Getting Ready for Battle (Joshua 2 – 3)

Joshua sent two spies into the land, specifically to Jericho.  They came to the home of a harlot, Rahab, and stayed there.  The king heard they were there, and inquired, but Rahab hid them.  She told the king’s messengers that they had already left the city.  Actually, she had hidden them under stalks of flax on the roof.  Rahab knew that these men were from God.  She had heard of all God’s miraculous provision and protection of Israel, and asked that they show mercy on her house when the army came.  They agreed, but required that a scarlet cord they gave her be hanging in her window.  Everyone who was in the house during the attack would be spared.  The men were let down by a rope from Rahab’s window, hid in the mountains, and then returned to Joshua with a good report that the land was theirs because God had delivered it to them.

Joshua then rose early in the morning and led the Israelites to the edge of the Jordan.  There, they lodged for 3 days.  After 3 days, they were instructed to follow the ark of the covenant anywhere it may go, leaving 2000 cubits between them and the ark.  The people were instructed to sanctify themselves in preparation for the wonders God would do among them.  Then the priests were instructed to pick up the ark and proceed.  The Lord told Joshua that this would be a day that the people would know that God was with him.  God told him to stand in the Jordan, to call for the leader of each of the 12 tribes, and then to instruct the priests to step into the river with the Ark.  It is postulated that this was a high water time for this area, which would have made it especially daunting for Joshua and the priests to step into a raging river.  However, they obeyed, and when they did, the river waters stood up in a heap, and the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan on dry ground.

Two things resonate with me here.  First, a harlot hosted the spies to Jericho, and paved the way for Israel’s victory by hiding them from the king.  Do not discount anyone, regardless of their background, it God wants to redeem them, then use them for His glory.  Pedigree does not determine suitability.  Know that God can use anyone if they submit their life to Him.  Second, faith invites miracles.  The priests and Joshua were instructed to step into a raging river.  This was not normal behavior, nor even safe on its face.  However, God said do it, and they exercised their faith and made that step.  God answered miraculously, proving Himself powerfully.  However, without faith, the miracle would not have happened.  By faith, it did.  Have faith and believe for the miraculous.  Without faith, you will not see miracles.

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