Summary: Rahab was not the type of person you’d expect God’s warriors to associate with. But there is reason to believe they didn’t seek her out - she sought them.
READ: Hebrews 11:31 "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient."
READ: James 2:23-26 "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."
TEXT: Joshua 2:1-21
OPEN: There are some people you just don’t want to spend any time with. For example: telephone solicitors.
How many of you have had at least one phone call from a phone solicitor in past month? (there was a multitude of hands). Now, how many of you enjoyed spending time on the phone with them? (no one raised their hands).
Recently I ran across some suggested responses for fed up home dwellers:
“I’m sorry, but I’m really busy right now. Give me your home # and I’ll call you back later tonight.”
During the pitch, begin to use your touch tone phone to play “Mary had a little lamb”: 6546 666 555 666 6545 6666 5565 4444444444
When someone asks whether a spouse is at home: “Yes, but I never allow her to talk to strangers.”
(to a insurance salesman)“You want to sell me insurance? I’ve been trying to get insurance for years, but nobody will sell me any!”
(To a salesperson hawking a rug-cleaning service), whisper: “Really? Tell me… can you get out goat’s blood? How about identifiable fibers and DNA stuff?”
Now, this is all in fun. As Christians, we know that these telemarketers are just people trying to make a living and we shouldn’t treat them this way. However, the point is, there are some people that we’d just as soon not spend time with.
I. In our text today, we find Joshua sending 2 spies to scout the land.
These spies come to Jericho and go into the house of a prostitute…
(Pause) They went into the house of prostitute?
(another pause) … Frankly, if I had been a spy FOR GOD it would seem that the last person I’d want to spend time with would be a prostitute!
In fact, there are some commentators who are also apparently uncomfortable with this situation. Several scholars have attempted to paint this woman as an innkeeper - not a prostitute. They speak of her as a proprietor of a public house in Jericho which offered food and lodging.
Now, in OUR society, a prostitute can have an almost celebrity status. She’ll often get her picture taken in Playboy or Penthouse. She’ll become a television celebrity or a movie queen. She can become popular on MTV or the internet.
BUT as far as God was concerned:
Deuteronomy. 23:17 – No Israelite woman was to become a prostitute
Deuteronomy 23:18 – A prostitute’s offering was rejected by God
Leviticus 21:19 – If a Priest’s daughter became a harlot – she was burned.
IN FACT – Leviticus 18 tells us that the loose morals of the Canaanites was what led to their destruction at the hands of the Israelite armies.
GOD DID NOT SMILE UPON THE PROFESSION OF PROSTITUTION
AND YET… the spies went into the home of a prostitute. But why? Why would these spies even dare to go into the house of a prostitute?
The evilness of men’s minds suggest all kinds of possibilities… But, when we’re dealing with men of God who were being sent on a divine mission, there’s probably only one reason why this would happen. BECAUSE...that’s where God wanted them to go!
II. Now, I want you put on what one of my Bible Prof’s called your sanctified imaginators (use your Holy Imagination) AND visualize with me what might have happened that day in Jericho.
Bear in mind that Jericho is about 7 miles from the Jordan. I can imagine, one day, someone went down to the river to fish. Just across the river is this vast encampment (the Israelites numbered in the millions). Their’s was a tent city that went on for miles - seemingly on into the horizon.
I can visualize that man dropping his fishing gear and running back to Jericho shouting: "THE ISRAELITES HAVE COME!"
The city goes into a furor. Fear spreads like a disease thru the streets. And the residents of Jericho have good reason to be scared.