Wednesday

So they went and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and spent the night there. (v. 2)

Joshua 2:1-24 Wednesday 1 September 2021

Psalm 55:16-22

Background

I know ministers who, before they begin a new appointment and become a familiar face in the community, will ask people in the street what they know about the local Methodist church. Joshua’s spies are fulfilling a similar role. They are sent to do a recce of the land which God has promised them and to find out what the locals already know about them and their mission. A prostitute’s house was a good place to get the gossip. People were coming and going all the time and the appearance of two more men would be unsurprising.

Rahab's behaviour is a model of the courage and strength that God had told Joshua he would need. She hides the spies and saves them from their pursuers. She then extracts a promise from them that they in turn will protect her and her family. This promise is honoured in Joshua 6:22-23. Rahab remains a significant figure in the story of God’s people. She is named in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5) and the list of the great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews (11.31).

Professor Tikva Frymer Kensky has written an interesting article about the motif of windows and women in the Hebrew Bible. Three women in the Bible, Michal (2 Samuel 6:16), the mother of Sisera (Judges 5:28-31), and Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30) look though their windows but are detached from what is actually going on. Rahab however uses her window in a much more active way. The window enables her to connect and communicate with the outside world.

 

To Ponder:  

  • What do people in the local community know about your church?
  • Which women would you include in a list of the 'great cloud of witnesses' who encourage and strengthen you?

Prayer

Today we pray for sex workers.

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