Reframing Our Understanding

Joshua 2:8-13

8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land 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. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.[b] 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 12 “Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.”

When two Israelite spies arrived in Jericho, they received an unexpected welcome from the second woman in Jesus’ genealogy. The Scriptures do not mince words: Rahab is described as a prostitute, making her another surprising addition to the messianic lineage recorded by Matthew.

Rahab’s home was an ideal place for gathering information and lying low, which is exactly what the spies did. When the king of Jericho learned about them, he demanded that Rahab hand them over. But she didn’t.

Facing the likelihood of a siege and battle, Rahab thought of her family and also expressed belief in the God of Israel. “He is God in heaven above,” she said, “and on earth below” (Josh. 2:11). In return for her aid, she asked the spies to protect her when Israel triumphed over Jericho. And the city’s walls did fall, but Rahab’s household was spared. She later made a home in Israel (6:25), eventually marrying Salmon and bearing a son, Boaz (Matthew 1:5).

Rahab is remembered for her readiness to trust God and let Him reframe her understanding of enemies. What about us? Are we inclined to let the Lord adjust our perspective so we understand things the way He does? And are we, like Rahab, willing to entrust our life and family to Him?


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