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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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When the LORD Gives Us the Land -- Joshua 2:1-14


The Third in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Joshua

Redemptive history is a term we use often at Christ Reformed. It simply refers to the fact that the Bible is the historical account of Jesus Christ saving his people from their sins. Throughout this history of redemption, we encounter some very interesting people. In our text this time–Joshua, chapter 2–we have the account of a woman who is a notorious sinner, yet who appears in the genealogy of Jesus, someone who is commended in the New Testament as a model of both great faith and godly deeds. Her story begins in Joshua 2 with the account of two spies sent by Joshua, who enter a tavern in Jericho to gather information on their enemies. The tavern’s owner (who happens to be a prostitute) helps the spies at the risk of her own life, even lying to the authorities to protect the spies whom she is hiding in her house. The woman then helps the spies leave and enter the city, even leaving a secret signal–the famous scarlet cord–in her window. Remarkably, this Canaanite prostitute happens to be the first convert in Canaan to Israel’s God. Her name is Rahab and she is both a prostitute and an ancestor of Jesus.

As we continue our series on the Book of Joshua, we now come to the fascinating story of Rahab, a Canaanite woman who has heard about YHWH and believes that Israel’s God will give to Israel that land he has promised to his people. In this chapter, the focus shifts away from Joshua and the Israelites–who were still on the plains of Moab and who were preparing to cross over the River Jordan to possess the land–to the Canaanites and what was going on in the city of Jericho, before the Israelites take the city. This chapter serves as an important bridge to chapter 6, where we find the account of Jericho’s capture.

There are other interesting comparisons in this chapter. We have the favorable comparison between Joshua as the strong and courageous leader of Israel and Rahab, who is likewise very courageous and who will be the first of her people to come to faith in YHWH. Then there is the contrast between Rahab’s faithfulness and Israel’s unfaithfulness as seen in Achan’s sin, the theme of chapter 7. All and all, this is an interesting and important section of Joshua and many of themes found here will reappear throughout the literature of western civilization–a lady with a past who becomes a heroine. This is an important episode in Israel’s history, and a dramatic and compelling story in its own right.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here 

Reader Comments (3)

A question came up: "Is it ever OK to sin to accomplish something good? Afterall, Rahab lied and protected the spys."

The attitude of the question wasn't flippant but presented an undesireable situation requiring a dreaded but "necessary" solution that initially violated God's Law yet seemed to be the only way to reach the ultimate good.

I was stuck when I heard this and took (probably wrongly) Captain Jack Aubrey's approach: "choose the lesser of two weevils."

Is Rehab a sign that God makes concessions for such things?
November 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
Calvin says: "As to Rahab’s falsehood, we must admit that though it was done for a good purpose, it was not
free from fault. For those who hold what is called a dutiful lie, do not sufficiently consider how precious truth is in the sight of God. Therefore, although our purpose, be to assist our brethren,
to consult for their safety and relieve them, it never can be lawful to lie, because that cannot be
right which is contrary to the nature of God. And God is truth. And still the act of Rahab is not
devoid of the praise of virtue, although it was not spotlessly pure. For it often happens that while
the saints study to hold the right path, they deviate into circuitous courses."
November 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
The midwifes under Pharaoh were not punish, in fact they were blessed for letting the babies live while at the same time telling a lie to Pharaoh. Although the above is a side point,is it wrong to protect the people of God. What would of been worse, to surrender the spies (the people of God) and have them put to death or to lie to the authorities? It's true Rahab lied, but God in His sovereignty is always acting for His Glory. The author of Hebrews moved by the Holy Spirit tells us what she did is faith, and we know faith comes only from God. So when we read Joshua and read the chapter about Rahab, we need to read that her actions although seem like a lie is really faith. God defines reality,and in this case He has and the verdict was Faith, not a lie.
November 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjason

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