Read Text: Joshua 2:1
As Joshua prepared to lead the people of God into their promised land. Part of that preparation involved gathering information on the city of Jericho. Jericho was a city that covered about 8 acres. It had and inner and outer wall with a total thinness of 18' and was 30' high. Upon this wall houses had been built, and Rahab the harlot lived in one of them. Joshua, who had been one of the spies sent by Moses, now sends two spies to view the land secretly. Secretly because he knew what had happened at Kadesh-Barnea when the 10 spies returned with an unfavorable report. He didn't want a repeat of the events that led to them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years!
I. The Spies Sent Forth v1
A. To the city of Jericho.
1. The city of Jericho was a stronghold of the enemy; surrounded by high walls, it was well fortified and very secure.
2. This city ... Jericho ... by name means "fragrance" and is a picture of the world.
3. The city was grossly immoral so that it is not strange that the spies came to the house of the harlot.
4. Some would like to change her character, and call her an innkeeper, but it cannot be done.
5. The Bible records her character by identifying her as a harlot in nearly every reference to her.
6. Although she may have been an innkeeper, she was without question a harlot! (This is important and we will see the significance in just a moment)
B. To the House of Rahab
1. Rahab is a picture of a sinner, lost and bound in immorality.
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
2. Rahab, the harlot, is also a beautiful picture of the power of the Grace of God!
Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
3. The spies came to Rahab's house; not by accident, but in the providential will of God.
4. God's will is done in our lives when we are totally yielded and under His direction.
5. Every detail, no matter how small, is important; for it is the little things that make up a life.
6. The spies could come to her house without bringing a lot of notice or suspicion.
7. And the location of Rahab's house upon the wall made perfect sense to 'spy out the city'.
II. Rahab's Faith And Works v2-14
A. Rahab's condition.
1. She belonged to a doomed race, the race against which the curse had been pronounced.
2. The city being grossly immoral would have been filled with wickedness.
3. Rahab's condition is a picture of all lost mankind
B. God's Mercy.
1. In His infinite mercy sent His messengers to this woman's house.
2. They brought a message of impending judgment, and also of mercy and deliverance.
3. She heard the report and she believed.
4. She put faith in Jehovah, the God of the heaven above and earth beneath.
5. She gave testimony of that faith.
C. Rahab's works.
1. Rahab did something that proved her new faith.
2. Before she had been an idolater, now she became a true believer.
3. We know that because of what she did.
4. She proved her faith, by her works…note that I said she 'proved' her faith!
5. We are not talking about salvation…salvation is by grace through faith.
6. But Rahab proved her faith by her actions.
Jas 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
7. She had heard of how great the God of the Israelites was; she pleads for mercy for herself and her family.
III. The Spies' Escape and Assurance v15-24
A. Hidden by Faith
1. Rahab had hidden the spies from the king's men and had misinformed them to allow the spies the opportunity to escape.
2. Wherever there is genuine faith in God... it will always be accompanied by good works.
3. Ephesians 2:8,9 tells that we are saved by faith alone, but such faith will be a working faith, notice 2:10..."we are saved unto good works.''
4. Our testimony of faith will be seen by our acts and works for God's glory.
B. Assured by God's messengers. v17-21
1. The 'scarlet thread' would identify her and her house and provide protection from the coming judgment.
2. It would remind all of the covenant made.
3. Reminds me of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts at Passover.
4. It is symbolic of the blood of Christ, once applied will both identify and protect us from coming judgment.
5. The two men gave assurance to Rahab that she and all her family would be spared when Israel came against Jericho.
C. The Return of the Spies. v22-24
1. They returned knowing God was at work.
2. They returned In faith ... God was going to do it all for His glory.
3. They were safe and they were encouraged by this experience.
4. They were confident that God would give them all the land. v24
5. We need that kind of faith; the kind that trusts God for great things. God is only pleased when we walk by faith.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
What obstacles are in our way? We enter into victory by an active and vibrant faith. Each of us are trophies of God's amazing grace! Rahab would become David's great grandmother. Who could have imagined such a thing? Only by God's grace!