Rehab and the Spies
Object: Show your faith.
I. Vs 1-7, Faith in Action
Israel was waiting three days (1:11) on the far side of the Jordan, yet they put their faith in action by sending spies across the river to prepare for the taking of Jericho. The spies take refuge in the home of a prostitute that is willing to lie. This may seem unlikely person to help the people of God, but God is sovereign: which is a theological word meaning He knows what He is doing. Rehab is beginning to exercise faith by providing hospitality and providing a way of escape for God's people being pursued by soldiers.
II. Vs 8-14, Confession of Faith
Rehab confesses God has given the land to Israel and more impressively, that Yahweh is God of the heavens above and earth below (Vs 2:9a and 11b). Rehab's admirable actions are not what saved her, but her confession of faith in God (11:31) was displayed in her admirable actions.
III. Vs 15-21, Sign of Faith
God continues to use Rehab as she helps the spies escape the clutch of the king of Jericho's men. Similar to the blood on the doorpost at the Passover (Exodus 12:12-13), the men give Rehab a sign that will allow her house to be exempt from the judgment of God's army coming in wrath on Jericho. By her placing the red rope Joshua's approaching army will be her household's savior, but also the judge for all those without the sign of faith. This is another example of Joshua being a type of Jesus, being the Savior for those that have freely received by faith His salvation, but being the judge of all others that have rejected grace.
IV. Vs 22-24, Testimony of Faith.
How many times I have heard testimonies and thought how wonderful that man or woman is. For the follower of Christ, our testimonies are not about us, but about God. As the spies escaped the house of the harlot, they took her advice to hide in the mountains. Upon coming back they reported to Joshua, "Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us." It is compelling that the testimony was not about their adventure, but about God.
Conclusion: Our God is sovereignly working to minister to give us victory in our walks of faith. He is sending out His people in faith like the spies and drawing people like Rehab to Himself. I want suggest we show our faith in our actions. In the verse after James speaks of the faith in action of Rehab, he reminds us, "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."