Daily Devotionals

Campfire Stories: Week 7 - Friday

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. Hebrews 11:31

Rahab is such an interesting Bible character to study. This woman with a sordid past quickly became someone of great faith. Her story teaches us that courageous faith involves getting rid of idols.

To the Israelites, Rahab was a foreigner. She did not worship the God of Israel. Instead, her people created false gods to worship. They made what we call idols, or statues, out of silver, gold, stone, or whatever else they could think of to represent these false gods. Joshua was the leader of the Israelites at this time, and he was leading the nation of Israel out of Egypt into a land that God promised them. He was hoping to take over the city of Jericho for the Israelites. Because of this, one day, he sent spies to assess the situation in Jericho to see if and how the Israelites could overtake the land. The news that there were two Israelite spies in Jericho traveled quickly. It also became known throughout Jericho that the spies had been to Rahab's house. The king's men went over to Rahab's house to find these Israelite spies. At this point, Rahab had two options: she could take the king's men to the spies who were hidden on her roof or she could risk her life by lying to the king's men and tell them that the spies had already left her house. In an act of courageous faith, Rahab told the king's men that the spies were no longer at her house and sent them away. When she went back to the spies, she acknowledged to them that their God, the God of Israel, was the true God. She promised to help them escape from Jericho if they would save her life and the lives of her family when they conquer Jericho. The spies agreed and made an oath with her to save her and her family.

Although she was likely fearful about her situation, Rahab demonstrated courageous faith. She risked her safety. If the king's men discovered that she lied to them, she likely would have been in serious trouble. She gave up all of the false god's that she worshiped, thus forsaking her own culture, her family and her people, in order to follow God. I am amazed by her faith. To risk one's life and forsake one's own culture and false gods is not easy. Although Rahab gave up much, she also gained everything. She gained life and salvation. God blessed her immensely for her faith. Because of her faith, she is included in the genealogy of Jesus. She forsook her idols for the one true God and was richly rewarded for her faith. Rahab is a reminder for all of us to courageously forsake the idols in our lives, however risky or lonely it may feel, for the one true God.

Moving Toward Action

What about you? Are there any idols in your life that are hindering you from living courageously? Is there a hobby that is taking precedence over your relationship with God? Perhaps social media and the number of followers you have has become an obsession in your life. Perhaps the opinion of others has become more valuable to you than God's opinion. Whatever your idols may be, write them down in your notes below. Choose today to let go of any idols in your life. It may feel lonely. It may be painful. It may feel costly. Do it anyway. In your notes, write down one step you can take this week to let go of the idols in your life. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it. You will find life in Him.

Going Deeper

Read Joshua 2:1-21 (NLT)

Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.

But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.” So the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab: “Bring out the men who have come into your house, for they have come here to spy out the whole land.”

Rahab had hidden the two men, but she replied, “Yes, the men were here earlier, but I didn’t know where they were from. They left the town at dusk, as the gates were about to close. I don’t know where they went. If you hurry, you can probably catch up with them.” (Actually, she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them beneath bundles of flax she had laid out.) So the king’s men went looking for the spies along the road leading to the shallow crossings of the Jordan River. And as soon as the king’s men had left, the gate of Jericho was shut.

Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them. “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

“Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.”

“We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window. “Escape to the hill country,” she told them. “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you. Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.”

Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house. If they go out into the street and are killed, it will not be our fault. But if anyone lays a hand on people inside this house, we will accept the responsibility for their death. If you betray us, however, we are not bound by this oath in any way.”

“I accept your terms,” she replied. And she sent them on their way, leaving the scarlet rope hanging from the window.