Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from
Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went
and came into the house of a harlot, whose name was Rahab, and lodged
there.” Joshua 2:1
God can use anyone
What qualifies us to be of service to God? As we read in Joshua 2,
God can use anybody whose heart is turned towards Him. When we turn
our hearts towards God, we begin to understand what God can do. Anyone
whose heart is turned towards God can be effective for Him in this
ineffective world. And as we read in Joshua 2, no one is beyond the
reach of God and His unbelievable grace. Understanding grace is
critical to transforming our lives because it opens the door to what
liberates us from our bondage to self.
His amazing grace called out a harlot whose heart believed in God
almighty. The story of grace unfolds through the life of Rahab. In
verse 2:11 Rahab told the two spies she hid in her house, “When we
heard it (the story of how God delivered the Jews from the Egyptians
and parted the Red Sea) our hearts melted and no courage remained in
any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in
heaven above and on earth beneath.” Rahab’s heart turned towards God
because she heard of the power of God and believed in His sovereignty.
God often uses unique circumstances like Rahab’s to carry out His
plan. Certainly the house of a harlot was among the few places Jericho
soldiers would look for foreign spies.
In addition to unique circumstances discovering God’s grace leads to
strong belief and personal confession. God places in the open heart a
story that captures your entire life! Rahab’s life was transformed by
the stories she heard about God. “I know,” she said in verses 9 and
10, “that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you
has fallen on us, and all the inhabitants of the land have melted away
before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the
Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the
two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and
Og, whom you utterly destroyed,” Rahab was confessing her personal
belief in what God had done. She knew in her heart what God could do.
Her personal confession led her to a dynamic faith. She stepped out of
the boat and asked that she and her family be spared. It’s interesting
to note here that the two men, to this point, said nothing about
attacking Jericho. But Rahab knew they would and would destroy
everyone in it.
Rahab asked and received God’s grace. “Now therefore, please swear to
me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will
deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth,
and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and sisters and
deliver our lives from death.” Verses 2:12-13. The two spies agreed.
Her faith qualified her to be marked as a true believer in God.
Rahab’s house was distinguished to stand out from all the other homes
in Jericho when the Jews attacked it. She and the two spies agreed
that if she hung a cord of scarlet from her window she and all her
family in the house would be spared from death. That closely resembles
the passover story. And a cord of scarlet is the same color of the
sacrificial lamb’s blood every Jew placed on their two doorposts and
on the lintel so the angel of death would passover them. God marks
every believer in redemption through the grace of His blood.
God’s grace also gives us a confident assurance that God’s plan will
unfold, just as He says it will, and just as it did through Rahab.
When men move in sync with God they always arrive at a victorious
conclusion. When the two spies returned from Jericho they told Joshua,
“Surely the Lord has given all the land into our hands; moreover all
the inhabitants have melted away before us.” Verse 2:24.
The Israelites took Jericho and all the land, and spared the lives or
Rahab and her family. But that wasn’t the end of the grace God showed
Rahab. For her trust in God and her courage the Lord showered her
with His unbelievable grace as her life unfolded. And we read in
Matthew 1:5, Rahab, who begat Boaz, wound up in the lineage of Jesus.
God can use anyone to serve Him. No one has any excuses for being too
old or too uneducated, or too poor, or too bad, or too short, or too
tall. How could He use you today? Is your heart turned towards Him?