How a Whore and her Family Got Saved Down at the Whore’s House

Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #100

TEXT: Joshua 2:1-21

Jericho is one of the oldest inhabited cities of the ancient world. Even though it is located in one of the hottest climates in the region of Palestine, it is a wonderful oasis. It is known as the “city of palm trees.” Date palms, banana trees, sycamore trees, and henna trees populate the landscape. It is the type of place you would go to rest after a long, tiring journey.

However, despite all of its beauty, in the 15th century B.C., the city of Jericho was a very wicked place that was deserving of God’s judgment. In our passage today, we find that the children of Israel are getting ready to take possession of the Promised Land. And as part of that process, they have to conquer the nations that are already in the land. Their first stop along the way is the city of Jericho, and they are under strict commands from God to destroy it.

1. First of all, notice the sin of Jericho. Joshua 6:17 tells us that the city of Jericho “was accursed by God, even it, and all that are therein.” A divine “ban” — signified by the Hebrew word “herem” — was placed on the city and all that was in it. In the military terminology of that day, when a “ban” was placed on an enemy city that meant that nothing in the city was to be left alive. Everything was to be completely and utterly destroyed.

Why did God command such destruction to be carried out? The reason why is because of the extraordinary evil that went on in these pagan nations. The evil of these nations is well documented, not only in the Bible, but by historical and archaeological evidence as well. For hundreds of years, they had been burning their children alive and sacrificing them to false gods. They practiced witchcraft, sorcery, and necromancy. In Deuteronomy 18, God calls these things abominations. They were also known to practice sodomy, bestiality, and prostitution in the name of worship.

2. Secondly, notice the sin of Rahab. Joshua 2:1 says, “Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.” In the midst of this corrupt and sinful society we meet a woman named Rahab. The Bible tells us that Rahab had a house on the wall of Jericho. Many scholars believe that she also ran an inn, and thus, it was natural for the Israelite spies to stop at such a place so they could masquerade as travelers while they were on their spy mission.

Rahab, however, is most known for her occupation as a prostitute. She was also a liar. When the king of Jericho sent his men to demand that she tell them where the spies were, she said that they had come and gone without her knowing who they were, when in fact, she had hidden them on top of her roof. The Bible does not condone or excuse Rahab’s behaviour. It simply reports it.

3. Third, notice the salvation of Rahab and her family. After her confession of faith, Rahab tells the spies, “Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” Rahab realizes that the end of Jericho is at hand, and as any wise person will do, she tried to find a way to get out while she still could. She not only tries to find a way for herself, but for her entire family. Rahab may have been a sinner, but she was not stupid. She knew that judgment was coming, and did what she could to avoid it. She was not like the fool who sees the sign that says ‘the bridge is out’ but decides to go and see for himself and ends up drowning in the river.

The spies make a promise to Rahab. They say, “When we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.”

+ Plus, listen to Bishop Paul S. Morton singing “Walk On By Faith” and New Life Community Choir singing “We Walk By Faith”

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