Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. 9'I know the Lord has given you this land,' she told them. “'We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. 10For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. 11No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. 12Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that 13when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.' 14'We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,' the men agreed. 'If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.'” Joshua 2:8-14
Give strength to hands that are tired and to knees that tremble with weakness. Tell everyone who is discouraged, “Be strong and don't be afraid! God is coming to your rescue, coming to punish your enemies.” Isaiah 35:3-4 (GNT)
Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will give you strength, and for sure I will help you. Yes, I will hold you up with My right hand that is right and good. See, all those who are angry with you will be put to shame and troubled. Those who fight against you will be as nothing and will be lost. You will look for those who argue with you, but will not find them. Those who war against you will be as nothing, as nothing at all. For I am the Lord your God Who holds your right hand, and Who says to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:10-13 (NLV)
The Joshua passage above continues with the story of Rahab and her example of faith overcoming fear. Interestingly, we are given some of the prestory of what had happened in Rahab's life in regard to faith overcoming fear before the arrival of the two spies. This prestory allows us to understand more fully why Rahab helped these two spies. Why would she let them stay at her house? Why why would she hide them and protect them when the kings men came to her door to find them and destroy them? Rahab had heard about the God of Israel and the mighty ways he had worked on Israel's behalf and against their enemies and it effected her profoundly.
At a point previous to our story, in an act of faith within her heart, Rahab had made the choice to align her self with the one true God and his chosen people. And so, when Rahab helped these men in the ways she did, it was because she knew they were representatives of the true God of the universe. Every part of this story shows us the faith in Rahab's heart becoming faith put into action. In the prestory that Rahab tells, she says, “We are all afraid of you .... Everyone in the land is living in terror .... our hearts have melted in fear ... no one has the courage to fight after hearing such things." Rahab and her people are all impacted the same initially, but the difference between Rahab and her people is that she chooses not to become trapped in her fear like everyone else. Rahab will not be immobilized by fear and succumb to defeat, death, and destruction like her countrymen.
Rahab's talk with the two men concludes with her securing from them the promise that her life will be spared, along with her father and mother, her brothers and sisters, and all their families, when Israel conquers Jericho. This is God's provision to Rahab because she turned to him by faith and surrendered herself to him in full submission and obedience. The two Isaiah passages above are a great encouragement to us in our pursuit of having a faith like Rahab's that truly overcomes fear. God promises to come to our rescue. He promises to be our help and to give us strength. He promises to hold us up and to hold our hand. Truly our God makes it possible for fear to be overcome by faith.
Lord, thank you for encouraging my faith. Help me to grasp more clearly who you are and how you are at work in my life and circumstances. May it be that who you are and what you are doing will become more real to me than the sources of fear that manifest themselves in my life. Today by faith, Lord, I renew my surrender to you and give myself to you in full submission and obedience.
Posted on Thu, June 18, 2015
by Alan Porter