Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV) 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.
We have been studying Rahab who gave aid and comfort to the enemy Israelite spies when they came to gather intelligence about Jericho. Yesterday we ended with the people of Israel coming out of their camp and marching around the city with their whole army. We read in Joshua chapter 6 that they blew the rams horns as they marched.
Joshua 6:7-8 (NKJV) 7 And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the LORD.” 8 So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the LORD advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
However, something strange happened. Israel marched around the city and then went back to their camp. There was no attack. Nothing happened at all. The next day the army of Israel came out of their camp. Once again, they began to march around the city. Once again, the trumpets played but no one spoke. Once again Rahab and her family got excited about what would happen next. Once again, the defenders of Jericho prepared for battle. Once again, Israel marched around the city and went back to the camp.
For four more days this same process was repeated. I can hear Rahab’s father now. “Rahab, why are we here? Obviously, Israel is going to do nothing. They are trying to scare us, that’s all. I am going back to my home.”
Rahab knew differently. She had a promise from God. She could not understand what was happening. She had no idea about the plan given to Joshua by the angel. Everything she saw would have been confusing. Yet she chose to keep believing.
The defenders of Jericho must have become bolder every day. The behavior of this army was so strange. They came out each morning for six days and just marched. None of them spoke. The only sound was the shuffling of feet and the incessant playing of the trumpets. I think they would have begun to jeer at the Israelis. “Why don’t you come and fight? Are you all cowards? Why don’t you say something? You will never break through these walls. You better go back to the wilderness you came from. Better to die there than at our hands!”
I am sure Rahab and her family were about at there wits end. It had been six days. They expected their deliverance to come the first day. What makes it more difficult is that every day is the same. Nothing happens. That is the struggle we often find ourselves facing. We know the promise is true, but time goes by and nothing seems to change. Let me say again that just because nothing seems to be happening does not mean God is not working. He is always working. We must continue to believe. We must continue to walk out the conditions from the Word of God. If we do, we will see God move.
Finally, the seventh day comes. It begins the same as every other day. Israel comes out and begins to march. They do not speak but the trumpets play. They walk all the way around the city. As they come to the same place they have for the last six days with no attack, I can see Rahab turning away from the window. She thinks it will be the same as every other day, but it is not the same. Israel does not go back to the camp. They continue to march.
The pressure to quit is greatest when the answer is about to come. God has many reasons for the delays we face in our faith life. Sometimes it is to prove that nothing and no one could meet the need but him. For Rahab, it was a time of testing. She had to continue to trust God. It was evident to her that if Israel could take the city, they would have done it by now. However, God was not finished.
Joshua 6:16-17 (NKJV) 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
I want you to notice something from the verse above. Joshua knew about Rahab. She had not been forgotten. It often seems that we have been forgotten by God when we must wait in faith. We have not! God remembered Rahab and he remembers you.
After the seventh circuit of the city all those in Jericho heard something terrifying. The trumpets that have been playing the whole time change their sound. Suddenly Jericho hears the trumpets play one long blast. This was followed by a loud shout from every member of the attacking force. After watching Israel march around the city thirteen times in silence, what must the defenders have thought when they heard these two piercing sounds.
In her house, Rahab and her family were watching intently. This must be the day. Yet how could any of this help Israel take the city? They soon found out. The ground began to shake as if there was an earthquake. The walls vibrated with a ferocity they could not understand. After a few moments the walls of Jericho, so thick a chariot could drive upon them began to crumble. Their defenses were stripped away from them and the city was open. Each Israelite soldier ran straight into the city, killing as he went.
What about Rahab and her family? I want to point out something. Rahab’s home was in the wall. It had to be, or she could not have lowered the spies from her window to escape the city. When the walls began to crumble, all natural reasoning said her house must fall as well. The only protection she had was a single scarlet rope.
Often the first thing that happens as our waiting ends is that things get worse. Even if they do not, we must keep our eyes on the promise of God. Most of the time we have no idea what God is going to do. We do not know how the promise will meet our need or keep us safe. We must continue to trust God, even if things around us crumble.
I can only imagine the terror they could have felt. The walls of the city are down. The bible does not tell us if Rahab’s house remained standing when the rest of the wall fell, but I do not see how she could have survived if it did not. The scarlet rope marked the house. That is how Israel knew where to find her. The soldiers are killing everyone until they come to her house. Will they kill her and her family as well? No! She has a covenant with the God of Israel. They come and take her and her family from the city. She and all with her are safe, just as God had promised.
I do not know what you face today. You may be stuck in a time of seemingly endless waiting for God to move on your behalf. You may be at the point where things are shaking all around you. You may be seeing bad things happening to others. Stay in the place of safety. Stay in the Word of the Covenant you have through Jesus. Continue to meet the conditions even though all the voices around you may be screaming that you will not survive. You will
The last thing we see about Rahab is that she appears in the Genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5.) What a great heritage Rahab gained by continuing in faith. You will see God bring about what you need today. Nevertheless, there is more to it than that. You will see God affect others by your faith. In the end, you will see God use you to bless many because you stayed faithful like faithful Rahab.