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This fascinating chapter has all the ingredients for a Hollywood blockbuster!! Spies, lies, wheeling and dealing .We follow the account of Joshua’s leadership now that Moses is dead.  We are introduced to Rahab, a prostitute who is shrewd & calculating.  Some Christians are embarrassed by the mention of a prostitute and have spent a lot of time and energy trying to sanitize the events of this chapter.

[1] JOSHUA – THE NEW LEADER

a. History repeats itself in sending the spies. (but only 2, not 12 like Moses).  Why? Because Joshua already knows the answer. He has already been there, done that 40 years before!

b. They are not sent to see IF victory could be achieved (that was settled in chapter 1) but HOW

c. Sending the spies was practical expression of faith not a denial of any sorts. Recall the commands of chapter 1 – “Be strong….be courageous….be careful”

d. Read James 2/14-17 = the “works” part of faith. Planning, strategies is not lack of faith.

 

[2] RAHAB – THE NEW CHALLENGE

a. Here is a woman who is recognised for her ‘occupation’ but remembered for her faith and her works

b. James 2/25, 26 – Rahab shown to be right with God by her actions – the proof of faith = actions

c. Hebrews 11/31 – challenge is accepting an alien person (non-Hebrew) on basis of her faith

d. Both those NT writers see that she had saving faith that issued in works

e. Joshua 2/2-7 – Spies and lies. Did she hide them for their own safety or did she protect them in order to use them?

f. Whatever be her motives, the two spies were prepared to make this “deal” with her “Your safety for my protection & that of my family”.

g. Joshua 2/8 – Having directed the search party away she went up on the roof to talk with them.

h. Here is the essence of what she told the spies and what they reported back to Joshua.

1. “I know the Lord has given you this land”

2. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror”

3. “We have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea”

4. “We know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings”

5. “Our hearts melted in fear. No one has any courage to fight

6. “The Lord your God is the supreme God”

 

The spies report contained information that must have “stunned” the leaders of the nation

Here’s the staggering news: Everything that Rahab mentioned took place before the Hebrew nation came to the border THE FIRST TIME under the leadership of Moses.

In other words, Moses generation retreated into the wilderness for 40 wasted years when their enemy across the Jordan was already defeated in attitude and prospect if not in reality

 

APPLICATION

Is there a situation in your life…….or the life of your church…..that has paralysed you with fear so that, like the Israelites, you are holding back because the size of the situation seems too huge….too intimidating.

 

Is this something you could share with your small group?

 

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