At Jericho, God shows mercy. Meet Rahab.Listen Now
When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.Joshua 2:11
The city of Jericho was an evil city. Joshua and people of Israel had to face this powerful city as Israel’s first step into the promised land of Canaan. In this story, God chooses to show mercy to a sinful person who joins God’s people by faith.
1 TENT, ISRAEL CAMP The spies enter Joshua’s tent.
Joshua, you sent for us?
Yes, have a seat. As you know, we’re on the edge of the Promised Land that the Lord has led us to.
It’s been so long! Forty years in the desert-- but, finally, here we are.
It’s time for us to conquer our enemies and receive what the Lord has given us. We are to take the city of Jericho.
But...but, Joshua, Sir. Jericho--is very strong. The walls are as thicker than a man is tall.
And they stand as tall as ten men!
I’m aware of that. But we must be strong and courageous. The Lord has brought us this far. He will not abandon us now.
Our God is faithful. But what do you want from us?
I want the two of you to go spy out the land. Report back what you find.
We can spy...we’ve done it before. But where do we go once we get inside the walls? The Canaanites know we’re here. Thousands of people can’t be hidden. They’ll be vigilant watching for spies.
Yes, they’ll be suspicious of any outsiders.
I know. But I tell you again, be strong and courageous. The Lord will show you what to do.
2 OUTSIDE RAHAB’S DOOR - EARLY EVENING 2
A few townspeople in background. The spies look upon a home built into the wall surrounding the city.
Here? Are you sure?
I feel like God has directed us to this place. And it’s nearly time for them to shut the city gates.
But look at all the men coming and going. Surely, the woman who lives here is a prostitute.
If we join the men going in and out, maybe the townspeople won’t be as suspicious.
They already seem to be watching us closely. Have you noticed?
Yes, I have. (deep breath) Come on. Let’s go. Knocks on door. Beat. Door opens.
Ma’am, we need a place to stay tonight. We are travelers. From...afar.
Ah. I know who you are. (beat) My name is Rahab. Come in. I’ll get you something to eat.
OUTSIDE RAHAB’S DOOR - SHORT TIME LATER
Knocking on door. Rahab opens.
Can I help you?
I come as a messenger of the King. Are you Rahab?
The King has been informed that there are spies within the gates tonight. Some witnesses saw them enter your home. Do you know where they are?
Spies? People who want to attack Jericho?
Can you not hear them? Your home sits right on the wall. You can likely see their fires from your window. There is a huge camp of Israelites. (quieter, worried) It is said their God is going to give them our land.
Were two strangers here earlier?
Yes...yes. They were seeking a place to stay. I gave them food. They only stayed for a little while, and then left shortly before the gates were closed. (realizing, urgent) If you hurry, you could still catch them! They couldn’t have gone very far.
Yes. Thank you, madam. (calling to men) Men, hurry! To the fords of the Jordan. They’ve left the city!
Messenger and soldiers leave.
(calling after them) You must go as fast as you can!
She closes door. Climbs up ladder.
My Israelite friends, you are safe.
Spies uncover themselves from under bundles of flax.
We heard. (baffled) You hid us. You...you protected us.
Why would you do that?
Your reputation has come before you. And so has the reputation of your God. I know He has given you this land.
The Canaanites know who our people are?
Everyone is terrified of you. We’ve heard what your God can do. That he dried up the Red Sea so you could cross it.
And he helped you defeat the Amorites. Your God is everywhere. And He is powerful.
Now, because I have shown kindness to you, you must promise me you will do the same for me. And my family--my parents and siblings and their families. You must save us from being killed.
Our lives for your lives. If you keep our secret, we will protect you when the Lord gives us this land. But here...take this scarlet cord.
Hands it to her.
SPY 1 (CONT’D)
Hang it outside your window, down the wall. If you do not do this, you will be destroyed. And if your family is not here with you, they will be destroyed.
I will do as you say.
Rahab let down a rope from her window, and the spies climbed down outside the wall. They hid in the hills for three days, then reported back to Joshua all that they’d learned. Just a few days later, it was time for the Israelites to conquer Jericho. God told His people to march around the city for seven days. It seemed odd to those living in Jericho. What kind of battle was this?
Rahab watches out window. Stomping of feet outside as Israelites march. Rahab’s father approaches her.
Why do you have us all holed up in here, Rahab? It is ridiculous! Those people are marching around without any weapons. They can do nothing to get through these walls.
But today they keep marching! Each of the last six days they’ve marched around the city once. Today they have gone around seven times.
They’re crazy. And you’re crazy to keep this cord hanging there.
Father, Mother, I beg you. Remain in my house. I believe in this God. He will do as He says.
(relenting) We will wait. But it’s been seven days of them marching around like a bunch of fools, I don’t see--
Sound of trumpets.
What...what was that?
A loud shout from the Israelites. Stones start to fall.
Look...the gate! The rocks are starting to crumble.
How...how can this be?
More rocks start to crumble.
Screams and panic from others in house. “Oh, no!” “It’s all coming down.” “We’re doomed!”
Huge roar of walls crumbling down to rubble. More screams.
Father! Open your eyes! Our house still stands! We’re alive!
Sounds of relief from other family members.
How can this be?
Look! All around us the wall has completely collapsed!
(stunned) We are all that’s left.
Praise the God of Israel! The spies call up from below.
(calling, off) Rahab! Rahab, are you there?
I’m here, and my family with me!
We’ll come get you out.
But...but what is to become of us? Our people are gone!
You will join the Israelites.
But...I...I’ve done many things against the laws of your people.
But you also had faith in our God. Now you will be one of God’s people.
(teary) And He will be our God.
But that wasn’t the end of the story for Rahab. God not only saved her--he redeemed her life. Rahab married an Israelite named Salmon and had a son named Boaz. When Boaz was grown, he married a woman named Ruth, who gave birth to Obed. Obed’s son was Jesse ... and Jesse’s son was the great King
And generations later, the savior of the world was born of this lineage. Rahab, the woman who was a foreigner, a sinner, a citizen of Israel’s enemy, became a many-times- great- grandmother of Jesus himself.
If you would like to read more about Israel’s journey into Canaan, check out the book of Joshua. It’s in the Old Testament part of your Bible.
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