Summary: By displaying the power of God and the strength of Rahab, I intend to convince the congregation to dedicate their lives more fully to God.
Marching on: New Beginnings in Joshua
Sermon 1: Joshua 2:1-14
Purpose of this sermon: By displaying the power of God and the strength of Rahab, I intend to convince the congregation to dedicate their lives more fully to God.
I. The duty of the spies (1-3)
A. Get into the city secretly (Verse 1)
B. Examine the city thoroughly (verse 1) – especially Jericho
1. With their present position, the Israelites needed Jericho to make a decent assault on the land of Canaan. Joshua needs to attack Jericho first.
2. The spies are looking for the best way to attack the city, and to do this, it is essential to know about the surrounding area.
C. Escape the city safely
1. With 3 million Jews wandering the wilderness and destroying at least two armies, their reasons are not exactly hard to ascertain.
2. Because of this, and because the people of the land would be looking for them, their stealth is most important.
3. Why they chose Rahab’s house is anyone’s guess. Maybe they had met her in the country, maybe they chose this place without knowing who lived there. Maybe they chose her because no one would question what they were doing.
a. There were strategic reasons for Rahab’s house:
1. It was located on a wall
2. She would not be renowned for her political shrewdness
3. The guards would not molest a visitor in someone’s home – they were sacred according to universal customs
4. Whatever the reason for their choice, we see that Rahab took the opportunity she was given.
II. The strength of Rahab (4-8)
A. The strength to act (4)
B. The strength to tell (4-5)
C. The strength to die (5-7) - I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.
1. She could not have been under any delusion that this act would mean any less than her life in the best of circumstances. In the worst of circumstances, it could cost the life of her entire family
2. It is not my purpose here to discuss her actions as right or wrong – the biblical writer does not do so and neither will I. This is not the author’s intent. The author’s intent is to display God’s ability to change the human heart. Her lie is no more wicked than her harlotry and certainly no more wicked than my sins. What she did is probably not much different from what you or I would do under similar circumstances.
If you think the walls of Jericho were imposing, imagine the strength of the faith of a man or woman who wants to do God’s will – it is like a mountain.
John 14:12 - I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
3. Her situation is not much different from Peter’s in Matthew 26:69-75
Mat 26:69-75 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about." When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth." And again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man." A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away." Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.
Do you know what the difference is? He lied and denied while she lied and realized!
D. The strength to change (8)
1. I would love to know what else happened that is not written. Did the spies talk to her before the guards came, telling her their mission and introducing her to the living God?
2. Sadly, we will never know this side of eternity, but whatever the truth may be, we know that she changed.
3. She could have done many things when she visited their hiding place. She chose to confess her faith in the living God. How much did she know? Probably not much. How much did she believe?
Heb 11:31 - By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
Jam 2:25 - In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?