Monday, July 5

Spies or Evangelists?

The way Jericho's walls fell miraculously often gets our greatest attention. But we may have overlooked the faith-filled interaction between the "spies" and Rahab.

First, note that these weren't really spying. They weren't examining the lay of the land, determining the relative strength of these people. When they left Rahab, the two men urged her to drop the scarlet cord out of the window of her house on the wall. Anyone of her family who remained with her in the house would be saved, anyone who ventured outside that abode, well . . . their blood would be upon their own heads (Joshua 2:19). That they would be safe within the house portends the manner in which the city was to be taken, even if those two men did not yet know the details.

It would seem then, that the "spies" were really sent not to look over the lay of the land but to find that one who had faith to trust in God. Rahab (& family) was, as it were, one of the ninety and nine. Oh, of course it's true that she had not yet been part of God's family, but she was to so become. The spies went on this mission to secure her, the elect of God. 

Second, don't miss her faith. In other words, don't miss what she said about Israel and their mission. Beginning in verse 9, Rahab describes what God is doing in an amazing display of knowledge which could only have been imparted by God himself. "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us . . ." She then recounts the miraculous deliverance through the Red Sea and their unbelievable victories over two great kings, Og and Sihon. But, and here's the key, it is how she views these events that makes the difference between mere knowledge and true faith. What do I mean?

Mere knowledge says, we know these things but it does not change the way we live or our allegiance to God. Rahab had said that all Jericho knew these things, yet only she wanted to be saved! All Jericho's hearts were "melting with fear" but only Rahab wanted deliverance. That's the amazing part of faith isn't it? I cannot explain it. I doubt you can either. Why is it that when many see the same cataclysmic events, some are moved but most are not? Rahab had a sense of what all this meant. God must've revealed it to her. Truly, what Jesus was to say much later was true here, "No man can come unto me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44). But praise God, HE DOES DRAW US! Right?!! Don't resist God's drawing power. If it weren't for that none would be gathered unto the gates of heaven!

Bow before the wisdom and love of God to secure even just one for his own name's sake. What are you doing in light of the great providential acts of God all around us today? Don't let them be reduced to simple sound bytes without any other consideration. Be, as the Scottish preacher, Thomas Boston said, "wise observers of the providence of God." Rahab certainly was . . . by God's grace . . . she is now eternally saved. 

No comments: