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Sermon Bible Commentary

Joshua 2

 

 

Verses 1-18

Joshua 2:1-18.

Spies are a part of the unhappy machinery of war. They are counted as necessary as the general, or as the boy who blows the bugle. It is with an army and in a war that Joshua is now to display Jehovah, and he must employ all the arts of the soldier. It would have gone hard with the two spies if they had not been so strangely housed. Rahab took her own life in her hands not to endanger theirs, She was artful, she was brave, she was noble, she was mean; she received them at her door in peace, she let them out at her window by stealth; she sent her own townsmen an idle chase by the river, and she sent the strangers in safety to the hills, just because she knew that the men were Israel's spies.

I. Rahab's words (Joshua 2:9-11) let us know the feelings with which the Canaanites regarded Israel in the wilderness. The fame and the fear of Israel's name had preceded the people like the wind travelling before a thunderstorm. It was a thing of mystery—a nation that fed from the night and drank from the stones; it was a phantom host that fought no one knew how. Still Jericho was determined to resist. It might be in vain, but its king would try his sword against this spiritual thing that called itself the people of Jehovah. There was a different spirit in one breast in Jericho, and it was the breast of a woman. As sailors have found a mere timber of a ship hopelessly but faithfully pointing to the northern star, so from amidst the fragments of what was once a woman's life, as they drifted in the dusk along the streets of Jericho, Rahab's heart was trembling away towards the star that should come out of Jacob and the sceptre that would rise out of Israel. There is a lesson for us here. Surely there is a Diviner duty for us than, like the wind, to chase the withered leaves of a blighted life along our streets, if only far enough from our church doors. Surely there is manlier work for men than to trample on the faded flowers of the forest.

II. Thus from an unlikely quarter we are taught of the power of faith. In the affray of war Rahab sat up there with her hope, trimmed to burning like a lamp, as unafraid as the man in the tower when the storm is round the lighthouse.

III. We have also explained to us the nature of faith. Rahab did not know what the word "faith" meant, but the thing itself was in her heart, and it found expression, not in words, but in works.

Thus it befell the spies at Jericho; and after three days in the mountains, they took their report to Joshua. He heard what they had to say, and in the night the tribes of Israel struck their tents, and in the dawn of the morning the tall grey cloud above the ark of Jehovah was feeling its way down to the fords of the Jordan.

Armstrong Black, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. i., p. 153.


References: Joshua 1:10-15.—Parker, vol. v., p. 61. Joshua 1:16, Joshua 1:18.—Ibid., p. 71. Joshua 2:11.—J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 385; Parker, vol. v., p. 273. Joshua 2:21.—J. M. Ashley, Church Sermons, vol. ii., p. 169; Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 109; W. Meller, Village Homilies, p. 54; Parker, vol. v., p. 80.



 


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Joshua 2:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/joshua-2.html.

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