Advance: God Prepares The Way
Then she (Rahab) let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. … She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
They departed… Then the two men… came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. They said to Joshua, “Surely the Lord has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.” Joshua 2:15-24 (Only selected portions of narrative are included here, please read vv. 15-24)
God was not only preparing a way for the Israelites to take the land; He was preparing a path of salvation to a harlot (prostitute) and her family by faith in God. A harlot’s house would have been a place for the young spies to avoid unwanted attention, a place where men shared their secrets and fears, and not closely guarded. The young men were there to spy out the land and its people, not to uncover her nakedness. It is remarkable these spies trusted Rahab unconditionally. They listened as she shared the terror of Canaan’s inhabitants and believed her, waited patiently while she sent the men seeking them away and trusted her words of advice on how to escape from the city.
The two spies told Joshua “everything” so we must assume v.24 is only a summary of what they said. The spies learned two important facts: God had been faithful to His promise, and the inhabitants of the land were totally demoralized. Joshua was now ready to take the next step to enter the land.
Rahab, by faith, immediately tied a scarlet cord in the window. Her faith in God is marked by her inclusion in the genealogy of David and Jesus. Rahab was the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, a Moabite, not a Hebrew.
Each of us will be judged by God and need a path of redemption. Only those who will place their faith and trust in the redeeming love and grace of God through Jesus Christ are brought into covenant relationship with God, just as Rahab and Ruth were grafted into the royal lineage of David and Jesus by their individual faith in God. God prepared the way through the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. See Genesis 22:9-14 and Isaiah 40:16-19. Faith and trust in God will prepare the way for us.