Rahab

To understand a story fully we need to hear different perspectives from different people.

I witnessed this with fights in the school playground; friends working for the police or social services see this in court; we’ve remembered it this week with Harry and Meghan…  

Musing on Joshua 2…

Joshua is the new Israelite leader. Moses has died and the nation are camped at Shittim. (Childish snigger!) Joshua has been in conversation with his God. He’s been waiting to enter the ‘Promised Land’ for 40 years.

He sends two men to spy out the land – especially Jericho.

Two spies set out. Entering Jericho they stay with Rahab. Men appear looking for them so they hide – on the roof of Rahab’s house underneath flax stalks.

Eventually it’s safe to come out. Rahab tells the spies that the locals are afraid of Israel’s God. The spies promise Rahab protection when they return with their army. They escape, hide for three days, and return to Joshua.

Rahab is the town prostitute. She has a reputation, a family and apparently no husband. Strangers – spies – arrive and ask to stay. Perhaps she thinks she’ll get some business.

Men from the town arrive demanding information about the spies. She hides them, lies about them, and sends the men off in the wrong direction.

She admits to believing in the God of the Israelites and helps the spies escape. Eventually she’s protected when Israel takes Jericho…

Two more characters…

God is active and working, speaking to Joshua, protecting the spies, choosing a prostitute as the main character in this ancient narrative. He makes Israelites brave but Jericho folks frightened…

Me… I remember not to pre-judge people. The prostitute is held up as an example of kindness and faith…

From my faith perspective, where religion likes the pure and predictable. I reflect on a God who works in unpredictable ways through prostitutes and lies…

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