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Encounters with Jesus: The Faith of a Prostitute
Series: Encounters with Jesus
Read: Joshua 2:1-21
Introduction | The Israelites have been wondering in the wilderness for 40 years under the leadership of Moses headed towards the Promised Land. This was the land promised to them by God. They were anxious to get to this land. Not only had they been wondering for 40 years but they also were under Egyptian slavery before that. But now Moses had died and God has positioned Joshua to finally lead the people into the Land. The land however, was already occupied so Joshua knew obtaining their promise was not going to be as easy as placing a flag in the ground and setting up camp. So he sends to spies to check things out in a city called Jericho.
Verse 1 | The spies are quick to obey Joshua’s orders and enter Jericho. But we find them in the most interesting of places: the home of a prostitute named Rahab. When I read this chapter my first question was: “Why in the world did these chosen men of God go to the home of a prostitute?” Some scholars speculate that at this point Rahab was no longer a prostitute but an innkeeper while others are sure she was still prostituting at the time the two spies came to her. Most likely the spies asked where they could find a place to stay when they entered the city and were directed to Rahab. Either way we will soon learn both the spies and Rahab would benefit from this encounter. It was in fact a divine appointment from God. I’m sure Rahab did not wake up that morning expecting to hide two Israelite spies, and I am even more sure the spies did not expect to receive military intelligence from a prostitute. But here they both are, right where God intended them to be.
Verse 2 | While the spies were in Jericho, the king of Jericho finds out of their presence and plans to put their mission to a stop. Though their plans may seem to have been foiled, God plans were not. This turn of events placed Rahab in an opportunity to side with the king for her nation or the One True Living God.
Verse 3 | We are not sure when exactly Rahab found out the men she was hosting were actually public enemies to Jericho. But we do know she found out before she opened the door to the messengers sent to her home from the king. Let me set the scene. There is a loud knock at the door, followed by a deep authoritative voice: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.” Everyone is shocked. How did they know the spies were there? But there was no time for questions, they must act fast or risk appearing suspicious. She hides the spies on her roof. Now alone, she enters her house and walks to the door. A decision must be made. Will she turn over the spies, her national duty, but risk not siding with their God, who parts the Red Sea and does gr ...
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