Summary: Rahad received a guarantee that was irrevocable.
Guarantees. We all like guarantees. They give us a sense of security. We can rest knowing that if events work against us we have a card to play that will fix our problem.
Everywhere you go you are faced with the options on buying a warranty on an item. This is your guarantee that you will be covered should something happen to your purchase. It also guarantees a profit for the store who sold you the guarantee. Last year, profits from warranties accounted for all of one companies operating income and almost half of another’s. Profit margins on contracts are between 50% and 60%. That’s nearly 18 times the margin on the goods themselves. For example, a 4-year contract on a $3,000 flat-panel TV costs about $400. The company gives its insurers $160 and keeps $240 for itself. (Business Week 12/20/04)
Some guarantees are effective but can still cost you. Consider this lawsuit against an air-conditioner sales and service company.
A couple had bought an older home as a fixer-up. The first summer there they experienced trouble with the air-conditioner. As they explained it in court, “Our air conditioner broke every year.
It would cool down the house then, become a heater, heat it up, and then cool it down.
The first year they called the company who had placed the sticker on the unit. They came out. Fixed it. Worked well. It was under warranty – only had to pay for labor.
Next year, same thing happened. The same company. Fixed it. Worked well. Under warranty – again – only had to pay for labor.
Third year – same thing. Called a different company. Guy opens the unit and says ‘No wonder it keeps breaking…’and there inside the unit lay a pile of extra parts.
Apparently at one point someone couldn’t figure out how to put the unit together right and just left the parts and subsequent air conditioning guys did the same.
The new guy fixed the air conditioner using all the parts. It never broke again.”
They were suing to recover the monies paid for labor and the bill from the person who finally fixed it. So guarantees are no guarantee that you will not have to pay.
Life holds no guarantees, nor does any aspect of life. I love what Erma Bombeck had to say about marriage. “Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery.”
But this week we will examine a woman who received a guarantee that she could count on. And we will learn some lessons from this event in her life.
Last week we talked about Caleb, the man with a different attitude. And because of his attitude he was able to enter into the land that had been promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in between the 40 years of wandering along the Jordan River and the crossing into the land we meet the next character in our lineage.
Moses had died and God placed Joshua in the leadership role. All of those who had left Egypt had died also. It was time to prepare for battle and receive the promises of God.
Next something very interesting happens. Joshua 2:1 “Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, ‘Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.’ So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.”
It may seem strange that the spies found refuge in the house of a prostitute—what were they, people of God, doing there? To state the obvious, perhaps the spies were seeking the services of a prostitute.
Or possibly, they knew that the house of a harlot was probably a good place to avoid detection—a couple of travelers entering such a house would probably not arouse much suspicion. The spies, seeking anonymity, figured a house of prostitution would be a good place to find it. Rahab’s house was situated on the city wall, providing an escape route if needed. A prostitute would know a great deal about the politics and military strengths of a fortified city.
Or perhaps the hiding place was God-ordained. God may have led them there so the next chapter of history could be written.
The commentaries that I have read about Rahab seemed to treat her a bit harshly. We tend to judge the ancient facts upon our modern day standards. Prostitution at this time was a career choice for many women. Some became very wealthy because of it. A couple of weeks ago we read of Judah’s encounter with what he thought was a prostitute.
When the children of Israel were in the desert they were given the Law of God. The law forbids temple prostitutes and the offering of any profit from prostitution. It also forbids a priest’s daughter from entering into prostitution. The law condemned adultery, which was defined as being intimate with another man’s wife.