March 14 I Monday
“Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. ‘Go, look over the land,’ he said, ‘especially Jericho.’ So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” —Joshua 2:1
For forty years, the children of Israel wandered in the desert, while the story of what God did to Pharaoh and Egypt spread throughout the known world. In preparation to entering the Promised Land, God met with Joshua and affirmed, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them” (Joshua 1:5-6).
Joshua sent two spies to survey the landscape of Canaan, especially Jericho, because it was a gateway city into the land of Canaan. Unique to Jericho was its strong defenses; there were two sets of walls on a mound: one was a towering wall encompassing the city, and the other was a lower retaining wall. In Joshua’s day, when an attacking army laid siege to a city, they would starve the population into submission. Jericho, however, had a spring of fresh water and grew its own crops, which begged the question: how to attack this city?
When the two spies arrived in Jericho, they entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there. Why a prostitute’s home? It could be because brothels were a good hiding place, as they frequently had strangers coming in and out of them, or maybe they thought it would be a great place for overhearing information about other regions.
As discreet as the two spies tried to be in Jericho, the king of Jericho found out that some Israelites came to spy on the land. To deal with this imminent threat, Rahab took these two spies and hid them. When told to bring these spies out, she responded, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them” (Joshua 2:4-5). Rahab intentionally misdirected the king’s messenger.
Rahab put her own life on the line by lying to the king of Jericho—but, why would she do this? We find the answer with what she told the spies, “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 2:9). In the most unexpected place and way, Rahab’s statement and actions were confirming what the Lord said to Joshua.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You that as I follow Your plans, You will confirm them through people and circumstances.