Joshua sends spies to Jericho, rahab the prostitute protects them in return for mercy.
Interesting/mind blowing in a few ways.
What is the spies mission? To discover the attitude of the people. They are fainthearted, terrified of the Israelites. News of god’s miraculous support of them has reached Jericho.
This is somewhat disturbing. God has promised the Jews a land that is already occupied. The people of Jericho will be destroyed because they do not obey, but you wonder at this stage if they will get the chance.
It certainly sounds like they fear God, in the sense of believe in him and understand his power. At this stage, it sounds like they are being destroyed because God didn’t choose them. It doesn’t sound fair.
Then there’s Rahab, an unlikely hero of the faith. This is a great story. Woman. Fallen woman. By trade. By faith she and her family were saved, says Hebrews. We should not limit the saving power of God, it can be found anywhere. Judge spiritually, not by stereotype.
Her understanding of the blessed status of the Israelites is not so different from anyone in the city, I would think. But she welcomed gods people, the city stood against them. Is that the difference? We’ll see how it plays out.
I feel odd, suspending my judgement of god’s fairness in a way. I just want to understand. The Psalmists do it all the time!
The story has its strange elements, but I do praise God for it.
Hebrews paints a picture of Rahab up in heaven as part of a great cloud of witnesses watching us press on and encouraging us to do the best we can with our lives in service of the king. What a God! What a saviour!