Joshua 2:8-12 Before the spies lay down for the night, [Rahab] went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given this land to you 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. 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. When we heard of it, our hearts sank and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. 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 …”
Why did Rahab the prostitute decide to betray her own community and commit her future and the future of her whole family into the hands of the two Israelite spies who had come to her house? It was because of the compelling evidence of the reputation of their God, whom she even referred to by his Covenant Name, the LORD (Yahweh)!
The inhabitants of Jericho were justifiably apprehensive about the 2 million refugees on their doorstep. It was common knowledge that the LORD had rescued them from slavery in Egypt, had miraculously brought them through the Red Sea on dry ground, and had protected them from powerful, aggressive kings in their journey through the desert (10). It was clearly a no-brainer for Rahab to assess her options!
The ‘sure sign’ the spies gave her was a scarlet cord to hang from her window in the wall (18), and the only place of refuge for her family would be her house in the wall where the scarlet cord was hanging (18-19). This is a picture here of God’s universal Plan of Salvation.
Jesus’ miracles during his ministry on earth are compelling evidence of who he is as “God in heaven above and on the earth below”. He himself pleaded with his doubters: “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves” (John 14:11). The scarlet blood he shed on the cross is a ‘sure sign’ of his power to protect all who come to take refuge in him. “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee” (Toplady). His resurrection from the dead is the ultimate miracle, the ultimate evidence, the ultimate God-given ‘sign’ by which all men will be judged. “For [God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
We might wonder why so few people consider the evidence and believe!
– Bruce Christian