I love stories of courageous children whose quick thinking rescues their families from disaster. You know the kind: Johnny smells smoke and rushes his parents and siblings to safety. Along with the family pets
This one person’s resourcefulness creates a “hinge point” for the entire group, and their lives change forever.
I’m currently teaching through Joshua and camped with the Israelites in chapters two through six. I find so many lessons studying the conquest of Jericho, but the thing that stood out to me this time? Family drama.
Scripture doesn’t offer many details about the family of Rahab the harlot. Most families assumed responsibility for their single daughters, but we don’t see that with Rahab. Perhaps feeling a sense of responsibility toward her at one time, they likely turned their backs on her when she made her proverbial bed in a brothel.
But God never did. He saw a woman
- stripped of her dignity,
- longing for love, and
- tender to His voice.
So, He revealed Himself to her.
God then provided Rahab with an opportunity to escape her lonely life by sending two Israelite spies to her door. Concealing them from the king and helping them escape, she also provided them with critical intel:
“Everyone in Jericho knows you’re on the move. We know about the miraculous exodus, your desert wandering, and your recent conquests across the Jordan. Our hearts are melting with fear because we know we’re next!”
~Joshua 2:9-11 (suz paraphrase)
Then Rahab made a deal with them:
“… show kindness to my family …
spare the lives of my father and mother,
my brothers and sisters, and
all who belong to them…”
~Joshua 2:12-13 (NIV)
The spies agreed, gave her instructions and fled into the mountains. Rahab watched them rappel down the wall, closed her window and gathered her thoughts. Next, face her family and convince them to move in with her.
Rahab had no inkling of God’s timeline. She told the spies to hide for three days, but as far as she knew, the Israelites would ford the Jordan River on Day 4 and storm Jericho. She had no idea it would be at least two weeks before their rescue, including one week of daily marches around the city!
Oh, to be a fly on the wall in a houseful of tense, anxious, dysfunctional family members! But Rahab’s faith and determination impressed her family enough that they stayed put and waited.
And were saved. All because of ONE family member, and an unlikely one at that.
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks at the heart.”
~1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
The God of the Israelites revealed Himself to a Canaanite prostitute because He knew her heart was tender toward Him. He also knew her heart was tender to her family and that her quick thinking would provide a “hinge point” that would change their lives forever.
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