Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of Israel sending spies into the city of Jericho in the Promised Land. They were almost found out, but a prostitute named Rahab protected them. When we left off yesterday, she was hiding them, and sending the king’s men to look for them elsewhere. Here’s what happened next:
Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” The men said to her, “We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head. But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear.” And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
They departed and went into the hills and remained there three days until the pursuers returned, and the pursuers searched all along the way and found nothing. Then the two men returned. They came down from the hills and passed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they told him all that had happened to them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.”(Joshua 2 ESV)
I asked yesterday why she protected them, and now we see. On the one hand, she wants to make a deal. She asks for protection for her and her family when the Israelites come to take the city.
But more than that, she asks for this because she wants to become one of them. She’s heard about the amazing things God has done for Israel – parting the Red Sea, defeating Pharaoh in Egypt, and defeating other nations. She wants in. She’s ready to commit, to the point of betraying her own people. This is why we called this week, God is Transformative. She’s going from a pagan prostitute in Jericho, to heroine in Israel.
So, she helps them escape, knowing that if she betrays them, the deal is off. They hatch this plan to identify her house from the others using a scarlet thread, and return home. When they get to the rest of Israel, you can see they give a very positive, encouraging spy report, which is very different from the one forty years earlier when people reported seeing giants and that the land would devour them.
Joshua’s spies come back, ready to go and fight for the land God gave them, confident in his protection.
Question: What great works of God in your life, and in the world, would you tell someone? Can you imagine how it might lead to such transformation like Rahab?