Summary: Joshua, Pt. 2
THE POINT OF NO RETURN (JOSHUA 2:1-20)
Worldwide Challenge, the Campus Crusade magazine, published an inspiring and heartfelt testimony of a former monk named Yuttasak Nok Sirikul. Sirikul was a dutiful son who had been a monk four times even before entering college, a few months each time, in order to pray for deceased family members. His mother longed for him to become a monk upon his graduation, if only for a few months, to honor them and to curry favor for them in the next life, which the obedient son dutifully comply.
However, the law student got involved in the Communist movement while in college. When the government killed students involved in an uprising, he hid in the philosophy department library, the quietest and safest department in the school, where he passed the time reading books on different religions, arousing his interest in Christianity.
During Sirikul’s senior year, a Campus Crusade Staff member gave him some Christian books to read. Encouraged by a friend, Sirikul even witnessed to a student at the beach. He converted the student and, at the same time, accepted Christ for himself. Four months later, he joined the staff of Campus Crusade to the dismay of his mother, who asked: “Son, I am so proud you have graduated, but when are you going to become a monk for me?” Sirikul replied, “Mother, I have become a ‘Christian monk.’ I’ve stopped drinking, smoking and doing bad things, and I will be a good son and pray for you my whole life.” His mother left in tears, but eventually committed her life to Christ, too. After twenty years serving with Campus Crusade, Sirikul became the director of Campus Crusade in Thailand (Worldwide Challenge 5-6/01)
The Israelites’ breakthrough coincided with a woman’s turnaround. When Joshua was at the edge of Jericho, he sent two spies to spy out the land (v 1). The spies’ whereabouts were immediately discovered, the king was quickly alerted and the conspirator – Rahab the harlot - was rudely grilled. We are not told why the spies chose a harlot’s house, how Rahab got away with her lies and when she first believed. However, Rahab’s words deceived the king’s men, her plan worked beautifully and her faith saved the spies, herself and her family. Her reception of the spies (Heb 11:31), her sworn testimony before eyewitnesses (v 9), her acceptance by the Israelites and her place in Messianic history (Matt 1:5), were a testament to her faith (Heb 11:31).
Do our past choices, circumstances and confusion condemn us to a lifetime of cruel and captive consequences? What can we do to break out of an unhappy past or a trapped mindset?
Your Present Choices, Not Previous Circumstances, Determine Your Future
2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. 2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” 3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.” 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. 5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” 6(But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) 7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut. (Josh 2:1-7)
A while ago, a friend sent me a humorous revision of The Prayer of Serenity, which originally has the three famous lines: “GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The new version, an employee’s prayer it seems, cheekily states: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I CANNOT ACCEPT and wisdom to hide the evidence that I have been using the company property for personal purposes, including circulating my resume, searching for more rewarding and satisfying work. And also, help me to be careful of the toes I step on as they may be connected to the butt that I may have to kiss tomorrow. Help me to always give 100% at work 12% on Mondays; 23% on Tuesdays; 40% on Wednesdays; 20% on Thursdays; and 5% on Fridays.”