September 25 I Friday
Song of Solomon 6-8
“For the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” —Joshua 2:11
It sometimes seems that Rahab, a citizen of Jericho, had a clearer understanding of Israel’s God than the Israelites themselves. She calls Him “God in heaven above and on the earth below.” To know God this way is to have equal confidence in His workings in heaven and on earth, but Israel often acted like He was only God in heaven. They worshipped Him, but they consistently doubted His sufficiency to guide them through the wilderness, the height of which was refusing to take the Promised Land 38 years earlier.
We see Rahab’s incredible confidence in the Lord when she helped the two Israelite spies avoid capture. She says in the past tense, “I know that the LORD has given this land to you” (Joshua 2:9). In reality, the Israelites had not taken the land yet, but that was just a matter of timing for Rahab. Compared to Rahab, the spies responded, “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land” (Joshua 2:14). They responded with an uncertain future tense––not quite “if,” but not far from it. The spies trusted that the land would be theirs eventually, but they did not share Rahab’s confidence and belief as if it already was.
In the Christian life, it is also true that the enemy often has a greater belief in God than believers do. James writes in the New Testament, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that––and shudder” (James 2:19). James presents the devil as a demon trembling in fright because he knows the sovereignty of God and that he is doomed because of it. We must not underestimate the devil’s cunning, but ultimately, he knows that God’s victory is assured.
Rahab knew that the God of Israel is as sufficient on earth as He is sufficient in heaven, and we may need to ask ourselves if we trust God this way. It is easy to have a God that we love and believe in on Sunday but do not trust on Monday. Many Christians relegate Him to doctrinal systems, bullet points, creeds and theories. They worship Him for His greatness, sovereignty and knowledge but have precious little experience of His activity and presence in everyday life. Faith in Him is not just about getting to heaven when we die but experiencing a relationship with Him now. He is the God in heaven whom we worship, love and adore, but He is also the God on earth whom we trust and can live in fellowship with every day.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for being God in heaven and on earth. I am so grateful that I can experience a relationship with You now that will last for all eternity. Amen!