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DAY 2 – MISSION: RECON D R A F T Joshua Chapter 2 Rahab Shelters Spies 1 Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. 2 It was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” 3 And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” 4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. 5 “It came about when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 6 But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. 7 So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan to the fords; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate. 8 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10 “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 “Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, 13 and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14 So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” The Promise to Rahab 15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. 19 “It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 “But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.” 21 She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window. 22 They departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had sought them all along the road, but had not found them. 23 Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.” Focus Rahab trusts God more than the things she sees in the world around her. Faith enables her to step believe in God’s promise, despite her sinful past. This positions her to receive God’s promises of salvation from the coming terror that will befall her world, even though worldly circumstances indicate that she would otherwise perish. Points to Consider Rahab’s Position 1) Consider the following about Rahab, that she is: a) Not of the people of God – No claim to God’s mercy or blessings b) A resident of Jericho, a target of Israel’s military destined for destruction with no expectation of leniency c) A harlot – an Israelite woman found to be a harlot would find no mercy for her sinful actions – Deut. 22:20, 21 – “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.” Harlotry is detestable to God- Deut. 23:18 – “You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a dog into the house of the LORD your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God.” Harlotry is so offensive to God that he often uses it to describe peoples that have not been faithful to Him – check out Deut 31:16-18. Consider that, in most societies, few people intend to become harlots, but often become engaged in harlotry because they are poor and believe that they have no have no other recourse, typically assigning them to the lowest classes of their society. 2) Given the factors identified above, what treatment would Rahab expect at the hands of Joshua’s army? The Sinner’s Position 3) Consider the position of a sinner, and its parallels to that of Rahab: a) An unbelieving sinner has no claim to God’s mercy or blessings - 1 Peter 4:17, 18 – “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?” b) An unbelieving sinner is destined for judgment with no expectation of clemency – Rom 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” c) Unbelieving sinners do not devote their energy to honoring God, but instead devote their energy to various unrighteous interests, “playing the harlot” by being faithful to someone or something besides God – 2 Cor 6:14-18 – “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.’ Therefore, ‘COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,’ says the Lord. ‘AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 4) Given the factors identified above, what treatment could you and I expect before God, apart from Christ? Choosing God: 5) In verses 9 to 11, Rahab recounts that the people of her country have realized that God is greater than they are. If everyone has realized this, what then is the difference between Rahab and her countrymen? How will it affect their respective fates? 6) Is knowing about God sufficient for salvation? Is it the same as knowing God? Consider the difference in the context of what is about to befall Rehab and her countrymen. Consider this difference in what will befall the people of our time when the judgment is come. 7) Note that Rahab has only this time in which to make her choice for God. If she had made it after the men of Israel had left, she would have not received the scarlet thread that would indicate that she is to be spared from the coming terror. What does that scarlet thread represent? Rom 5:9 – “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” 8) When should people make their choice to believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation? 2 Cor 6:1,2 – “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— for He says, ‘AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.’ Behold, now is ‘THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,’ behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION’.” God’s Protection 9) Rahab knew that God was greater than all the things known in Jericho, and that salvation was only possible through Him, via the opportunity offered by Joshua’s men. 10) God offers protection to people today who would believe that Jesus Christ is the only way they can be saved from the judgment due upon their sin - 1 Peter 1:3-5 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Key Points For Teaching Gospel Emphasis to All Groups: The scarlet thread was the was the mark that Rahab should not be a target of the wrath of Israel. The blood of Christ is the mark on believers that they should not be subject to God’s wrath at judgement. Citizen 1. Rahab did not deserve to be spared, only her choice to give her life to God could result in her salvation. 2. Rahab did not delay, but gave her life to God immediately at “the acceptable time” Soldier 1. If we do not know Christ, we are positionally like Rahab, without claims to mercy on the basis of our heritage, the world in which we live, or our works. 2. The scarlet thread resulted in Rahab’s salvation, just as believers today will be spared judgment through the blood of Christ - Eph 1:7 – “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace”. Commander 1. For Rahab, salvation from the coming wrath results in not only salvation from the wrath that befell Jericho, but Rahab married Salmon, an Israelite, and is named in the lineage of Jesus – Matt 1:5 – “ . . .Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse . . .” Because of her trust in God for salvation, the body of a former prostitute, a citizen of a God-forsaken people who had nothing but sinful works to account for, would be used to bear the line that would result in the Messiah who would save the world from sin. This blessing is certain to be beyond anything she could have imagined the day she gave her life to God. What blessings lie ahead for you? What blessings lie ahead for those who would accept Christ as Savior today?
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