The certainty of faith
Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. “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. For 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. No 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. “Now 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 when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.” Joshua 2:8-13 NLT
The city of Jericho was the first stop for the advancing army led by Joshua. He sent two spies to scout the area to find out how strong Jericho’s army was. The spies entered Jericho and when they were pursued by the soldiers of Jericho they found the house of Rahab. This would be the most inconspicuous place to hide for few would question their presence in the house of a prostitute. But the spies were not there for immoral purposes. Rahab hid them in her house, misdirected the men pursuing the spies. Then Rahab extracted a promise of mercy from the spies and helped them to escape. All her actions proved that she had turned from her ungodly life and embraced the God of Israel. She is mentioned as one of the heroes in the great chapter on faith in Hebrews: “It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Hebrews 11:31). She had heard about this wonderful God of Israel and this knowledge was the basis of her faith. Rahab told the spies about her faith to their God: “For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below” (Joshua 2:11). She expressed her conviction and certainty of her faith. There was no ‘if’, or ‘perhaps’ or ‘I hope’ at all. It was a certainty. She believes to the absolute supremacy of Yahweh. Rahab is a pagan Canaanite coming to faith; from prostitute to a follower of Yahweh and from living in darkness coming to the light. Her commitment was total and irreversible. From this point on she was to be counted among the people of God. She was willing to stand alone for her faith. If it was found out that she was trusting in the God of the enemy of Jericho, there could have been serious consequences. She had faith! Faith is believing the truth that God has revealed. Sometimes it’s difficult and lonely to believe in God when everyone in the family, people at the workplace, and school seems to mock the things of God. But it is by faith alone that we can please God. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).