In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
Having dwelt on the topic of Christian journey in the previous month, now in the month
of Febraury, I intend to focus on a monumental piece of Jewish history….the
Conquest of Canaan, with its particular relevance to modern day breed of
Christian spiritual warriors.
Once again, let me wish you a happy and an edifying read…
“…and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that
a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in
fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for
you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the
Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it,
our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is
God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD
that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you.
Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and
sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death." –
God sees every heart brimming with reverence for Him even as it craves for a right relationship with Him.
It is never too late to set right one’s relationship with his or her Creator God and come under his
protective wings, as it were. If there is one story that underscores this fact in no uncertain terms
then that is the story of Rahab the prostitute
In fact, the study of the Conquest of the
Canaan can never be complete without throwing light on the life and character of Rahab, the prostitute,
whose actions borne out of strong faith have come for approbation from all quarters besides
bringing to the fore the bedrock truth that that an omniscient God scans the depths of everyone’s
Initially, it is important for us to understand the background of the story. After being encouraged
by both His Divine protector and also his people, time seemed ripe for Joshua to get into the
action mode eventually and there stood before him, the City of Jericho as the first target in
his Conquest plans (refer Map XXVIII in the OT maps section ).
Jericho--Some derive this name from a word signifying "new moon," in reference to the
crescent-like plain in which it stood, formed by an amphitheater of hills; others from a word
signifying "its scent," on account of the fragrance of the balsam and palm trees in which it
was embosomed. Its site was long supposed to be represented by the small mud-walled hamlet Er-Riha;
but recent researches have fixed on a spot about half an hour's journey westward, where large
ruins exist about six or eight miles distant from the Jordan. It was for that age a strongly
fortified town, the key of the eastern pass through the deep ravine, now called Wady-Kelt,
into the interior of Palestine.
Even while being confident in the accomplishment of the divine promise
(Jos 1:3), Joshua adopted
every precaution again by divine prompting, which a skilful general could think of to render his
first attempt in the invasion of Canaan successful. Two spies were dispatched to reconnoiter the
country, particularly in the neighborhood of Jericho; for in the prospect of invading that place,
it seemed desirable to obtain full information as to its site, its approaches, the character,
and resources of its inhabitants. This mission required the strictest privacy, and it seems
to have been studiously concealed from the knowledge of the Israelites themselves, lest any
unfavorable or exaggerated report, publicly circulated, might dispirit the people, as that
of the spies did in the days of Moses
(Numbers 13 and 14). And it is this Spy mission,
which brings the story of Rahab the harlot into the picture with all its underlying truths.
Many expositors, desirous of removing the stigma of this name from an ancestress of the
(Mt 1:5), have called her a hostess or tavern keeper. But Scriptural usage
1Ki 3:16, the authority of the Septuagint, followed
by the apostles
Jas 2:25), establishes the propriety of the term employed
herein. Her house was probably recommended to the spies by the convenience of its situation,
without any knowledge of the character of the inmates. But that a divine influence
directed them in the choice of that lodging-place, is beyond any doubt, with an intention
that this story of a repentant and a God-seeking Prostitute, would
a) Inspire a many a sinner in the distant posterity, to make a U turn in life for good, besides conveying
b) the all important truth that the omniscient God who sees every heart, makes security arrangements
in advance of all those reverence Him.
A closer look at the sequence of events would reveal the complete truth as it were. The spies who
went to her house were blissfully ignorant of their hostess’ strong faith and her reverence for
Creator God, till danger surfaced by way of someone alerting the King of Jericho, as to their
presence in the City. With danger looming large, imagine their surprise, as the faith of Rahab
begins to take shape in front of their eyes not only by virtue of her words
which magnified His name but also by her actions, which didn’t deter her from staking her
very life for the cause of protecting them. Needless to say that if her act of protecting
the spies been discovered by the King of Jericho, it would have led to prompt capital punishment
One thing seems sure, when the Spies initially went to her house, even before danger
surfaced they would not have bargained for such an experience, which eventually led them
to promise her that they would protect her and her family fold, when the City of Jericho
would be run over by Joshua’s army
The depth of her faith also lends itself to a question. Was she still in that despicable
trade of flesh, despite holding the Living God and his acts in such high regard? Doubtless
NO, for her faith and her erstwhile trade, which required a surrender as much of morals as of
that of the body, could not have gone hand in hand. The knowledge of the great God and His acts
and her act of staking her life itself for his people would make us believe that, she had changed
for good, even before the spies came to her home.
Neither her reverence for God nor her change of lifestyle had not gone unnoticed by God,
no wonder before the Conquest of Jericho came about, He orchestrated the occurrence of events
(spies visiting her home, which was followed by a danger to their lives surfacing, necessitating
an act of faith by Rahab) in such a sequence that the Nation of Israel, through these 2 spies came
to know of her and her faith and saved her life, when her city with its unrepentant, hard-hearted
residents was being torched.
That even one person with reverence for Him is precious in His sight and that He not only
wouldn’t allow any harm to befall him or her but also bless that person, in every way
is what Rahab’s story heralds to the world, even today.
Father, there is no greater blessing in this world than to belong to you, because once we belong to
you, every blessing keeps coming searching for us. We praise thee in Jesus’ name. Amen.