Tuesday, October 10
There aren’t a lot of Bible stories which showcase a prostitute as the heroine. But, here, in Joshua 2, we are introduced to Rahab. She is a prostitute in Jericho – one of the fortified cities just inside the Promised Land. Most likely this was one of the fortified cities that the Israelite spies had seen 40 years ago when their fear and small view of God kept them from entering the Promised Land under God’s watchful eye.
So, now, Rahab is visited by spies from the Israelite camp. It is very interesting to see who is afraid now. Rahab tells the spies that she KNOWS that her native land will be given to God’s People – the Israelites. They have heard many stories of the amazing power and might of the Israelite God – stories that the Israelites themselves would have done well to remember 40 years ago! And now the Jericho natives are shaking in their boots because they realize that they are not protected by a living and active and all-powerful God.
Rahab is thankful for this opportunity to meet with spies who have connections with this all-powerful God of heaven and earth. She courageously hides them from her king and helps them escape – with the understanding that when they come back to conquer her city they will return the favor by saving her and her family.
Do you know a Rahab? Maybe someone who has heard about God but hasn’t had or taken the opportunity to become a follower, yet. How can you help show her/him the way? Their world will be conquered – don’t let them be left behind. Don’t take for granted the God of Heaven and Earth that you know – and others NEED to know. He is an amazing God.
Saturday, September 24
By Jill McClain
God told Joshua that the Israelites were going to use a very unusual strategy to conquer the walled city of Jericho. The Israelites marched around the city once every day, for six days. Then on the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. On the seventh time around the city they played their trumpets and shouted, and then miraculously the walls surrounding the city came crashing down, so the Israelite army could enter the city and destroy every living thing in the city, except for Rahab and her family. Rahab was spared because she had faithfully assisted the spies that Joshua had earlier sent to the city. God had his people conquer the city of Jericho in such a unique way, so that there would be no doubt that God had been in control and caused the victory. Do you have a something in your life that seems too large or difficult to overcome? Do you need to turn your issue over to the Lord and let him help you win the battle? Listen carefully for signs from God about how you should proceed with your problem. We read earlier in Joshua that God wants you to remain strong and courageous in your battles against the world and that he will never leave your side. However, just like the Lord’s army had to obediently march around the city for seven days, there may be actions that the Lord requires of you before you can be victorious in your own battles.
Following the successful battle at Jericho, Joshua sent a portion of the army on to the region of Ai. There were only a few people living in Ai, so Joshua assumed that it should be an easy victory for his army. However, the Israelites lost 36 of their soldiers in the battle and were quickly defeated and chased out of Ai. At first, Joshua was devastated by their loss and could not understand why God would allow his chosen people to face defeat. Then God revealed to Joshua that one of the Israelites, Achan, had stolen plunder from Jericho for himself, despite God’s specific commands to destroy everything in Jericho. God allowed the Israelites to be defeated at Ai because Achan had been deliberately disobedient. Are there sins in your own life that you need to seek repentance for? Are there areas in your life that you need to turn over to God so that you can experience all of his blessings?
(Note from GROW16BibleReading – feel like some Saturday morning cartoons – here’s a 60 second story of The Battle of Jericho from Taylormation – Enjoy!
If you were making the cartoon, what would you have included? AND – how can you use each and every one of your talents to please God and spread His Word? )
Friday, September 23
By Jill McClain
With the death of Moses, Joshua becomes the new leader of God’s chosen people. The book of Joshua records Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land. God quickly reminds Joshua that it is imperative that Joshua and his people remain faithful and then they will succeed in finally entering Canaan. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8) God has lovingly given us a book that contains instructions for how we are to live our lives. However, it is up to each of us to thoroughly study his word day and night, so that we will know how to do just as it says, not veering to the right or left of what has been written. Hopefully, these devotions have encouraged you to read your Bible daily. Meditating on the Bible is an important first step, but that must be followed up with obedience to all that is taught in God’s word.
Leading God’s people out of the desert that they had been wandering in for 40 years was a challenging assignment. Yet, Joshua bravely and with calm determination stepped up and became the strong leader that the Israelites needed. Joshua was able to act courageously because for years he had witnessed God’s faithfulness and he knew that God would always be with him. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) What is something that you are facing that requires you to be strong and courageous?
In chapter two Rahab stepped out in faith to help the spies. Rahab had heard how God had led his people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. She had heard stories of God’s protection of his people, and she knew that he must be the one, true God. Because of Rahab’s faith, God was able to use her, a prostitute from Jericho, to help keep his people safe. Think of a way that God may be calling you to step out in faith?
In the following chapter, God caused the Jordan River to stop flowing so that his people could walk across. He used this miracle to demonstrate once again that he was with his people. Then in chapter four the people created a memorial from stones to serve as a reminder of God’s always present help.