God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23 - Joshua 1-4: Israel Crosses the Jordan, Rahab (a Non-Chosen Person) is Saved

Today’s Reading: Joshua 1-4

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Rahab's story shows the proof of God's word—the nations would marvel at how God protected Israel.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God told Israel to enter Canaan and charged them to be strong and courageous.
The Reubenites, Gadites, and Manassehites (who wanted the land east of the river) sent their armies across the Jordan. They expressed loyalty to Joshua.
Joshua sent two spies to Jericho. Rahab protected them. The entire city shook with fear from God's protection of the Israelites. Rahab's family would be saved because of her faith.
Joshua ordered the Ark of the Covenant be carried into the Jordan. The water stood upstream and Israel crossed on dry land. They removed 12 stones as a sign of God's works.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God renews The Promise with the new generation.

Finally, Israel is ready to fulfill part of God's promise to Abraham. So God reminds the people again of His protection.
All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you. Strength! Courage! (1:5-6, The Message)
God will protect His Chosen People when they make all things right on the earth.

The new generation wants to obey Joshua.

These people are very different than their previous generation. Moses had to argue, fight, and beg Israel to follow him. Joshua does not need to battle. They are willing and ready to go. God can make all things right when we follow the leaders God has chosen.

The story of Rahab is about how the people in Canaan feared God because He protected Israel.

Most English translations consider Rahab a harlot and thus make the story about an immoral woman who had faith in God. However, that is not the point at all. The main point of the story is her statement of faith,
I know that God has given you the land. We're all afraid. Everyone in the country feels hopeless. We heard how God dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you left Egypt, and what he did to the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you put under a holy curse and destroyed. We heard it and our hearts sank. We all had the wind knocked out of us. And all because of you, you and God, your God, God of the heavens above and God of the earth below. Now promise me by God. I showed you mercy; now show my family mercy. (2:9-12, The Message)
Rahab has greater faith in God than many of the Israelites! Rahab's profession was is immaterial to the story—and the reason it wasn't included in this text. God's protection of His Chosen People makes their enemies fear.

God protected Rahab because she protected His Chosen People.

Rahab and her entire family are saved from destruction because she was willing to set things right for God's Chosen People. She did this because of her faith. Yet she was not an Israelite and the spies did not tell her to obey the Torah (the laws section of the Pentateuch) to be saved. God will protect anyone willing to set things right on this earth.

Be strong and courageous!

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