Faith in Unexpected Places
Primary Purpose: To encourage the people to place their full confidence and
trust in the Lord and His leading
At this point, Joshua and the people of God are still on the east side of
the Jordan River. Joshua sends in spies to check out the land. Some think
this indicates a lack of faith on his part. However, let’s remember that Moses
used Joshua as a spy 40 years ago. God never rebukes Joshua for doing this,
so it seems logical that this was not a sin in God’s eyes. Let’s not confuse
wise planning with a lack of faith. Someone once said, “There is a activity
that springs from faith and an activity that comes from a lack of it.”
Joshua is trying to be wise as he takes steps to move ahead.
The spies enter Jericho through the low rent district, where the
prostitutes are. They would probably be less likely to be noticed here since
men often came and went at odd hours. Even though they are trying to be
obscure, they were spotted. Jericho was it’s own city-state with it’s own
independent king, so word spread all the way to the throne that spies were in
the land. I want you to notice several things about this passage:
1. God had gone ahead of the people of God. God had prepared the way.
Several times Rahab tells the men they were melting in fear v.9-11,24 When
God calls us to do something for him, He prepares the way ahead of us. He
opens doors and closes them. God had causes their courage to melt away and
to be replaced with fear. God chose not to work through the rich and
powerful, but through a prostitute. What I need to understand about this is
that God can work through anyone He wishes. God can work through anyone
at any time He wishes. God can use the unsaved or the saved. He is
Sovereign in the way He works. God can use even you and will if you allow
2. God had given Rahab a active faith. We may think it usual because she
had the lowest of social status in the town, not only was she a woman, but a
Caananite prostitute. These were the people that the Israelites were suppose
to destroy. Yet, she risked her life to protect these men. She saw God’s
hand at work and joined God in what he was doing. Here in v.s.8-11 she
acknowledged that God was with them and that God was doing remarkable
things through them.
James 2:25-26, says “In the same way, was not even Rahab the
prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave loding 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.”
The first sermon I ever preached was in Yerington, Nevada in 1988. It stands as the worse sermon in recorded history. There was about 20 people present in that little desert church to hear me. I said everything I intended say in about 5 minutes. Then, I said it again and looked back down at my watch and only 5 more minutes had gone by. I went on for another minute or two and then went back to my seat and sat down feeling completely worn out tired. I felt like i had been wrestling with the devil himself. I remember the pastor coming up to me afterwards and saying "You said "ah" 57 times." I thought he was going to be mad at me for such a bad sermon. I remember I didn’t even use my own material that morning. Then he told me about two teenage girlw that were touched by the Holy Spirit and had left the rom crying they were under so much conviction. I had thought they were crying because my sermon was so bad.
God had worked despite me. They were in foster care and were going back to their natural parents the next day. They had been lied to by the devil and God’s Word spoke to their need directly. I didn’t known them, but God did. I got up there and spoke to those people by faith trusting God to use me and He did. Don’t underestimate the power of God touse one person, even you, to do great things for Him. You may not think you can. YOu may think he won’t use you, but He will if you allow Him to.
Sometimes like me He uses even our weak efforts to do great things. Rahab is an example of how God can use anyone, anywhere at anytime He choses. He didn’t just use a woman, but He used a Canaanite, pagan, prostitute. He honored her faith.
3. God rewarded Rahab’s faith - Rahab and her family were allowed to live
even when no one else survived Joshua 6:23,25; Heb 11:31. God honors
those who honor Him no matter who they are. God doesn’t play favorites.
Ps 84:11 says that God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor
and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is
1 Samuel 2:30 The Lord said to Eli “Those who honor me I will honor,
but those who despise me will be disdained.”