Jericho: The Lord is in control
June 19, 2011 Sunday School Lesson
Often we hear about the providence of God, but what does this mean to us and what does it say about God?
One of the greatest scriptural reminders of the providence of God is given to us in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
God’s providence is not necessarily a reference to miraculous events. Providence is more about God’s provision and care for His people, and it is clearly seen in the second chapter of the book of Joshua.
As Joshua looked into the promised land, Jericho stood in the way. Before launching an assault on Jericho, Joshua wanted as much information as he could gather, so two spies were sent into the city.
As spies customarily do, the two men tried to fit in with the people of Jericho, and they ended up in the house of a prostitute, Rahab.
Perhaps the spies might have expected Rahab’s patrons to be more discreet than people elsewhere, but the greatest advantage seems to have been the fact that Rahab’s house was built into Jericho’s wall. A spy needs, if possible, to have a means of quick escape.
Rahab proved to be a good find for the spies, but word quickly leaked out that they were in town, and she was asked where they could be found.
Rahab, hid the men and told the king that, indeed, there were two strangers, but they had slipped out of the city under cover of darkness. If the king’s men pursued the strangers, Rahab said, surely they would overtake them.
In the meantime, Rahab went back to the spies whom she had hidden on her roof. She said she knew the Lord had already given them the land, and everyone was terrified of the Jews because they knew what God had already done for them.
Rahab made a deal with the spies. In exchange for the help she gave them, Rahab wanted them to assure her that they would spare her and her family when they attacked Jericho. A scarlet cord would hang from her window on the wall as a sign to the Jews that they should bring no harm to that household.
The spies agreed to the terms, and returned to Joshua, giving him the information he needed, telling him the people were horrified that God’s chosen people were approaching.
God’s providence becomes evident when we understand Rahab, a woman of low social status, was used to help His people in this instance, and God even moved her into the family tree of the Messiah.
- The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. email@example.com