God Went Before His People
Imagine you are Rahab. Your career and reputation are…questionable... to say the least. You are a woman living in a heavily patriarchal, pagan culture. And then one day, you stumble upon these two Israelite spies scouting out your very city so that their people might defeat it. What do you do?
Well, if you are Rahab, you take the great risk of hiding these spies and even lying to protect them. (Which, by the way, raises an interesting theological and ethical question of whether she was right to do so. It is the same question asked of the Hebrew midwives in Egypt.) Do you see the peril she welcomed in doing this? The safer route would have been to hand them over to the men of the city. But that is not what she did. But why?
Rahab’s motivation for hiding and protecting the spies is given to us in Joshua 2:9-11. Rahab hid the spies because she was acting in faith. She knew that the Lord had given the Israelites the land—her home. She recognized the power of God at work through the Israelites and she knew that her city’s walls were inconsequential. It’s amazing that Rahab had greater faith from a distance than many of the Israelites had from within the camp.
Before the two spies scurried down the city wall to safety, Rahab made a request: that because of her kindness, the Israelites would show kindness to her and her family. Her actual request is recorded in verse 13... that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.” (Joshua 2:13 CSB)
When we jump ahead to Joshua 6, we see the amazing way God delivered Jericho to the Israelites—walls falling down because of trumpets and shouts. But notice what happened next- Complete and total destruction. Here again, an interesting theological and ethical question arises of God commanding His people to wipe out an entire city. But what we have to remember is that the people of Jericho were all sinners in rebellion against God, deserving of judgment (see Gen 15:16). The people of Jericho were not innocent victims. They were a people who had ample opportunity to repent, like Rahab.
But there is a scene of beauty rising from the ashes: Rahab and her family were saved from the judgment that came because of her faith in God.
Rahab’s home was in ruins, her city vaporized. But she was not left there to fend for herself; the Israelites brought her into their nation. What an amazing act of grace and mercy! This was the ultimate fulfillment of Rahab’s redemption—from being a pagan enemy of God to being among the people of God because of faith. What a beautiful picture of what our redemption—our salvation—looks like as well. This is the ultimate take-away from the battle of Jericho. Yes, the walls tumbling down matters. Yes, the faith and obedience of Joshua and the people matters. But this—this picture of redemption—matters most, because through it we see the gospel.
-From Brian Dembowczyk at TGP website
Preschool Tip: For preschoolers, keep the point broad—that God rescued Rahab from destruction and in the same way God rescues us from sin. While the details undergirding that truth are important and beautiful, they are not essential for a preschooler to get this bigger truth.
Kids Tip: For kids, try to preserve time to connect all of the dots of Rahab being saved and brought into the Israelite community to provide them with a fuller picture of redemption. When we are saved from our sin by faith in Christ, we are not left wandering either; we are brought into the family of faith called the church. We become part of a new people, just like Rahab.
#JesusJam Have fun worshiping together to some songs!
Visit this worship set on Youtube: LifeTree Kids Worship
or sing along here:
CLICK HERE for this weeks story summary
Christ Connection: By faith Rahab believed God would win the battle, and she asked the spies to keep her safe. When the Israelites attacked Jericho, Rahab and her family were safe and they joined God’s people. Jesus has won against sin and death. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is safe and becomes part of God’s family forever.
If you have a bible at your house, read the book of Joshua 2 and 6 If you don't have one, that's okay! CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE for chapter 6.
Find the Spy Game Hide around your room two action figures or other small toys to represent the Israelite spies. Invite the kids to find the hidden spies. You may use a stopwatch to see how quickly they can find the "spies." If time allows, the kids to hide the figures and time you or the other family members while they search for them. Remind kids that Today we learned about a time when 2 spies needed help hiding from those who wanted to find them. The spies were men from Israel and the woman who helped them hide was not part of the nation of Israel. Why do you think she helped them?
Today's Craft Activity:
Make your own wall to knock down! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR PRINTABLE
This cool craft is a freebie online, you print, you fold, your done! But it will be loads of fun for your family to walk around it and see if it comes down! (Spoiler- It won't! Only God can do that!)
Wall of Jericho activity packet can be found HERE: