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Joshua 2 begins with Joshua preparing to enter the land promised to God’s people (v.1). Spies are sent ahead to view the land and they find lodging at the home of Rahab. Many are shocked to learn that she was a prostitute but, as we’ll see, she desperately wants to leave her old life behind and finds forgiveness and restoration in spectacular fashion. Trying to lay low and stay anonymous, word gets out that men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land (v.2). Rahab goes above and beyond the cultural expectations of hospitality and covers for the spies: first metaphorically (vv.4-5) then more literally (vv.6-7).
Rahab wants to change and leave her old ways behind and gives a wonderful confession of faith in God in vv.8-14. Rahab is, simply, saved by faith alone (certainly not her actions and life) and her belief in God (…we have heard…I know…the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth below…swear to me by the Lord…deliver our lives from death…). The soldiers agree to preserve the lives of Rahab and her family on the condition she obeys their word (vv.18-20). As we will see in a few chapters time, her salvation from imminent death is secured and Rahab is assimilated into the family of God’s people, so much so that she ends up being in the family line of Jesus Himself (Matthew 1.5).
The mission of viewing the land before them had no strategic benefit for God’s people but it did stand to encourage the faith of the nation:
“Surely the LORD is handing over all the land to us!
All who live in the land are cringing before us!”
(Joshua 2.24, NET)
The people were beginning to see the truths of 1.5-7 in that the presence of God with them was enough to remove obstacles from their path.
For you and for me, something to dwell on today would be Rahab’s salvation, her being saved from impending death.
She heard about God, she knew of God, she knew that God was able to save her, and she believed.
Despite living a life that many would condemn Rahab knew there was hope for her future to be found in the Lord.
Her belief in this proved to be enough, and we see the words of Joel 2.32 being lived out:
“It will so happen that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered”.
Nobody is beyond salvation if they turn to the Lord and call on His name. As David Guzik wrote,
“You may know some that seem “impossible” to save, but God’s hand is not short to save people like Rahab, and He can work in amazing ways to bring salvation”.