Mar. 31. Joshua Begins His Leadership; Spies Hidden by Rahab

Josh. 1:1-2:24

As Joshua assumed his leadership of the Israelites, they were encamped near the eastern bank of the Jordan River. He had been a close associate of Moses during the wilderness wandering. The Lord charged him to, “Arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them…” God promised him that He would be with him just as He had been with Moses. “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” He was to meditate day and night on the Book of the Law and to, “Do according to all that is written in it.”

In three days, Joshua would lead the people across the Jordan and begin possessing the land. He reminded the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh of their commitment to leave their settlements east of Jordan and to help the remaining tribes possess their land in Canaan.

In final preparation for entering the Promised Land, Joshua sent two men to spy out the land, especially the city of Jericho. They lodged in the house of Rahab, a harlot. This was likely an inn and she may have been the innkeeper. Her home was contained within the walls of the city.

The people had heard of the exploits of the Israelites as they had been led by God and were fainthearted in fear. Upon learning of the men’s presence in Rahab’s house, the King of Jericho sent men to capture the spies.

Rahab, by faith in God hid the spies and sent the king’s men away empty handed. In exchange for her kindness, she received an oath from the men that she and her father’s house would be spared from destruction. Conditions for her salvation called for obedience to the commands of the spies. She was to leave a scarlet cord hanging from her window and all were to remain inside the house. Salvation from our sins is conditional upon our obedience to God and remaining inside the house/church of Christ.

There was quite a difference in the report of those two spies compared to that of the ten from forty years earlier. Instead of fear of the Canaanites, it was a trust that, “Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands…”