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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: ‘Shout for the Lord has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.’”—Joshua 6:16-19 (NKJV)
Imagine walking around the walled city of Jericho every day for six days . . . and then circling seven times on the seventh day! Thirteen circles were made around this dangerous, fortified city. God was intent on showing His power and gaining the full attention of the people in the city as well as the Israelites.
There are many lessons we can learn from this biblical account. First, God is a just judge and is divinely jealous. He commands us to have no other gods or idols before Him and to completely destroy those things that interfere or negatively affect our relationship with Him. The idols associated with the demonic and depraved worship had to go. The people of Jericho and all of Canaan were under divine judgment because they were in total rebellion against the Lord God and chose not to repent.
God commands us to stay clear of our former sins and not fall back into entertaining them. To hold onto sin after we have been forgiven and delivered leads us down a slippery slope into greater bondage and pain. Be devoted not to build on the things God had you destroy and renounce.
Secondly, God desires that all men be saved. Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV) tells us, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” The Lord is longsuffering and willingly to forgive men and women who choose to repent and turn to Him.
In taking the city, Joshua was commanded to destroy the unrepentant and wicked; yet, they were divinely led to save a prostitute and her whole family. When Joshua sent spies into Jericho, God led them to Rahab. She hid them and provided a way of escape. The spies promised that she and her family would be spared. Rahab’s salvation is an example of the great lengths and patience the Lord will go to deliver people from the effects and destruction of sin.
The salvation of this brave, obedient woman and her family reveals the beautiful heart of God’s mercy for mankind. Rahab, once a harlot, is honored in the New Testament for her stirring example of faith in God (Matthew 1:5; Hebrew 11:31). She was an ancestor of King David and is listed in the genealogy of Jesus.
Consider a moment how the Lord pursued you and worked to bring you to salvation. And because of His great salvation, you can be the catalyst to see your family members come to salvation like Rahab.
DIG: Like Jericho, the present ungodly world system is under the judgment of God. Is there any part of this world you are hanging on to?
DISCOVER: Consider how God has delivered you. Is your heart completely devoted to obeying the commands of the Lord?
DO: As Joshua was devoted to conquering Canaan, and as Rahab was devoted in faith to obeying, what is the Lord calling you to devote to for His glory?