March 24, 2023
We begin todays with the beginnin of the book of Joshua as he is installed as the leader of the Israelites following the death of Moses. Two spies encounter Rahab who is an interesting person in the Old Testament and the crossing of the Jordan River.
Chapter 1 –
The book opens with God speaking to Joshua telling him to prepare the people to get ready to cross the Jordan. He tells Joshua I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads…No one will be able to stand against you…Be strong and courageous. This is an example of the intersection of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility to obey in order to secure God’s promises.
God then told Joshua Observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you…so that you will have success wherever you go. Ultimate success as a Christian is to fulfill our God-given purpose in life. To do that we mediate on scripture and carefully observe written in it. After receiving instructions from the Lord Joshua told the people to get ready to claim the land which had already been given to them. The people responded with Everything you have commanded us we will do.
Rahab now comes into picture of this account of the two spies. The spies entered Jericho and chose to stay in the red-light district and ended up in the home of Rahab. Somehow the king of Jericho heard of their presence and sent not6ice to Rahab to present those in her house. This then becomes and interesting thought as Rahab lies to those seeking the spies – when is it acceptable to lie? The king was fearful of the Israelites as he had heard what they had done but Rahab was not as fearful nor was the king willing to surrender.
She confessed the Lord…is God in heaven above and on earth below. Trusting Israel would defeat and conquer Jericho she hid the spies and asked them to spare her life and those of her family. She submitted in faith to God’s program and was spared. The spies return to Joshua and said everything was a God promised. An interesting side note here numerous times in the scriptures Rahab is referred to as “prostitute.” It shows me no matter who you are God can use you.
Chapter 3 – It was time to move the ark of the covenant. It would lead the way into the promise land. Joshua calls the people to make spiritual preparation for divine manifestation to consecrate themselves.
When they broke camp all they could see was the Jordan and that the water was out of its banks. There was no wading, no swimming but when the priests’ feet hit the water the river ceased to flow downhill. No feet in the mud they crossed on dry land.
Chapter 4 –
God outlined to Joshua the plan to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark out front of the tribes. The Lord would stop the water flow of the Jordan as he did the Red Sea to allow passage across the river. In order for people to remember they were commanded to place twelve stones there for spiritual formation to their children.
The Israelites did exactly as God had commanded them all the people crossed the riverbed; God then told the priests carrying the ark to come up out of the Jordan. When they did the water returned. They then camped at Gilgal where Joshua reminded the people to use the stones as a witness to God’s grace in delivering through the Jordan.