W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 09-08-2021
Read: Joshua 2
As Moses had done a generation before, so Joshua decides to send spies into the promised land to plot their strategy. The two spies go to the large and powerful city of Jericho, the city closest to the place where God’s people will be crossing the Jordan River to enter the promised land.
The spies are anticipated by the King of Jericho and they are spotted. The two men had gone to the house of Rehab, a prostitute, who is quite familiar with God’s people and their saga. Rehab shares that the residents of Jericho are terrified that the people of the LORD (Yahweh God) are preparing to enter the promised land. They know what God has done for the Hebrew people all the way back to Egypt.
Rehab believes in the power and authority of the LORD, although she is not a Hebrew. She strikes a deal with the two spies that if she hides and protects them from the King’s soldiers, that they will spare her and her extended family when they lay siege to the city of Jericho. That’s how Rehab became a member of God’s people.
If we fall into the trap of judging Rehab as a citizen of Jericho – the enemy of the day, or judge her for having been a prostitute, we fail to grasp what God is doing. It’s providence. “God will do, what God will do”. That’s literally part of the meaning of God’s name (YHWH or Yahweh). We see in the story of Rehab a woman who turns to the side of God’s people out of fear of the LORD.
The story may be hard for us to understand, and harder for us to fully embrace, as we will see. We’ll get there soon enough. But for today we have Rehab the prostitute who saves the lives of the spies and the lives her own family members as well. But it doesn’t stop there. As I said, this is about God’s providence in human history. If you look at the genealogy of Jesus of Nazareth recorded in Matthew ch. 1 you discover that Jesus Christ is not only born through the lineage of King David, but Jesus’ family line comes through the one time infidel and prostitute, Rehab. It is not bloodlines that are important it is what is in a person’s heart. It is faith, not ancestry that makes us children of God, and the story of Rehab underscores that truth.
Pastor Rob Nystrom