Tuesday 26th February
Yesterday we learned of God’s commission to Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua was encouraged to be strong and courageous, having God’s Law on his lips and heart daily. He knew that God Almighty was with him and would equip him to serve in his role as the leader of the Israelites.
Have you ever noticed the power of stories? Stories can transform lives. They can encourage, entertain, teach or simply put fear into your life. The people of Jericho experienced the power of a story. This story was of Yahweh and His chosen people. The outcome was both to acknowledge His greatness and to fear His children. Let’s explore this further in today’s reading.
Joshua’s first act of leadership was to spy out the land he was going to invade. Interestingly God had promised this land to Joshua and his people, however a Godly strategy was required to overcome the enemy. As the two spies reached the walled city of Jericho, they came to the house of the harlot, Rahab. You may remember Rahab from the book of Hebrews, as she was commended for her faith in receiving the spies into her house and protecting them. Rahab in verses 9-11 explains the reasoning behind her acceptance of these two spies.
She starts to explain in verse 9 of the people’s fear of the imminent attack on their land by Joshua’s men and of the Lord’s favour towards Israel. She then further explains the fear the people of Jericho were feeling, as they knew the LORD had already given their land to the Israelites. How did they receive all this knowledge? Because they had HEARD of all that God had done for the Israelites, from their protection and deliverance at the Red Sea, to the utter destruction of Shinon and Og (their stories are found in Numbers 21:22-35). HEARING the stories of the Lord God Almighty not only led to a fearful submission to Israelites but led to an acknowledgment that “the Lord Your (their) God, is the God in Heaven and on earth beneath” (verse 11).
Rahab, upon HEARING about Yahweh and His protection over His children, could only submit in reverence of Him and acknowledge that He was the one true God. She even stated that the people of Jericho were so fearful that their hearts had melted and there was no courage in them at all. In fact she was so convinced about what she had HEARD of Yahweh’s provision for His people, that she had already acknowledged Jericho’s defeat and was negotiating the protection of herself and her family.
If God is with us, who can stand against us? When God is on our side, victory is ours. The power of a story really can transform lives. As God’s people are we sharing His story? Are we sharing the stories of our lives? Of how He transformed us from being enemies of God, to Sons and Daughters of the Most High King. Do we share the stories of how God saves hardened criminals, drug warlords, murderers and gangsters? Or how He heals the sick and paralysed? Do we share of God’s provision for us in the hard times or how He protects us from evil? Most importantly do we share the story of how He sent His only Begotten Son to die for us in the greatest act of Love the world has ever seen? Make this day a story telling day and watch what God does through the testimony of your words!