Thursday, June 2, 2011

Joshua 2 - Rahab Helps the Spies and Meets God

LINK: Joshua 2  


BACKGROUND 

Joshua was a part of the 12 spies who explored the land (Numbers 13-14). He and Caleb were the only ones who brought back a good report. In this chapter, he sent spies to go and check out Jericho before they went into possess it. Jericho was a walled city that was the gateway to the passes of the Jordan Valley. My kids and I studied Jericho in home school history, and it may be the world's oldest discovered city. According to the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, "Jericho grew rich by trading with other communities, and people in the nearby villages became jealous. To protect themselves, the people of Jericho built a massive stone wall around the town" (p. 109).  

Here is a link to a website that has many picture of the archeological site: http://www.bible-architecture.info/Jericho.htm.


(By the way, the book I referenced above was our favorite home school history book for the elementary years, but the first 100 pages talk about evolution. I did not let this deter me from liking the rest of the book and just skipped it in the grammar stage (Grades 1-4). I used it to talk about creation versus evolution in the logic stage of their maturity (Grades 5-8). It can be healthy for kids at this stage in their development, to learn critical thinking from looking at other viewpoints. I do not believe in "throwing the baby out with the bath water" even when it may have viewpoints I do not agree with.) 

REFLECTION 


This is a story about the faith of an unlikely woman who made it in the "Hall of Fame" of faith: 
By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she welcomed the spies in peace. (Hebrews 11:31)
Many people get caught up with the fact that she lied to protect the spies, and that she was a sinful woman. You might ask, "How could God put her in this 'Hall of Fame of Faith'?"  

The Bible says her faith was approved, and that her works proved it (James 2:25). So, isn't this a story about God's amazing, crazy grace that we just cannot wrap our heads around?  Rahab declared her faith in Israel's God: For the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath" (2:11).  Her faith saved her (Genesis 15:6), and this is what saves all of us!

APPLICATION 


What is your "I will" statement from Joshua 2? That is what application is all about. As you read and meditate on Joshua 2, it is important to not just walk away from it and forget about it because James 1:23-25 says: 
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
Rahab was a doer. She did something with her faith in Israel's God. The Bible Book Club is all about obedience-based discipleship. It isn't just about reading through the Bible in three years to check it off your "To Do" list. Do not skip this part, but do not let my suggested applications limit you in what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do.


My "I WILL" Application:

When I meditated on this chapter, I thought that I must respond in praise because I am no better than a harlot, and if God can put a harlot in the Hall of Fame of Faith, there is hope for everyone!  My mind has gone back to 1979 where I had to make one of two choices. I sincerely believe that one choice would have led me to destruction. The other choice of faith led me to the full, rich, meaningful life I live today. God saved me from destruction just as he saved Rahab in the destruction of Jericho. I am so eternally grateful, and I have already shared my story with others this morning so that they might learn too. I am praising Him with all my heart.  


Our applications are all different. What do you walk away with as you meditate on this chapter? How is the Holy Spirit speaking to you today?


PRAYER

Lord God, thank You for teaching me the meaning of true love.  Thank You that the story of Rahab gives me such hope. I love You. Amen. 
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