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DAILY DEVOTIONS
 

  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…

Suresh Manoharan




February 6th

God’s security



“…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." – Joshua 2:9-13
 
  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 (Jos 2). 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 heart (Heb 4:13).

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 Saviour (Mt 1:5), have called her a hostess or tavern keeper. But Scriptural usage (Lev 21:7-14; Deu 23:18; Jud 11:1; 1Ki 3:16, the authority of the Septuagint, followed by the apostles (Heb 11:31; 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 (Jos 2:11), 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 for treachery.

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 (Joshua 2:14-15).

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.

Prayer:

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.
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