other hand, there is the practicality of making an agreement to help one another.

This text in Joshua along with passages like James 2:26 urge us to appreciate the need for both faith in God and being a wise steward of our situation.

Let’s work on having the right mix of faith and works. All faith and no works (i.e., dead faith) and all work and no faith (i.e., trying to do things on your own) will lead to much disappointment.

Read Joshua 2:15-24 (Continuation) Rahab lets the men down out of her window. They have a clear agreement that Rahab would keep the secret and have all of her household in her house at the time of attack. 

The spies would spare the lives of those in the house. When the spies return to Joshua, they tell Joshua all that has happened and how the people of Jericho are afraid of the people of God.

Applications -

- Rehearse essential agreements. Notice in vss. 17-21 that before the spies left, there is a final review of the terms of the agreement.

It may seem elementary to review an agreement, before the parties to the agreement part company; however, there are many occasions where if we would have done this, so much drama could have been avoided.

The situation in the text did not allow for it, but many of us would do well to put important agreements in writing and call for signatures of understanding and agreement to prevent amnesia and failing to remember pertinent information.

On one hand, there are those who genuinely forget the terms. Birthdays have a way of making all of our memories a little fuzzy.

On the other hand, some people will promise one thing, when they need you. But when things get better in their lives, they forsake promises that have been made. Let’s work on making sure the terms of agreement are clear and that we do what we say we are going to do.

- The Lord’s house and blood. Notice in vss. 17-21 that the scarlet cord and house have some similarities with Christ and the Church.

First, as those who were to be saved had to be in Rahab’s house, so those who want to be saved from going to Hell have to be in the universal church, which often calls for being in a local church.

Second, as the scarlet cord was a sign to the soldiers to avoid causing any harm, the blood of Christ is a reminder to the wrath of God to avoid causing any harm.

Third, those in the house and hiding behind the cord were dependent on grace and mercy as we who hid behind the blood of Christ.

Let’s live like we appreciate the blessings of being in the Lord’s house and being protected by His blood. Such living should be known for both joy and obedience to His word.

- Working faith. Notice in vss. 22-24 that the spies hid for three days. This is an example of faith and works. On one hand, they believed that God would provide victory. On the other hand, they did the work of hiding from those who sought to capture them.

Too many people fail to have this kind of balance today. There are those who have so much faith that they will not hide. And there are those who hide without any faith in God. Let’s work on having a working faith in God. This calls for seeking God’s wisdom, discernment, and courage.

- Following protocol. Notice in vs. 24 that the spies reported back to the leader. When Moses sent his spies out, it is noteworthy that an evil report was given to the people.

It is important for those who are given assignments by the leader understand they are to report back to the leader.

This is a good place to underscore why helpers should be appointed by the leader, instead of simply elected by the body of followers. People tend to be loyal to those who put them in position.

Appointees tend to be loyal to those who appointed them. Elected officials tend to be loyal to those who elected them.

Since God sends leaders and leaders appoint helpers, helpers should report back to leaders, so things can be decent and orderly. Let’s work on following protocols.   

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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