Coincidence or Divine Providence? by Christy Fay

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Coincidence or Divine Providence?
Series: Reclaimed - Uncovering Your Worth
Week 3: Oxymoron: Rahab - Day 1
Christy Fay
Joshua 2

[ok-si-mawr-on, -mohr-] noun, plural oxymora
1. a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self- contradictory effect, as in ‘‘cruel kindness’’ or ‘‘to make haste slowly.’’

And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there’’ (Joshua 2:1b NIV).

Last week we read about Judah and Tamar, a story containing a scandal that would rival any daytime soap or primetime reality show. It was juicy, and while I enjoy some gossip, I equally revel in the suspense genre. Being a mother of three boys, I have learned to appreciate the intricacies, or in some cases, lack thereof, of a good old-fashioned superhero story. There isn’t anything better than watching the good guy defeat the bad guy. It’s the classic and irresistible battle of good vs. evil. It sucks us in every time, even though we know how it will most likely end. Perhaps that’s why, over the years, there have been over 5,000 superheroes created by Marvel alone. Nothing ignites a little boy’s imagination more than a cape and special powers. Boys aside, I admit that I have a favorite superhero also. That may be why I like the story in Joshua’s second chapter so much. It’s got suspense, danger, an enemy, and an unlikely heroine named Rahab. Let’s get to it. Read Joshua 2. As you do, pay attention to the creative way in which the story itself is put together.

Did you notice anything interesting about the composition of this story?

Anyone who thinks that the Bible is boring is crazy. The number of epic stories is unrivaled, and then there’s the brilliance of their construction. Every word is important, each story builds to a climax, hinting at the greater story unfolding page by page. Penned by humans, but clearly inspired by the incomparable creator Himself. You have to love it, or at the very least, respect it. The story in Joshua fits right into that mold. Did you notice how the first paragraph should chronologically come after the second, but its placement at the beginning builds just the right amount of suspense? Do I sound like a theological nerd? Yes? No? Well, if not yet, here’s another little tidbit that will throw me into the nerd category indefinitely. Take a moment and note where the two spies come from in verse 1 and write it below.

Now look up a little about this city. Read Numbers 25:1-3 and record your findings in the space provided.

You might have observed that Shittim doesn’t exactly have a great reputation in the Israelite community. The people living there bowed down before gods other than their own in clear disobedience to the very first rule recorded in the Ten Commandments ...

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