Summary: The key to success and significance as a Chrisitan, a Church, part of the Kingdom of God is God active working in your life.
Intro: Remember that the book of Joshua is not about a group of people that were really good at conquering. They were instead at times really good at following the commands of the Living God. They learned to live with God active in their lives. What have we discovered so far? God did not create a dry and barren faith for us to walk in. However the Israelites wandering in the wilderness was given to us to show us that if we do not take God’s steps to victory we will have a barren, bitter, broken faith. Why did an entire generation have to die in the desert? So that their witness that God was not big enough to give them the land would die with them. So God wants us to be prepared for Him to do something in us. He always works on our hearts before He works through our hands. Psalm 24.3-5
He also wants to prepare us to meet Him. It is in ongoing communion with God that we are prepared with His character to face the conflicts in our life. The life of a Christ follower is given to us in the story and example of Joshua and the children of Israel. Their steps with God were marked by conflict. The conflict was never bad it was the way they dealt with it. AI was a defeat because they did not face the conflict in God’s way.
We are going to move on and focus on God’s providence as the nation of Israel moves into the Promised Land.
Dr Alan Redpath said, “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment, the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.”
Why do some Christians flourish and grow while others seem to fail and fade? Why do some lives end in tragedy and others triumph?
Dr Alan Redpath “It is not a snap decision that determines your destiny. Unless that decision for Christ is followed by a life directed by the Spirit of Christ, it is not valid, because it is direction, trend, progress that evidence a man’s destiny.”
So what is the evidence that I am God’s? First it is not a baptismal certificate, it is not church membership, it is not orthodox Christian beliefs, don’t get me wrong those are part of a life given to God. However the evidence that you are God’s is found in your relationship to Him over the long haul, and your relationship to others. So how is God’s hand evident in your life? What is he doing to remold and remake your conversations, your desires and dreams, your response to conflict, you response to pain etc. How you respond to God’s activity in your life determines whether your steps will lead to victory. So in chapter 2 we see the wonderful story of a woman who responds obediently to the activity of God.
I. The amazing advancement of the grace of God
It seems that God is always going places that the religious never will. The spies were sent our secretly, but what spy mission isn’t? They were sent most likely for the purpose of giving Joshua and his captains an idea of the best time and place to strike the walled city of Jericho.
Joshua was probably not allowing the general populace to know about the spy mission because of the disastrous report from the 10 spies at Kadesh Barnea. This spy expedition was not showing lack of faith on Joshua’s part. It shows that if we have faith it is to be an active faith. It was this very mission that would lead to the salvation of an entire family. Faith in an active God is to be active!
The spies went to the place that they would be least likely recognized. Again the providence or the active hand of God was both on the side of the Israelites and the prostitute Rahab.
According to ancient law and practices Rahab was expected to do her patriotic duty and turn the spies in. In the Hammurabi’s Code if the someone is plotting against the king and kingdom and the prostitute that runs the house does not turn the scoundrels in she is sentenced to death. Jericho was strategic to Israel but it was the strategy that conquered the city or the land of Canaan it was the active had of God advancing His kingdom.
II. The amazing acceptance of the grace of God
A) The reality of her profession
We are told in 1.1 that Rahab was a prostitute. The Hebrew word can mean “one who keeps and inn,” or “proprietress of an inn.” We find in James 2.25 and Hebrews 11.31 the writers used the Greek word that definitely means “a prostitute.” Once again the grace of God is amazing. God has always come for the sick and diseased, the oppressed and homeless, the outcasts and rejects. Those that were ridiculed by the religious were received by Jesus. It doesn’t matter your background, your addiction, your profession, your anything. When God advances with His grace anything is possible. A prostitute can become a princess of the most High God!! It was the active hand of God guiding the spies to Rahab’s house. If only we could look at people the way Jesus Christ does.