Unexpected Plot Twist

Background Story: Moses was the man God chose to help lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Now God uses a man named Joshua to lead His people into the promised land.

Read Joshua 2

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, they left. I don’t know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them.” (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land 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. 10 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. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

12 “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 13 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.”

14 “Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.”

15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.”

17 Now the men had said to her, “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house. 19 If any of them go outside your house into the street, their blood will be on their own heads; we will not be responsible. As for those who are in the house with you, their blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on them. 20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear.”

21 “Agreed,” she replied. “Let it be as you say.”

So she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them. 23 Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.”

Big Idea: God can make miracles out of our mess.

Rahab was a woman, a prostitute, and a Canaanite. Women were not highly valued in that culture, but a woman who was a prostitute was the lowest of the low. Also, she was a Canaanite and they typically worshipped a god named Baal and did not recognize the God of Israel. Reading Rahab’s bio, it seems like the conclusion of her story is written and that it’s not going to end well. But with God, our stories are not set in stone and He has a way of making miracles out of our mess!

Rahab has a revelation that this God is THE GOD and that revelation puts her on a completely new path! Do you want to hear something amazing?

In Matthew 1, we read the following genealogy account. Read through this and see who you can spot! “Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,… Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, …15 Elihud the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.”

This woman…this nobody who appeared to have no future becomes part of the greatest genealogy of the Bible. Rahab marries Salmon, has a son named Boaz, and ends up being the great grandmother of King David who was the greatest King of Israel. Then many generations later, her ancestor is Joseph who marries Mary, the mother of Jesus!

What does Rahab’s story tell us? God can bring a total transformation in your life no matter where you find yourself right now. Like Rahab, our transformation starts with a recognition that, “the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below” and submitting to His plan for our life. Like the scarlet cord marking her safety, our deliverance and salvation is marked with the blood of Jesus. Never lose hope because God specializes in doing the impossible through the lives of ordinary people!

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