Joshua: Day 2

Joshua Sends Spies to Jericho

by

Today's Text: Joshua 2:1-24, Joshua 3:1-17, Numbers 13:25-33, Hebrews 11:31

Text: Joshua 2:1-24, Joshua 3:1-17, Numbers 13:25-33, Hebrews 11:31

We’re in that phase of family where at least one, if not all three, of our children end up in our bed by the time the sun comes up. At some point in the night one of the little people in our home will inevitably wake. Rather than rolling over and going back to sleep, he or she will stand up, drag his or her sleepy self down the stairs, round the corner into our room, and climb into our bed, right between my husband and me.

Other than the growing amount of room they take up in our comfy bed, there’s something else I’ve noticed about this nightly ritual. Our comfort-seeking kiddos always crawl in our bed and lie down facing their papa, every single time. Whether the culprit is a bad dream in their heads or a raging storm outside the window, their response is the same: they face their father.

I love the juxtaposition of the stories we find in chapters 2 and 3 of Joshua. Two very different stories of God’s children choosing to face and follow their holy heavenly Father in the face of impossible circumstances. And in both situations, He proves Himself worthy of their unabashed trust and holy fear.

Rahab, a woman known primarily by her sin, met the one true God in a precarious time in the history of her homeland. She’d heard the stories of God’s stunning faithfulness to His people, and she knew they were coming to possess the land. Her neighbors were frightened by the evidence of His greatness; in Rahab’s own words, they were panicked (Joshua 2:9). But a different kind of fear was taking root in Rahab. She was coming to fear the Lord.

Believing the God of Israel was “God in heaven above and on earth below” (Joshua 2:11), Rahab risked everything to offer refuge to the two spies sent by Joshua into Jericho. In a culture of faithlessness, she dared to face full-on the holiness of God and follow Him in a bold act of faith. Later, her family would be spared because of it (Joshua 6:17).

Israel had seen God’s rescue not from afar but up close. When Joshua said to them, “The Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow,” they knew he meant it (Joshua 3:5). So Israel faced the ark of the covenant, which symbolized the very presence of the Lord (Joshua 3:10-11), and moved forward to take possession of the “land flowing with milk and honey” (Numbers 13:27). Even following the ark among the masses required faith. Surely the people remembered the time the scouts reported back to Moses, Aaron, and all of Israel that the promised land was inhabited by a people impossible to defeat. “They are stronger than we are!” the scouts cried out (Numbers 13:31). But they were not stronger than Israel’s God.

Isn’t this what it’s like to follow the Almighty Lord? Sometimes, like Rahab, you walk the road alone, stepping out on nothing but faith and a holy fear of the God who rescues His people. Sometimes you move with the masses, direction clear as day, but a nagging doubt nonetheless. What if we aren’t strong enough? What if we’re defeated? Then the God of the impossible dries up a riverbed for your feet to walk across, just as He did when your wilderness journey began (Joshua 3:17; Exodus 14:22).

From impossible to impossible, the road of faith is under the command of our sovereign God, beginning to end. A people with an impossible future and a harlot with an impossible past—both fixed their eyes on the only true God and neither were beyond the reach of His rescue.

No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God. He is the God of Abraham, of Moses, of Joshua, of Rahab. He is the same—yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Fear Him in His awesome glory. Face Him in His limitless compassion. Follow Him wherever He leads, no matter the scene to your right or left. Fix your eyes on His presence and His promises.

SRT-Joshua-Instagram2s

 

  • Walking alone like Rahab… Initially it’s tough but the intimacy & depth that grows when you walk alone, hand in hand with your Creator, Abba, is like nothing in this world.

  • It’s such a blessing to remember that God is sovereign, especially as we are about to find out who our new president is going to be. The president is God’s man/woman for the job, as much as we hate to think of it this way. God is not surprised; He has for-ordained this election since the beginning of time. And as believers, we can rest in His promise to protect and nurture and care for His own: us!

  • Oh I just love this: “A people with an impossible future and a harlot with an impossible past—both fixed their eyes on the only true God and neither were beyond the reach of His rescue.” Sweet Jesus works through those that appear holy and those that appear the most sinful.
    http://www.thegirlontheverge.com

  • Beautiful thoughts!

  • this reflection was so beautifully written and made me stop and really appreciate our Lord’s unfailing goodness… thank you so much.

  • Carrie Rogers

    In a culture of faithlessness, she dared to face full-on the holiness of God and follow Him in a bold act of faith. Later, her family would be spared because of it (Joshua 6:17).
    Lord, help me follow You boldly.

  • Miriam Miles

    No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God. … man that hits home. As month after month passes by and we still aren’t pregnant, it is so good to hear and be reminded that NO situation is beyond the sovereignty of God. There is a reason, and He is oh so good to us, I needed this reminder, the reminder that we have a beautiful daughter that he blessed us with 3 years ago, and it took time and He can do it again. He’s with us through EVERY situation. Merciful, comforting, and sovereign.

    • Jenna

      I’m scared i’m about to step way out of line here. But i think i feel in my heart from God to ask you if you’ve ever considered adoption? I’m a mom by adoption and it is the greatest gift God’s ever given me. There is no difference in how i love my children than if they’d been born to me, maybe I cherish them more because of how God put my family together. I’m so sorry if I’ve stepped out of line in saying this to you. There are so many children waiting for forever mommies and daddies and i feel so passionately about it. Wishing you best wishes as God outlines his plan to you for your family.

  • I love Rahab’s story! Every time I read it, I’m reminded that if God can redeem a prostitute, He can redeem anyone. She also stepped out in faith by protecting the spies and ends up in the genealogy of Jesus, plus she’s in the Hall of Faith! Side note: I call Hebrews 11 the Hall of Faith. If you are feeling inadequate, down on yourself, I highly recommend reading Hebrews 11. I’ve read it many times.

  • What a beautiful story of faith in God!

  • My favorite story of FAITH!

  • “They are stronger than we are!”…but they were not stronger than Israel’s God.
    I find myself facing daily battles of someone or something that is stronger than me, and some things just feel impossible. But how wonderful it is to know that nothing is stronger than my God and nothing is impossible for the God who walks with me every day!

  • How many times have I read the story of the Ark of the Covenant but tonight it just struck me how very awesome and powerful our God is!

  • “No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God. He is the God of Abraham, of Moses, of Joshua, of Rahab. He is the same—yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Fear Him in His awesome glory. Face Him in His limitless compassion. Follow Him wherever He leads, no matter the scene to your right or left. Fix your eyes on His presence and His promises.” Oh how this speaks to my soul. How faithful is our Lord in the major decisions of life and in the mundane day to day decisions. He is faithful to his promises.

  • Glory to God….Powerful……..Nothing and no one can stand against him.

  • No matter what your giant is, God is stronger. God is bigger. God is more powerful. It doesn’t matter how uncertain your past was or how uncertain the future might be. God is always there to lead us. Guide us. No matter how difficult the situation or impossible the circumstance, God is there to guide you through it. “Fear Him in His awesome glory. Face Him in His limitless compassion. Follow Him wherever He leads, no matter the scene to the right or to the left. Fix your eyes on His presence and His promises.”

    • Kristi

      Thank you for this reminder, Amber. A loved one of mine has been battling depression and it has been very difficult to watch. I am doing my best to offer encouragement, prayer, and a listening ear, but sometimes I let my fear creep up on me. Sometimes I forget that my God is greater than the giant of depression. Thankful for God’s forgiveness and patience today. I will continue to cling to His promises, knowing that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

  • This verse spoke the most to my heart today:

    ” When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, move oit fron your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you.” – Joshua 3:3-4

    Next week, my husband and I are about to conquer a part of the land that the LORD has promised us. I am giving birth to a baby boy that we’ve prayed and waited for, beleived God for, for six long years! Today, the LORD spoke through my heart telling me that, As I receive God’s promise and enter this new season of my life (called motherhood), a place that I have never traveled before, all I have to do is to keep on seeking and following His Presence, and He will guide me every step of the way. I must prepare my heart to witness great wonders from Him! :)

    This study is very timely for me as I prepare for my baby’s delivery. Asking for your prayers sisters for a Supernatural Childbirth (fast, and easy labor and delivery). God bless us all!

    • Christina Sykes

      Brings tears to my eyes…every birth is a miracle from the Lord! Prayers said!

    • Linda

      Congratulations, Misce! How wonderful :) Seeking and following His Presence is the best way to experience and enjoy all the wonders you will see as you raise your little guy. What a reassurance to hear His voice today through this passage as you begin traveling on this beautiful journey called motherhood!
      After a difficult birth and an average birth, my third was what you just mentioned, a “supernaturally” fast and easy birth. It is possible :) Blessings!!!

      • Misce

        Thank you so much Linda! So blessed that the Lord is using this study to reassure and prepare me for the coming delivery of our baby! :) Thank you for affirming what I’m believing in — a Supernatural Childbirth! :)

    • Tina

      Misce. ..I am so so very happy to be reading this this morning. …you have been on my mind a while now and I even wondered…God is good…He is faithful. And a great provider of our hearts desire..In His time..
      You, my dear will be a great mommy , I remember our journey together back in the early days of SRT. .your desires and hopes and journeys…I walked silently beside you a friend, praying from afar..God is good.
      Thinking and praying every conceivable blessing over you and your new family unit..
      I wish I could just hug you. .sending one instead, Misce, with love and the Shalom that only God can give..
      Welcome to Motherhood..!!

      • Misce

        Wow Tina… I’m so blessed that you still remember those days when I used to pour my heart out about my struggles in my season of waiting… Thank you so much for praying for me! God is indeed good, and can be trusted to keep His promises! I don’t comment that much here in the site anymore, but I continue to follow the studies, and I am inspired by your faithfulness in studying God’s Word throughout the years! Blessings and hugs to you too, sweet sister! :)

  • And so once again spies are sent. Covertly this time. Or so they thought. The kings men saw them in Jericho.
    The spies enter a woman’s home. This wasn’t for seeking the unthinkable, but to confer with someone with the low down on the city. Rahab was the one. She was a prostitute who lived in the city walls and knew and noticed it all. Men spilled their secrets in her “inn”.
    The king orders her to give up the 2 spies, but Rahab has also said taken notice of something else. She remembers their God. He is strong and mighty and jealous of His people. She knows the city is afraid and that Jericho’s time has come. But her fear has one hope. She recognizes the truth of God and in spite of who she was, she knew God could…would…save.
    She directs the pursuers on a wild goose chase and chooses to help the spies. She chooses to listen to the One who alone can save. The scarlet rope let out allows the men to escape death, similar to the scarlet painting of blood on the very first Passover. Similar to the blood that washes away all of the sin of those who believe in Christ the Savior.
    That scarlet rope hanging down would later signify the ones to escape the destruction of Jericho.
    Her faith and fear of God led to her profession that “the Lord your God, He is God in the heavens above and in the earth beneath.” Her faith is proved by her actions. As God would have it, she is used in the heritage of Jesus and written about in the book of Hebrews “Heroes of Faith”.

    So, if God can save and use Rahab, a woman of ill repute, do we believe God can save and use sinners like us? If we have “prostituted” ourselves to other gods, will we turn and reverently fear the one True God and be saved by the scarlet on the wall? By the red running down His cross for us?
    Today by believing, accepting and participating in this truth, we can escape eternal death. And we, too, have become come part of the heritage of God’s family and a hero of faith.
    Be bold! Take action! True faith comes by believing and is proved by what we do for Him. The Lord your God IS God!
    Go live for Him!

  • It’s amazing to think that the Israelites still got up and followed God’s word despite the prior reports of the giants inhabiting the promised land. It made me think how many times do I stand in faith against my giants confident that I will defeat them because God is on my side? How many times do I give into my giants forgetting how much bigger my God is?

    I started my morning with the verse Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken.” I think this ties in beautifully with today’s reading.

    May we not be shaken by any giants or anything but be confident that we are conquerors because we have set God before us always.

  • Christine

    There is just so… MUCH… in these words today. The scriptures and the devotional. God told them to follow the ark, keep their eyes on the ark, and they would get where they belonged, though they did not know the way. And I was doing some reading about how the ark represents Christ, and it just made so much sense reading Amanda’s words at the end. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus the very same way the Israelites fixed their eyes on that ark. He will go before us and prepare a way for us. He will put our feet firmly on dry ground. He is so good, He is so faithful, and I am so thankful.

  • In Joshua 3:9, the people were listening, but they were invited to come closer. It was okay. They could approach God, the King. He was inviting them in because he wanted them to KNOW him. But this invitation wasn’t just to listen. It was an invitation to obey. Because it is in the obedient act of faith that would KNOW. They would not be listening to others tell of what God had done for them, they would have their own story of what God did for them. May we all press in to KNOW God.

  • As I read these words my heart was stirred. I especially appreciated the “Fear Him, Face Him, Follow Him and Fix your eyes on Him.” Great reminders of how God wants us to live in this sometimes scary and difficult world.

  • God privately communicated with Joshua about what he was going to start doing with him in Joshua 3:7. I know there are things that God has promised for me, unique to my calling that if I listen will prepare me for what’s to come. All I need to do is walk in faith that He WILL be with me.

    It means tuning out the messages the world projects that are in contrast to what God says.

    This day of reading is encouragment to stay focused on God, walking in His presence & promise, despite what “I think I know”.

    God will carry us through the “impossible” time and time again!

  • I needed this reminder today; thank you SRT! <3

  • Oh! What beautiful encouragement this morning. No matter what I’m walking through, God is what I need. A saviour, a friend, a father, a God of Angel Armies, a lion, a lamb. He’s everything I need. Ever day. Nothing else matters, just let me look into his eyes!

  • Keri McCue

    “No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God.” – NO situation! I love this truth. I love the confidence the Rahab had and the desperate desire to save her family and know the love of God that she risked everything to help them if they would save her! If only we lived with that passion in our lives today!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • “From impossible to impossible, the road of faith is under the command of our sovereign God, beginning to end.”
    What a reminder. I feel like I’m so often still trying to figure what on earth God is wanting me to do with my life right now, and I’m struggling to understand why finances continue to be such a burden for my husband and I. We’ve struggled with that for most of the 5 years of our marriage, but the last 2 months have been particularly difficult. I’m just trying to remember each and every day that God has got this; I’m just still learning to trust in Him with it all, even though it’s…just hard. Nothing is beyond Him. I only need to fix my eyes on Him in faith, and He will (eventually) make the path clear.

    • Amen

      Praying you will get through with your faith, and a persistent perseverance as you find your purpose in Him.

  • Ladies – I love this forum, and each of you for your honesty, your faith, your insight and for the understanding you bring to me of my God’s awesome word. Can’t you just feel Him moving here and in us? It is just too fantabulous for words!

  • I love the constant daily reminder in SRT…”No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God. ” AMEN!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Courtney K.

    “No situation is beyond the sovereignty and strength of our God.”

    Man, oh man, did I need to hear this today. I have a rough case at work, and sometimes it’s hard to see God working in the situation… but thank God that he is all powerful and loves his people. Thank God for his sovereignty.

  • Christina Gandy

    I faced horrible illness this weekend and wanted to die. I prayed for death. Then I turned around and asked for help. I received it and am better today. God said, “Silence yourself and ask for help, I don’t want you to die and neither do you.” -Amen.

    • PeggyR

      Hi, Christina, you “turned around and asked for help.” I am so thankful that you did that. I pray that you will celebrate the new life you have found in God and may no illness take you so far as you can’t turn around and ask for his help.

  • After I’ve done the rounds, locking up, securing my home, I move upwards towards bed, and depending on who is home or staying over, I bid each a goodnight sleep and tell them I love them…doesn’t matter who, mum, sister’s, brothers, sons, grands, friends…I love them… Then I go to my room, get into bed…and stare at the poster size picture on the wall…i say goodnight to the person in the picture….my daughter…
    I put the picture up on the side that I tend to sleep, so she would be the last I would see before closing my eyes….
    But God…
    But God is the one I speak to last of all…sometimes in my thanking of Him, I fall asleep…

    The Lord God of Abraham, of Moses, of Joshua, of Rahab, yes, of Tina..has not changed, He is the same yesterday, today, forever, forgives, and gives us chances to get things right…even my goodnight prayers… His promise of ‘will do wonders among you tomorrow’ I lay claim to..Absolutely claiming it… No matter what the day has brought, there is hope coming, by God’s grace, hope is coming, joy is coming, victory is coming…oh absolutely claiming that!!!

    Thing is, Sisters, I have walked and journeyed through some valleys that, it could have only been God of the impossible, who walked with me in that wilderness, in that abyss, who dried my riverbed of tears, so I could walk, face my giants, who gave me Hope, as he did the Israelites on their journey..
    THE same yesterday, (the Isrealites), today, (me), forever, All who call on Him…

    Amanda Bible, you said it best, I love you friend..
    Fear Him in His awesome glory. Face Him in His limitless compassion. Follow Him wherever He leads, no matter the scene to your right or left. Fix your eyes on His presence and His promises.

    Lord God of the impossible, lead me guide me, direct me…here I am…I love you Lord and I thank you for everything, for your promises that you keep, for your Word that is truth, for your love that fills me to overflowing with Hope…Thank you Lord, Thank you..

    Sisters, May you know the Lord’s wind on your back, His Grace at your side, and His promise of wonders today…with love to you..xxx

    • churchmouse

      Yes, dear friend Tina. You love deep and hard and long and, in your loving, you have gained great strength. And yes you have also had great heartache. But Love wins out and, over and through all, you have endured. Your testimony is mighty and powerful. Your testimony gives hope and encouragement to many of us to just Hang. On. Tight. Because He will not let us go. Thank you for faithfully posting. Your words touch deep down. Blessings to you.

    • Pat

      Beautifully said Tina

    • Jessica

      Tina, I am always so thankful for you and your beautiful words of faithfulness you share in this community! Your love for God and others is always so evident, and you stir us up to do the same. Glad to call you Sister! =)

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Tina, your words this morning shook me to the core. Praying right along with you, beautiful sister. Laying claim to God’s promise with you this morning. Thank you dear friend….thank you!

    • Rebecca

      Well said and so true!

    • Robin W.

      ❤️

    • Amanda Williams

      I love you too, friend.

    • Naomi

      Bless you my sweet sister. Thank you for your testimony!

    • C Gunckel

      Tina, your post brought tears to my eyes, but hope to my heart. Thank you!

  • churchmouse

    Who do you think you are?!? Please don’t answer too quickly. Take a slow deep breath and ask yourself again: Who. Do. You. Think. You. Are? Joshua knew he was chosen to lead, to be a conqueror in the Lord’s strength and power. Rahab was a prostitute by profession but she also knew she was a desperate woman looking for hope and salvation. Caleb was a scout with full knowledge of the lay of the land but he also knew he was a victor of a battle already won. There were eight spies who saw the same lay of the land but saw themselves as mere grasshoppers ready to be devoured by the giants in the land. In your little corner of the world, who do you think you are? Who has defined you? And how has that definition impacted how you live? The questions are hard. The answers are revealing. God’s Word alone is Truth. He defines whom He has created. I am not defined by my past. Nor by my profession. Nor by my position. Nor by my present place in this world. None of these truly define me. Who I think I am is not as important as who He says I am. He proclaims I am His beloved and I have purpose. I am Nothing. Less. Amanda’s last four sentences tell me what to do with the Truth of who I am : Fear Him. Face Him. Follow Him. Fix your eyes. Yes! He leads the way and I am more than a conqueror. No. Matter. What.

Further Reading...