Summary: Concentrate on why Rehab was helping the spies.
When we were young, many of us hear the story of Joshua the mighty warrior who brought the people cross the Jordan River and break down the wall of Jericho. It is quite interesting and exciting when we hear those story or even watch from the cartoon. I’m not sure if now a day they still show the cartoon of the story of Jericho and how it falls. It was very exciting. Do we also remember that part when the two spies were sent into the land to watch over them and while they were spying somehow they ended up in a prostitute home? And they met the owner. The owner’s name was Rehab. In the cartoon, it would show how she begged for mercy and the spies gave them red string to hang on their window and they were saved during the Jericho collapse. So dramatic and such a happy ending don’t you think. But as I’ve been studying this text, the story should be the opposite. The spies should be the one begging for Rehab’s mercy. Let us take a look at different evidences.
Prostitution is one of the oldest professions of all time. Since the book of Genesis, prostitution existed. The story of Judah son of Joseph, he was on vacation before he got trick by his own daughter in law. Even the time of Christ, the first person who saw Jesus after the resurrection was a prostitute. Do you know her name? Yes, Mary Magdalene was the one.
This profession is generating a lot of income sometimes more than regular worker in one company. Many of the college students take this profession as a part time job for them to go to school. There is a lot of money in this thing.
The other fact about this kind of business is that the owner of this business is either politicians or some high power people. They often have guards and sometimes police is always come around and check up for their safety because they were ordered by some high rank officers. This job is quite good because 1. we are rich when we do and 2. we don’t have to worry about the danger from other people because always have protection.
Let us take a look in Jericho. Jericho is a city that is well protected. It has double walled. The inner wall is protect and separate between the commercial area and official area. Most likely the king and officers are living inside the inner wall. The outer wall is where the protection from the enemy and where they do most of the battle. Between the wall, that is the place where they do all the trading and business. And that is where Rehab’s shop located. It is in the commercial area where the traders come and finish their business they would come look for a good time. The money is flowing inside her shop. Beside that how would you think the soldier knows where the spies located inside the shop? Yeah, perhaps it is own by some government official or spies secret service is in the shop as the protectors. Rehab has both money and power why would she need to beg for mercy from the spies.
If we look at the spies, they just came out from the wilderness. Most likely, they are not very clean, smelly. The old leader Moses just died. And now they are being chased by the soldiers. Who should be begging for mercy? Memory is the part of the brain which difficult to be erase. If we still remember the first time when Moses sent spies to Jericho, what was the result? The result is found in Deuteronomy 1. it recorded that the spies came back and told them that the people in the city is bigger than the giant. We know that memory is difficult to be erased so the spies were frighten because of this memory, too. Only two of them, how would they fight the giants? Nothing from the spies could make Rehab beg for mercy. Absolutely nothing.
It is true that nothing can the spies match with Rehab; wealth, power, or even connection. But the bible recorded clearly in the Bible Rehab begged for mercy from the spies. But why is that? Let us take a look at the text this morning: Joshua 2:8-11. Please read together
“2:8 Now before the spies went to sleep, Rahab went up to the roof. 2:9 She said to the men, “I know the Lord is handing this land over to you. We are absolutely terrified of you, and all who live in the land are cringing before you. 2:10 For we heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt and how you annihilated the two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, on the other side of the Jordan. 2:11 When we heard the news we lost our courage and no one could even breathe for fear of you. For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below!”