Sunday’s message was a powerful – and challenging – reminder, wasn’t it? As God’s people we are to be different! We are to be people of the Word, people of prayer, and people who are marked by God. What does that mark look like in your life, I wonder? (How do you see it in mine?)
My thoughts today are on a woman in the story who was very different than others who lived in Jericho. Her name is Rahab, and her profession is prostitution. We aren’t given the details of why she became a prostitute. All we really know is that her house is on the city wall and it’s the one chosen by the spies Joshua sent out secretly to look over the land. (Joshua 2:1) But then we read that she is quickly ratted out to the King for taking the guys in! (Can you blame the neighbors???)
What gave Rahab the courage to hide the spies and defy the King, I wonder? Was deception part of her every-day attire? Is that how she endured the degradation of her job? We read of God’s admonition to Joshua over and over to be strong and courageous, but no such message is recorded as being given to Rahab. She’s flying by the seat of her pants –and some heart-melting rumors about their God – when she hides the spies. And then we have this hint about why this woman is different: “I know that the Lord has given this land to you…” (Joshua 2:9) Folks, that’s what I call ‘revelation knowledge’!
Things are about to change for Rahab, now no longer in the prostitution business. A new wind is blowing, and smart woman that she is, she barters with the spies for her life and that of her family. I love that about her, that she includes her family! She confesses her new-found faith to the men, “…for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:11)
If you read the oath that Rahab makes with the spies, you’ll find it includes a “scarlet cord” being placed in the window – a reminder of the blood of the Passover, and a symbol viewed by the early church, many, many years later, as a type of Christ’s atonement. You’ll also find that Rahab’s name appears again in the Scriptures, this time in the lineage of Jesus, listed in Chapter 1 of the Gospel of Matthew.
The God of heaven and earth has his eye on those who dare to be different, doesn’t he? And it begs the question, Just what might he have in mind for you?