Scripture: But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. Joshua 6:25 ESV
Observation: As mentioned in yesterday’s Daily Focus, given that the text tells us Jericho’s walls collapsed and that Rahab’s house was on an exterior wall, it stands to reason that this wall segment miraculously remained upright. Thus, Joshua directs the two spies who previously lodged with Rahab to go and rescue her and her family along with their possessions, placing her and her family outside the camp, temporarily quarantined per Levitical law (vv.22-23, 25). Meanwhile, the rest of Israel’s troops burned the city with fire, having removed the precious metals for later use in the tabernacle treasury (v.24).
Finally, the author tells us that ‘Joshua laid an oath on them at that time saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho. At the cost of his firstborn shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates”‘ (6:26 ESV). Thus, zealous for the Lord, Joshua’s fame grew in all the land (v.27).
Takeaway: The later historical narrative of the Old Testament tells us that Jericho was soon resettled (18:21; Judges 3:13–14; 2 Sam 10:5). But the curse’s fulfillment occurred during the reign of King Ahab when Hiel rebuilt the wall to make it a fortress once again (1 Kings 16:34). And as we read through the remainder of Joshua, we will indeed see that he proved himself to be fit to lead God’s people in taking possession of the Promised Land. Lastly, the storyline gives equal attention to Rahab. Why? As discussed in our November 5th Daily Focus, Rahab exhibited greater faith in the Hebrew God than most of his chosen people.
Thus, we see in the closing narrative of this story two tributes. First, to Joshua, whose name means in Hebrew “God is salvation.” Indeed, the Savior of our world will come from his line: Jesus (whose name is a derivation of Joshua). But superior to Joshua, Jesus is of most renown. As Paul reminds us, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV).
As for Rahab, God will graft her into the ancestral line of his Son. Thus, amid the massive loss of lives, we see a ray of sunshine. The text presents Rahab as a shining example of a redeemed soul, for God extends his grace and love to all who turn their hearts to him and believe that he will save them from their sins.
The takeaway? In brief, like Joshua and Rahab, we are called to live lives that demonstrate faith in God’s provision, protection, and guidance and point others to Jesus. For it is in Christ that we experience the Father’s unfathomable love and grace.
Prayer: Father God, we thank you for the lives of Joshua and Rahab, who point us to your Son and his gracious and costly work of salvation. Would you please help us deepen our understanding of your love and grace from both Joshua and Rahab’s stories so that our lives might likewise point others to your Son? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling