Monday, January 10, 2011

Bible Notes: Josh 2

Hebrews 11:31 says, “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (NIV).

Joshua 2 records the incident. What strikes me in this chapter is the knowledge of her faith. She has presumably the same intel that her fellow citizens have, but she has put two and two together in a way that no one else in Jericho seems to have, and it has led her to “faith,” as Heb 11 puts it.

Rahab mentions the data: they’ve all heard about the Red Sea and about the deliverance from Egypt, and they’ve all heard about Israel’s triumph over King Sihon and King Og (verse 10).

She mentions the chilling effect of that intel: fear has fallen on them, their hearts melted, and no spirit was left in them (9,11).

But only she, it seems, understands the implications: “I know that the LORD has given you the land” (8, ESV). Why? Because--and here is a remarkable confession for a polytheistic people--“the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (11).

Thus she pleads for the deliverance of her and her family, to which Joshua's spies agree.

Later we read of the outcome: “And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it…. But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive” (Josh 6:24-25).

I find it remarkable that the only one wise enough to understand the truth of the situation was a woman that probably no one considered wise at all, a prostitute.

I also find it remarkable that a prostitute is saved and welcomed into Israel. The king of Jericho was saved momentarily, but only to be hanged. But one of Jericho’s prostitutes was saved, “and she has lived in Israel to this day” (6:25).

But salvation is for those who believe, who look to the Lord in faith; not for the rich, not for the powerful, not for the smart and savvy, not for the respectable businessman or businesswoman. The condition of salvation is faith, looking unto Jesus for salvation; anyone who exercises it will be saved.


Anonymous said...

Praise The Lord!
Dear Kent, according to the book of First Peter, chapter 1, verse 5, it is written: "1Pt:1:5: [You believers] are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." The expression "power of God" from Greek to English is "dunamei Theou." This kind of power does not mean "authority" (which is another Greek term in the New Testament). Such "power" is what our President has. (That is "authority" as such.) The Greek term in 1 Peter is, as you know, the term from which we get our English word for "dynamite." And it is the term used in the Bible for the strength of God's everlasting and creative "power." BELIEVERS of all ages and times on Earth have this kind of faith -- or "coupling," (such as that which holds the weighty train to the power of the locomotive -- if you will to God that that preserves them, both now and ever," for the purpose of receiving the gift of "eternal life," which is promised to all such persons by means of the cross of Jesus Christ (John 3:14, 15 & 16). It reads like this: "14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
JN 3:16 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'"
And a fact that, perhaps, many of the Old Testament, Hebrew community did not fully realize, even throughout Biblical history, is that through such Faith in the "power" of the real God would save ANYBODY. Even Ruth, who was not a Moabite (Ruth 1:4, Old Testament), had this kind of faith and is, therefore, listed in the very genealogy of Messiah (Christ). "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you." Ruth said,"Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." (Ruth 1:16). --Dad

Anonymous said...

Praise The Lord!
P.S. Dear Kent, What I intended to say in the former comment entry is this: “Even Ruth, who was a Moabite and not a Jew (Ruth 1:4, Old Testament,) . . . etc. --Dad