Snapshots: Day 121
The Snapshot: “I know that the Lord has given you this land.” (Josh 2:9) These were the words spoken to Israel’s spies in Jericho by an inn-keeper-prostitute, a member of a pagan culture. She had heard what God had been doing through Israel as they had worked their way up to the entry point of the Land, and it scared them silly. When the world can see the work of God in and through the people of God, they will be moved, stirred, challenged, even fearful – what is this? who is this? how can they be like this? There IS a God! Testimony can be a powerful thing, so what is our testimony? A nice but harmless bunch of people, or an empowered and transformed bunch of sinners who are clearly now saints doing the miraculous works of God?
Further Consideration: This testimony by Rahab is quite amazing really. All she had heard was that Israel had come up from the south, peacefully working their way up the eastern side of the Dead Sea, defending themselves from those kings who sought to stop them – but triumphing over them. Others had heard the same things but had simply feared; they felt defensive. Rahab heard these things and heard of their God and believed. She believed what the whole body of older generations forty years ago had failed to believe – that God was going to give them this land.
She didn’t have a written document from God like we have (the Bible) but something inside her knew that this land was destined to be cleaned up by this people with God’s help. It is always a mystery why one person can believe and another can’t. There’s nothing rational about it apart from the fact that somehow her heart was open to hear the whisper of truth from God.
There is often discussion about whether the description of Rahab means she was an inn-keeper or a prostitute, but really her past profession doesn’t matter. Where we’ve come from doesn’t matter. What matters is the state of our heart and, as I’ve already said, that is always a mystery, but I do believe we can hear these things and purpose to turn our hearts to the Lord, we can purpose to wait on Him with a repentant, needing, yearning heart and call on Him until He manifests His presence and we have that ear to Him.
The New Testament is full of language that is tantamount to talking about receiving a new life, taking a new ‘land’. How do we view these things? When we read, is it with a hunger, a yearning to take in and understand and respond to this call to go in, conquer, triumph and enjoy this new land? Are we Rahab-type people who can declare for ourselves, “I know the Lord has given me this land,” personalizing it as we enter into the process, just like she did?