Day 2

Joshua Sends Spies to Jericho

from the Joshua reading plan


Joshua 2:1-24, Joshua 3:1-17, Numbers 13:25-33, Hebrews 11:31

Recently I spent a few days in New York City. Having previously lived in Chicago, I smugly assumed I had the whole rush hour public transit situation completely under control.

That was, of course, until I found myself heading up a staircase out of the subway, completely against the flow of pedestrian traffic. I have never felt more like a fish trying to swim upstream. I had to carefully shoulder my way through the crowd to the top of the stairs and back to street level. Thankfully, other than my pride getting a little scuffed up, I didn’t sustain any injuries.

I’m still not sure if I made a mistake and went up the wrong stairwell or if I was just reverse-commuting across town at the wrong time of day. Either way, one thing is certain: I was definitely struggling to move against the predominant flow of everyone around me.

Moving against the flow is a difficult task. It takes faith to trust that you’re moving in the right direction, and it takes courage to sustain the course. I’m not so certain that my subway predicament was the result of a faithful or courageous spirit, but I am convinced that Rahab was able to stay the course because of her belief in the God of Israel and her courage to finish what she started.

Rahab risked much by harboring the spies. She risked her comforts and possessions, her life and the lives of her family. If any of the leaders in Jericho had learned of her actions, she most likely would have faced a punishment worse than death. To say that treason was frowned upon is putting it lightly.

But Rahab had heard of the great deeds of the LORD and she knew He was the only true God. To follow Him, to honor Him, and to trust Him was to risk much. She was swimming against the flow of what her neighbors and friends would have thought sensible and right. She knew that her national allegiances needed to take a back seat to what was fitting in the eyes of the only true God, but she had to risk everything to link arms with His people.

Have you ever had to make a hard or unpopular decision? Maybe it was amongst friends, or perhaps it was at work. Have you ever been challenged to move against the predominant way of thinking or acting? Maybe God is calling you to make a stand, take a risk, or love in a vulnerable way.

Following God doesn’t mean we spend our whole lives protesting culture. Sometimes, like Rahab, we just have to make quiet but resolute decisions to move in a different direction. Rahab didn’t start picketing Jericho. Rather, she bravely and faithfully followed God.

Not every season requires us to swim aggressively upstream, but some do. If this is one of those seasons, lean on God in faith. He will supply the courage and provision that you need. If you leap out in faith like Rahab did, you might just be surprised by the wonders He works through you.

Written By Andrew Stoddard

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "Joshua Sends Spies to Jericho"

  1. Nathan Dodd says:

    God is mighty. God is able to change surroundings. When Gods will is to go a certain direction, towards a promise, he will make a way.
    I ought to trust Jesus in all areas of my life to be the strength He says He is.

    Trust and obey
    For there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus
    But to trust and obey

  2. Tim says:

    I’m challenged today to be radically different from the culture surrounding me. “Always dragging you down to its lowest level of immaturity.” As romans puts it.
    I don’t risk death or losing anything… just a bit of face maybe.
    In my battles I also need to scout out my enemy, who is ready to devour. I need to avoid putting myself in situations where I could be tripped up or unnecessarily tempted.
    Most of all i need to have faith that His way is better.

  3. Dalton Forman says:

    I am in the midst of a busy local coffee shop with my music, and Mac, and a journal. It is almost too easy to ignore Gods presence and just go about “my business” but I want to make sure I stop amongst the flow and stand for Jesus. I think that too often I just go with the flow, trying not to make a splash or get attention for my faith. I cannot sit and stand idly by though as I see the burning of this world around me. I struggle knowing what to do. Praying isn’t enough, reading the Word isn’t enough, I must do more…but what?
    Joshua risked, Rahab risked, the spies risked… I must risk!

  4. Joshua Wade says:

    This point in my life seems to be nothing but swimming upstream against the current. For the past few years I’ve just been going with the flow, blending in and not bothering to even try to honor God. I felt for the longest time like I was in the belly of the fish. However, God has drawn me back to himself and I am so thankful for his never ending grace in my life. Even though I am still fighting uphill battles I am doing it with a smile on my face and joy in my heart because I know that I am finally moving the way that God wants me to.

    God, help me to live up to the legacy of joshua, help me to trust you through the valleys and through the mountaintops.

  5. Wes Weber says:

    They had all heard of the power of Israel’s God. Only Rahab responded in faith. We must remain submitted to God’s power and authority.

    God had given Israel the land, but they had to go in and take it. What has God given me that I haven’t fought for and claimed?

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