Today I choose joy because of perspective and the fact that I got to share it my colleagues at work today during our devotions. Here’s a snipit, well it’s kind of a lot, of what I shared :-)

If you have your Bible, let’s turn to Joshua 2. We might remember, Joshua has sent two spies to check out the landscape ahead of them, in particular Jericho so they could take their promised land. 

They have come into Jericho and the king has found out. Rahab, the prostitute is hiding them and has just lied to the king’s officials about hiding the men and this is where we start in verse 8. 

8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to 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. 10 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.  11 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. 12 Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death.”

 14 “Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land.”

I  want to take a look at the courage of Rahab. If we put ourselves in her place we need to imagine this massive city that is in terrible fear of this army of Israelites. They’ve heard what they’ve done in the past and how their God has delivered them. If Rahab was fixed on her circumstances, on what she could see in front of her, I wonder if she would have been so bold. Technically these men could have taken her out, she put her life on the line simply by bringing them into her home. She was sandwiched between death if you will, she could get caught by her king’s officials, and she’s technically the enemy of these spies as well.

But she saw beyond the physical presence of the Israelites and believed they served a mighty God. She even had the nerve to believe she could be spared from His wrath. I think that’s pretty incredible. Again, these spies could have killed her.

She made a decision that day to change the trajectory of an entire generation by stepping out in faith because of a God she feared but did not know.

Turn to Joshua 6:22-25

22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.

 24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

Now turn to Matthew 1:5-6

5Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
         Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
         Obed the father of Jesse,
       6and Jesse the father of King David.

Holy cow!! She made one decision to believe in the power of a God she didn’t even know, could not see and had only HEARD of His miracles―she didn’t even witness the miracles!

Because of this, Rahab was brought into the lineage of God’s chosen people, married one of them and raised Boaz, the kinsman redeemer. I think it’s probably safe to say that when Rahab made the decision to hide the Israelite spies and lie to the king’s officials, risk her neck to save her family, she wasn’t thinking she’d end up marrying into the chosen family let alone have children. And I’m sure she had no idea she’d be in the line of the Messiah, heck she probably didn’t even know there was a coming Savior. But that’s the story God had for her. She may or may not have realized she was fighting for a generation, but the fact of the matter is that she was.

This is incredible to me! And this is what the Lord has been reminding me of. No matter what I see in front of me, I am fighting for the next generation. It’s not about me in the sense of what I see in front of me. His word is true when it says:

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

We may never know this side of heaven how God has used us in His mighty plan, but we can be confident that He is!