Joshua Chapter 2 and 6
The attack on the Amorite stronghold of Jericho, one of the oldest and most heavily fortified cities of the ancient world, was necessary in order for the Children of Israel to subdue and settle in their Promised Land. This was the Land promised to Joshua’s forefather Abram, later to become Abraham, who heard the call of the true God, set out with his father Terah and their whole extended family in obedience to God. Abram took the only sensible route, avoiding the dangers of the desert and its many warlike tribes. He followed the Euphrates river northwards to Haran. After spending some time there he turned south, his descendants eventually, after many years, ending up in Egypt from where, yet again, they set out for the Promised Land. If Abraham had remained in Ur and ignored the call of God he would have suffered in the defeat of Ur by an invasion by the Elamite people around 2000BC. His decedents might well have slipped back into the worship of Nanna and Sin the moon gods of the Sumerian culture. In fact, he was so aware of this danger that when seeking a wife for his son he refused to allow Isaac to go back his relations.
The Jordan was Joshua’s Rubicon and like the later General, Julius Caesar, he needed to gather intelligence on the terrain, and the quality and quantity of forces which lay before him in order to defeat the enemy in the coming battles. He sent his spies across the river. The possibility of being caught is an occupational hazard for spies and of course they were in danger of being discovered and killed.
The story of Rahab is well known to all Sir Knights. Rahab hid the spies and pointed the Amorite troops searching for them in the wrong direction – in other words she lied, something which is expressly forbidden in scripture. The Bible does not excuse or condone her deception but rather commends her faith, Hebrews Chapter11 verse 31 “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
Rahab could see that the world around her was changing fast and that she needed to protect herself and her family from what was about to happen. Joshua Chapter 2 verses 9 - 11 illustrates her knowledge of the situation she finds herself in, and her thinking on how to cope with it. “And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land and that your terror is fallen upon us …. for we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you …. and what ye did unto the two kings … Sihon and Og … whom ye utterly destroyed … our hearts did melt … because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above and earth beneath.”
She then went on to make a deal with the spies to keep their activities secret in exchange for the safety of her whole family which was to gather together in her house on the wall. The house would be recognized by the display of the scarlet rope, down which the spies escaped and be spared and protected in the coming battle.
So, what happened to Rahab after the battle? In Joshua Chapter6 verses 22 – 25 it tells us that Joshua told the two spies to go and bring Rahab and her family out of Jericho and they were allowed to live with the people of Israel. It is recorded in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew Chapter 1 verses 4 and 5 that Rahab was married to Salmon and some sources would say that he was one of the unnamed spies. The record in scripture of her faith in the one true God shows that, despite coming from a heathen, idolatrous and sinful background she, like Job, knew God’s forgiveness through faith in the future Messiah.
She, unlike us, did not have the benefit of reading the scriptures or listening to the preaching of God’s word, yet she put her faith in God.
We have all been taught and known the word of God since we were children, but have we all gone beyond a “knowledge of” and put our “trust in” the Lord Jesus like Rahab?
If not, then I trust that we will obey His word and do so.
Right Worshipful Sir Knight Raymond Adams