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Rahab the Harlot and Easter Faith: Day 2

…for it is with your heart that you believe and our justified.
Romans 10:10

I would imagine the spies hiding under the smelly bundles of flax on Rahab’s roof, were not resting easily at this point. Though they had been given a surprising reprieve, they were battle-hardened soldiers—probably some of Joshua’s best—and they knew that where real peoples’ lives are at stake for disobeying their real and barbarous king, such mercies as the kind Rahab had shown to them were few and far between.

But, before the spies went to sleep for the night, Rahab came to them in their rooftop hide and explained why she was protecting them.

I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites, east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below (Joshua 2:8-11).

Think of this: Israel, the chosen people, had been eyewitnesses to forty years of miracles and mercies from God. Yet, even as they prepared to enter the promised land, many carried with them the wood and stone idols of Egypt—grotesque little figures that had bumped around for 40 years in a hidden corner of a saddlebag—as back-up. Just in case Jehovah wasn’t up to the job (Joshua 24:14).

What is faith? For many it is the emotional back-up plan to be called upon when events have gotten out-of-control, for some it is a body of knowledge that informs their religious understanding. But for only a few it is the organizing principle of their lives. That is Easter faith. The faith of a pagan woman who had only heard rumors about a miracle-working God and who chose to risk her life on that possibility.

Nancy Shirah

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