Theme: God is for you
Bible Verse- Romans 8:31- “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a spy—to go into enemy territory and find out information for your country? Today I am pretending to be a man we read about in Joshua 1-2. The Bible doesn’t tell us his name, but he is given a very dangerous mission.
I like action. But when my friend and I received the message that Joshua wanted to see us, I wasn’t prepared for THAT much action.
“I need two spies,” Joshua said, “to go into the land and see what we’re up against. Are you willing?”
I knew it was risky. We were camped at Acacia Grove on this side of the Jordan River. On the other side was the Promised Land God was giving to us. The trouble is, the Canaanites already lived there. These were evil people who didn’t believe in the one true God; people who wouldn’t just give us their land.
So we would have to fight for it.
Joshua said, “See how high the walls of Jericho are. Find out their weak places. Can you do it?”
We would be going right into enemy territory. Alone. With no back-up.
“We’ll do it,” we said.
“Don’t be afraid,” Joshua said, “for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
That’s right. We wouldn’t be going alone. God would be with us.
We left immediately.
After crossing the Jordan River, it didn’t take long to reach the walled city of Jericho.
I stopped and stared. I had never seen a wall so high.
There was no way we could get over this wall. We didn’t have the right equipment. Our weapons were not strong enough. It was impossible.
Joshua would not want to hear this.
The gates were open now. We blended into the crowd and walked right in.
I noticed that the wall was about six feet thick. Six feet! How would we ever break through six feet of wall?
Joshua’s words echoed, Don’t be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
We couldn’t break through this wall, but God could… somehow.
Inside the city, it felt evil. Everywhere were Ashtaroth idols to the moon goddess. The streets bustled with people shouting and laughing, but they didn’t look happy. In fact, many looked downright mean.
They looked so different from the Israelites.
“We’re being watched,” my friend said.
Now I saw it too. The suspicious looks. The stares. The finger-pointing. I heard the word spies.
“What should we do?” my friend asked.
Up ahead was what looked like an inn. I pounded on the door.
The door was opened by a beautiful woman.
“We need a room. Quickly,” I said.
She looked at the gathering crowd and pulled us inside. “My name is Rahab. Who are you? You are not from here, are you?”
I shook my head.
“If I’m not mistaken,” Rahab said, “those people will go straight to the king and report that you are here. Follow me.”
She led us up the stairs to a flat rooftop. Her house had been built into the thick wall. We stood now overlooking the fertile valley. Across the Jordan River, the tents of my people spread as far as I could see.
“Hide under here.” She pointed to a large bundle of drying flax.
I had no idea why she would protect us, the enemy, but I crawled under the smelly, soggy reeds.
She rearranged the flax so we couldn’t be seen.
“Don’t move. Don’t make a sound,” she said. And then she left.
Rahab hurried down the stairs. She knew exactly who those men were. Israelite spies.
They were handsome, noble, kind, peaceful—different from the men who usually came here. They were men of God. They did not worship idols. And they wanted to take this land.
How did she know? Many travelers stayed at her place. They had told her stories of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, how God parted the Red Sea, and how God was giving them this Promised Land.
And she believed their God really would.
Which meant she was in danger. Now was her chance to save her own life.
Someone pounded on the door. She put on a brave face and opened it.
Outside were the police surrounded by a crowd.
She faked a smile. “Yes?”
“Bring out the men. They are spies trying to discover the best way to attack us,” they said.
It would do no good to deny it. Everyone had seen them enter. But she could at least send them down the wrong path.
“You’re right. They were here, but they left, and I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch them.”
The police ran off.
Rahab closed the door and locked it. She leaned against it with her eyes closed.
They believed her! But what if they hadn’t? What if they had searched the house and found those two spies? Her punishment would have been death for betraying her country.
Why was she willing to risk her life for these two strangers? Because she was curious about their God. Their God was powerful and could do amazing things. She wanted a God like that on her side.
She climbed the stairs to the roof. The pile of flax was perfectly still.
She lifted it. “You’re safe. You can come out now.”
The two men crawled out, looking rather damp and miserable.
“I know your God is going to give my country to you,” she said. “We are all terrified of you. Your God is the supreme God of heaven, not just any ordinary god. Now I beg you, please promise me that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families. This is only fair since I showed kindness to you.”
“We promise,” they said. “We will see to it that you and your family aren’t harmed.”
“Now we have to get you out of here before they come back,” she said.
She smiled. “There are advantages to having a house on the city wall.”
She pulled out a very long red cord. She tied it to a hook and dropped the other end over the wall.
“Climb down,” she said, “but don’t go back home right away. They will be searching for you. Instead, hide in the mountains for three days.”
“Leave this scarlet cord hanging from your window,” the men said, “so we will know which house is yours. You must have all your family inside your house when we attack if you want to keep them safe.”
“All right,” she said.
Under cover of darkness, the men climbed down the scarlet cord and disappeared into the mountains for three days. When they returned to Joshua they reported, “The Lord has handed over the entire land to us. They are scared to death.”
So then what happened? How did the Israelites conquer Jericho with those mighty walls?
God did it. God performed a miracle. He had the Israelites march around the walls once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around it seven times with the priests blowing their rams’ horns. Then when they gave a long, loud blast, the people shouted, and God made the walls fall down, just like that.
The people of Israel poured into the city from every side and completely destroyed everything, just as God had commanded.
And what happened to Rahab? Was she saved as they had promised?
The two spies went back and rescued her and her family huddled in the only house left standing and took them back to the camp where they lived for the rest of their lives.
Rahab married a Jewish man named Salmon, and they had a son named Boaz who married Ruth (of the book of Ruth). Ruth had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse, the father of King David. And from the line of King David would come Jesus, the Savior of the world. So Rahab was one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ!
Rahab wanted to be on God’s side.
How could she?
By believing that God was the one true God.
By leaving her sinful, wicked lifestyle and choosing to live for God.
Do you want to be on God’s side too?
By believing that God is the one true God and that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for your sins.
By telling God you are sorry for the bad, sinful things you have done.
By inviting Jesus to come into your heart and take away your sins.
(Give an invitation.)
When you have God on your side, God is for you.
The Bible says in Romans 8:31- “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”
When you are for a friend, you want the best for that person. You help them and look out for them.
When God is for us, God is on our side. He is powerful and can do anything.
He helps us, takes care of us, and leads us on the path we should take.
Just like God helped the spies escape because of Rahab, and just like God saved Rahab’s life, God helps us too.
(Give an example of how God helped you.)
I learned that I could trust God to take care of me.
Sometimes He brings hard things into our lives so we can learn to trust Him, but He promises in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose.
God is for you.