Before Joshua led the Israelites across the River Jordan into the land promised to them, he sent two spies ahead of them to ‘look over’ the land, ‘especially Jericho’ (Joshua 2:1). These two spies entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there while they undertook their task. It probably seemed a good place to stay, since their presence would not be so noticeable among many others who might come and go.
But word soon spread about their presence and Rahab was told to bring out the men. Instead, she hid the men and falsely said that they had left. But why would she do such a dangerous thing for men she didn’t know? Later she gave them her answer. She said to them, “I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you” (Joshua 2:8-9).
I’m sure Rahab would have been scared to risk her life by hiding the Israelite spies, but her fear of the Lord was greater, and she put her trust in Him to save her. But, perhaps more than that, she believed that the purposes of the Lord were unstoppable and so put her trust in Him rather than the worldly powers of the king of Jericho.
For many believers it can be intimidating to stand up for our beliefs in Jesus in a culture that is increasingly antagonistic towards those who stand for the truths of God’s word. But we can take courage from Rahab’s story that, when we put our trust in the Lord, whatever fears we have, He will ultimately bring us to safety. And not only that, but when we put our trust in Jesus, our stories may take on a far greater significance than we could ever dream or imagine. In the genealogy of Jesus, we read, ‘Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab’ (Matthew 1:5).
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the stories in Your word of people like Rahab, who took a great risk because she believed that the ultimate victory would be Yours. Help us to remember today, whatever trials we may face, that we are on the winning side and that our small acts of courage may have far greater impact than we have any idea of. Amen.
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