Pastoral Commentary for Joshua 1-2
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
After Moses death the Lord renewed His promise to Joshua and the people of Israel, that He would give them the Promised Land, and that no one would be able to stand in their way. He gave Joshua every reason for confidence with a strong promise: "Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you." God followed His promise with just as strong a command: "Be strong and courageous." God told Joshua not to turn from the Law of the Lord to the left or the right and he would have success. Joshua prepared God's people to cross the Jordan and take the land, reminding those tribes settling to the east of the Jordan that all of their fighting men must accompany the other tribes across the river and fight for them. Joshua then sent spies ahead to Jericho. They found refuge in the house of Rahab, a prostitute. She hid them from the King of Jericho, telling them that the fear of the Lord had fallen on all the people because of what God had done for Israel. She then asked the men to spare all of her family. After the men pledged to honor her request, she lowered them down on a rope through a window that was outside the city wall and told them how they could escape. The spies told Rahab to tie a scarlet (a color associated with prostitution to this day) cord in the window so that she and her family would be spared. The spies returned to Joshua and reported: "Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us." Rahab is one of only four women (three of whom were Gentiles including Rahab) named in the genealogy of our Lord in Matthew's Gospel. Because of her trust in the LORD and her kindness to the Israeli spies, she was counted among the ancestors of Jesus.