Summary: Rahab teaches the Israelites a truth they should have learnt 40 years earlier. When you fear instead of trusting in the promises of God you will find yourself missing out on the full freedom that a relationship with God can give.
Rahab released from past mistakes
As Joshua watches the two spies head off towards Jericho he must have had a sense of déjà vu. 40 years earlier the same had been done. That time it had been Moses sending off 12 spies … and Joshua had been one of the spies. The spies had come back with a report.
The land was beautiful, bountiful and blessed; just as God had promised.
But 10 of the spies also added, “We can’t go in there and claim that land for our own, it’s occupied by giants, they’ll squash us."
In vain Joshua had argued that the Israelites had to trust in God. But instead of trusting the Israelites were punished for their lack of faith. The punishment was that they had to wander 40 years in the desert.
But now it was time. Time for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. God had specifically told Joshua that this was the plan.
The LORD said to Joshua you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.
What more does Joshua need? I will give the land to you. No-one will stand against you. Yet in preparation for the advance Joshua still sends out some spies--just to be sure.
Many years ago a man was travelling from England to America by boat. He brought his ticket and only had a little money left over. So, with the rest of his money, he brought some biscuits for food. The trip went for three weeks and, because he was only eating biscuits and drinking water, the man became quite sick. On the second last day of the cruise the stewards found him in his room. When the man explained why he was sick the stewards said – didn’t you realise that your ticket included all your meals? This is a journey with all the benefits and extras taken care of.
That is what a relationship with God is – a journey with all the benefits and extras taken care of. Jesus just doesn’t put us on the journey called eternal life … He makes a whole heap of promises – benefits and extras – which are given to us along the way.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Jesus just look after our spiritual life, he also makes sure our material needs are taken care of.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Walking in the family of Jesus is not meant to be overwhelming. Jesus promises support, and even rest, along the way.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
When we mess up we don’t have to fall into despair. Jesus will give us what we need to move forward.
Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Where ever we go. Where ever we are. Jesus is with us.
This is what Jesus gives us. That is what God was giving Joshua.
So why do we find it so hard to trust?
Why do we second-guess God?
Why do we put in contingency plans?
Why do we think God is going to let us down after He has told us he won’t?
We should know better. Yet we don’t live better. It’s as if we are missing out on the fullness of what it could be like. We rob ourselves of living a faith-filled life that enables us to really stand out.
To show you what I mean let’s have a look at a passage from Hebrews 11. In this chapter we find a list of those who are identified as living a life of faith. I’m going to read from the section which focuses on the history of Israel from the time they left Egypt to the time when they entered the Promised Land – that’s 42 years of history.
By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.