God had a strange plan for the battle of Jericho. He told Joshua to have the armed men march around the city once each day, for six days. The priests were to carry the ark, blowing trumpets, but the soldiers were to keep silent.
On the seventh day, the assembly marched around the walls of Jericho seven times. Joshua told them that by God’s order, every living thing in the city must be destroyed, except Rahab and her family. All articles of silver, gold, bronze and iron were to go into the Lord’s treasury.
At Joshua’s command, the men gave a great shout, and Jericho’s walls fell down flat! The Israelite army rushed in and conquered the city. Only Rahab and her family were spared.
Rahab is one of those unexpected characters in the Bible. She ran an inn, where she hid the spies that Joshua had secretly sent to scout out the fortified city of Jericho. When the king of Jericho learned the men had been to Rahab’s house, he sent orders for her to turn them over. She lied to the king’s soldiers concerning the whereabouts of the spies, and sent them off in the opposite direction.
When the invincible city of Jericho did fall, Joshua gave orders to rescue Rahab and all in her house. She and her family were adopted by the Israelites and stayed with them.
Rahab eventually had a son called Boaz, who had a son called David. David became the King of Israel and it is from this family line that the Messiah, Jesus, was born.
As I contemplate the implications of this story in my life, I am struck by the illogical and ridiculous nature of God’s instruction to Joshua. And yet Joshua carried out God’s instructions faithfully and completely. There is no doubt that Joshua was able to draw on his past experience of the way God worked, as he remembered the impossible deeds that God had accomplished through Moses.
But I wonder if he had any idea about what God was wanting to accomplish through Rahab? She was not the first and she would not be the last broken person, who would be used by God to accomplish His purposes.