Jericho was a crucial city in the journey to the land of Canaan. It became the site of a beachhead battle to enter the Promised Land.
Joshua had been chosen to lead the charge to victory.
It is interesting to note that “Joshua” is the same as the name “Jesus.” Joshua is the Hebrew form, and Jesus is the Greek form. The name Joshua means “Yahweh saves or delivers.
Joshua told two spies to go view the land, especially Jericho, so “they went, and came into a harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there” (Joshua 2:1).
The spies seemed to dress a little differently and talked to each other in low tones with a foreign accent. Evidently, some other customers recognized them as Israelites and made a beeline to warn the king.
Notice, the devil knows when God’s messengers are invading his domain.
When the two spies came through, Rahab believed it was a divine opportunity, and she began to demonstrate her faith by action. She was ready to lay her life on the line.
When she received the messengers from Joshua into her house, she was taking a tremendous risk.
When Rahab realized that her king intended to harm the spies, she found a perfect hiding place for them. “She had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof” (Joshua 2:6).
These two Israelites had to trust their deliverance to a pagan prostitute who believed in their God. The Lord often uses humble instruments to do great things.
Rahab lowered a red rope out the window, a scarlet cord, from which the men would safely descend from the high roof to the ground outside the city.
Unless the red rope was hanging from her window when the Israelites returned to conqueror the city, no one in her house would be saved.
The rope by which she delivered the messengers would be the same rope that delivered Rahab and her loved ones.
Joshua and his troops marched around Jericho 13 times. Then they blew the trumpets, shouted, and the walls fell down flat.
It was crucial to be in Rahab’s house with the red rope in the window when the walls came down.
We need faith for today and tomorrow.
Do you sometimes get discouraged and fainthearted?
When we lose heart, we lose the battle. But as Believers, our faith not only gets us to heaven, but also helps us get through each day on this earth.
We must not give up on God, no matter how bleak the circumstances may look.
“You belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Hang on, have faith and enjoy the ride!
Back in 1937 the Germans made an enormous airship called the Hindenburg. It was 804 feet long!
One time they were getting ready to launch it, and they had about 100 men on the ground hanging onto ropes, trying to maneuver the Hindenburg into its hanger.
They don’t know exactly what happened, but suddenly this enormous airship rose up with tremendous force.
As soon as it started shooting up, some of the men let go of the ropes, dropped to the ground, and didn’t get hurt.
Others waited until they were 50 or more feet off the ground before they let go, and when they fell they broke their ankles and legs.
A few others panicked and instinctively tightened their grip. They kept going up with the balloon until soon they couldn’t hang on any more, let go, and fell to their deaths.
Soon the Hindenburg began to hover and drift with the breeze several hundred feet up.
One man remained. The people on the ground wondered how long he could last. They chased the airship for about three hours, and it eventually lost altitude until the man was able to let go and walk away.
The stunned onlookers asked. “How did you hang on for so long?”
He said; “Once the blimp took off, I tightened my grip. Eventually I realized that I couldn’t hold on forever. So I held on with one arm while I took my free arm and wrapped the remaining rope around my waste and tied a basic knot. For the last three hours I was just hanging up there, trusting the rope, and enjoying the view!”
Rahab’s red rope is ultimately a symbol of faith. We must tie a knot in the promises of God and hang on.
Don’t let your ideals squelch God’s ideas.
If the Lord wants to provide a way of escape through a window, instead of a door, there must be a reason.
Had the spies taken the obvious route they could have been captured.
Further, a rope hanging from an interior door would have never signaled Rahab’s location to those attacking from the outside.
We need to be careful that we don’t put God’s means of provision in a box.
He is the provider. How he provides is according to His plans and purpose. We simply need to be prepared to act in faith and not be too picky about how the promises are fulfilled.
Inspired by the book of Joshua. Adapted with excerpts from AmazingFacts.org
The walls and worries are falling in all around you?
Habakkuk can relate.
Habakkuk had a beef with God and he used a formal complaint to make his case.
Habakkuk didn’t just have a funny name, he was a prophet and considered to be a man of great literary talent. Said another way, he was articulate and had the ability to drive his point home.
Habakkuk was worn out with all the bad guys winning. He was fed up with injustice. The crooks, manipulators, deceivers, robbers, extortionist, liars, cheats and fakes all had the high ground and he hated it!
Perhaps you share in Habakkuk’s sentiments, “Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they succeed in their heartless conquest? Will you wink at their treachery? Justice has become perverted!”
Yes! Tell it like it is Habakkuk! Don’t hold back. Expose the passive aggressive, back stabbing, smiling, self serving, betrayers of friendship and trust! Hang them by their toes!
It is notable that God doesn’t disagree or even make light of the complaint. What he does do is ask Habakkuk to hang tight.
The Lord affirms that the complaint is warranted. They are deeply guilty. What has happened in the dark will be revealed by the light. Sneaks can’t hide forever. They rely on their own strength and it won’t last. Their day is coming.
God assures Habakkuk that he is on it. That he is orchestrating things that Habakkuk wouldn’t believe even if someone revealed the plan. It may seem slow in coming, but be patient, it is about to get real!
Sorrow awaits those who build big houses with money gained through dishonesty, corruption and extortion. Those who do, will be exposed and disgraced. Their glory will turn to shame! They may appear as tall oaks , but they will be cut down!
The Lord encourages Habakkuk to take a good look around. To recognize what God is doing, remember and to rejoice in what God is about to do!
Habakkuk calms down, takes a breath and re-centers his faith.
He respectfully reiterates that there is deep need, yet, he will recognize, remember and rejoice even though circumstances don’t currently give cause for celebration.
His response sounds like the lyrics of a good country song as he indicates that the blooms have withered, the grapes have disappeared, the crops have failed, the fields are empty the flocks have died and the barns are empty, nonetheless we will rejoice and be joyful.
How is Habakkuk’s attitude possible even when things look so rough?
Habakkuk laid it out for us.
When things are bad and you have been betrayed, abused and used, wait quietly, be patient, take a look around, recognize, remember and rejoice knowing that the God you serve is at work, he is just and he never wastes pain or suffering. And never ever forget that the Lord is your strength!
We can count on the Lord even when we can’t count on ourselves or others.
Hard times, troubles and injustices are certain to come. When they do, like Habakkuk, we need to pause, take a look around and rest assured that God’s got this. He is doing something we won’t believe even if someone told us what he was up to.
Even though, we don’t know, we must trust him.
He is working ALL things together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose!
It may seem slow in coming, but it will surely take place.
(Inspired by the book of Habakkuk and Romans 8:28)
A lack of blessing is not a sign of disapproval any more than prosperity is a sign of approval.
It rains on the just and unjust alike.
The secret is to trust the Lord regardless of the circumstances.
Be careful not to equate God’s love, acceptance and blessing with ease, comfort and abundance.
There is no guarantee of comfort in a calling.
God is often more evident during challenging times than times of ease.
Don’t allow the blessings you observe in the lives of others to cause you to doubt your value, calling or obedience to God.
He often calls the strongest to the hardest assignments. If it were easy, anyone could do it.
You were hand picked to demonstrate what your daddy can do through a kid committed to his training program.
Stay the course.
His coaching is to be desired more than applause from the crowd.
Seek the blesser not the blessing. His presence not the present.
Enjoy the good times. Cherish the blessings. Express gratitude for abundance and prosperity but also recognize hard times bring refinement, experience and strength.
Be careful not to associate challenging times, rejection, setbacks or a lack of blessing with his absence. He is more present now than ever!
God works all things together for good. We do well not to limit the means by which he nurtures, grows and matures his kids.
He is more interested in building our character, developing our trust and deepening our dependence on him than calming the waters, softening our seats and lifting our loads.
He desires to make us stronger, more confident and more like him. Such is often accomplished through adversity, struggle and hard work.
Take heart. He is with you and will see you through.
What a blessing!
(Inspired by Habakkuk 3:2,17,18 and Matthew 5:45)
“I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by.”Habakkuk 3:2
“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18
“… he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Matthew 5:45
A great day is one that is healthy, wealthy, happy, peaceful, fun and without concern.
A good day is making it through another 24 hours without setbacks, put downs or threats.
A poor day is surviving but not without having to overcome a few nags and drags, being a bit discouraged or even somewhat depressed with it all.
A bad day includes feeling hopeless, desperate, sad, mad, hurt, pain, suffering, defeat or incurring a significant loss.
If I have learned anything, it is to cherish the great days, appreciate the good days, learn from the poor days and remember the better days when things are bad.
It never hurts to count my blessings. It always seems to make things better, no matter what type of day it is.
Whenever I find something to be grateful for, it is not always easy, but it is usually there somewhere, things seem a little bit brighter and better. An attitude of gratitude helps me navigate the platitudes.
Everyday is better when faced with a loyal, caring, fun and listening friend.
Life is meant to be shared, no matter what kind of day it is.
Do you ever feel like you took a wrong turn in the right direction?
Initially, you regret the path you have chosen but ultimately you realize the redirection was protection that led to deep satisfaction.
Life can throw us a lot of curve balls but when we lean in and swing through, the grand slam lands in the stands.
The children of Israel had just left the field of victory and found themselves wondering what was next.
They soon realized they were under attack and were facing one remaining giant that needed to be slayed.
Their formidable foe, King Og, slept in a 13 foot long iron bed. He lived in a fortified city complete with high walls and barred gates.
Talk about obstacles to overcome.A little overwhelming?
What is the likelihood of taking over a giant’s kingdom? Not very likely unless you are confident your wrong turn was actually directed by the Lord.
The instructions were clear:
Don’t be afraid
Remember, victory is yours.
All righty! Here goes!
Not a single town escaped their conquest. Victory was theirs. They were more than survivors, they were conquerors.
Have you made any wrong turns lately? Worried you might be on the wrong path?
Here is the good news. You can get there from here.
Yup, wherever you are, wherever you have been and no matter what you have done, you have a God that can take your wrong turns and make them right.
You may have lost a job or a limb. Life may have slapped you in the face with yet another setback, but be not dismayed or discouraged. You may not get out of jail anytime soon, but your cell can become a platform for good.
You are still in the game. There is a purpose for the days that remain. Hang in there, hold on, push through and look for your life to be used in ways you may not have chosen or ever imagined.
When you wonder what is next, don’t be afraid, feel defeated or be overwhelmed by the giant that lingers.
Remember, you are a survivor. You are a conqueror! You may be beat up, bruised, broken and bottomed out but you are still standing!
Don’t write yourself off yet! Your life matters. Your life has purpose beyond your current circumstances.