Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there. …And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.”
(Rahab hid the men) …Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. …When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when theLord gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” Joshua 2:1-14 (Only selected portions of narrative are included here, please read vv. 1-14)
Land represents life; from it man’s existence is sustained. The Israelites knew that Canaan was their promised land through their father Abraham. The fame of Abraham and His God was widely known. It was no secret that the Hebrews were camped in the wilderness, ready to enter the land. Note Rahab’s words: “I know that the Lord has given you the land – we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”
The world knows about Jesus Christ. They don’t want to confess He is King of kings and Lord of lords. They want to live for self. God shows us, even through nature, that He is owner of everything. He owned Canaan and was giving it to the Israelites. Many, like the Canaanites, know about God but refuse to believe and trust Him. Notice the declaration of faith by Rahab: “I know that the Lord … He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”
God was not bent on destroying the inhabitants to obtain glory for Himself and He does not take pleasure in the death of those who refuse to obey and serve Him. His love for mankind should motivate us to give back to Him what is rightfully owned by Him: our life. He then, in return, gives us life.
Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea. No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you. Deuteronomy 11:24-25