READ JOSHUA TWO
We’re flipping forward in our Old Testaments by a few books, and jumping ahead in our Matthew one family line a few generations. The family tree of Christ will pick up in the book of Joshua with another mother included in Matthew’s account, but much has happened between the days of Tamar and the days of today’s character. Here’s a brief overview of what the family of promise (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) has endured between yesterday’s narrative and the one we will look at today:
End of Genesis: The family of promise is enslaved in Egypt. Even so, they continue to grow in number. By the end of the book of Genesis, they are called the nation of Israel.
Exodus: God frees the family of promise from their Egyptian captors and promises to bring them into the land He promised to Abraham. The people disbelieve and disobey God; as a result, they wander in the desert for 40 years.
Leviticus/Deuteronomy: God makes a covenant with His people, promising to bless their obedience and punish their disobedience.
Numbers: The people continue to grow as a nation as they prepare to enter the land of promise.
Now, we pick up in the book of Joshua.
God has called the people to a new land – a new place to call home. But, it is not without opposition. One city that stands between them and the land God has called them to is Jericho. A military attack on Jericho is a high-risk operation. Jericho is a fortified city, surrounded by a wall so high and so wide, that people have built their homes into the city’s wall. Before the Israelites create a military plan, they send spies to scout out the city. And these spies find their way into one of the homes in the wall – the home of a prostitute named Rahab.
What does the Text tell us about Rahab?
Why does Rahab help the spies escape? (verse eight)
Rahab displays astonishing faith for a woman who has likely never met an Israelite. She shows great faith in the God of Israel, choosing to align herself with their nation rather than her own.
What deal does Rahab make with the spies? (verses twelve through twenty-one)
In a daring act of faith, Rahab helps accomplish the purposes of a God she has not yet known. In doing so, she is promised salvation for herself and for her family. Because of what she heard about the character of God, she feared and trusted Him enough to put everything on the line to be in proximity to Him. She risked her safety, her family, her possessions, her political affiliation – everything! – all because she heard of and believed in the God of Israel.
What aspects of God’s character are you tempted to doubt?
What stories from the Old or New Testaments can you use to remind yourself, like Rahab, of God’s character?
PRAY & REFLECT