Joshua 2:1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. ESV
Yesterday I shared with you some of the possible reasons the two spies ended up in the house of Rahab. They could have been looking for a night out on the town. They could have been there by accident. They could have gone to her house because it would make them as strangers look less conspicuous. They could have chosen her house because of its strategic location for a quick escape. Or, they could have been there because God knew that there was a woman living there who was ready to be saved.
The fact that God would be willing to save such a woman might surprise us. We might think that the ones God would choose to save would be someone like the king or one of his officials. Yet Jesus told the religious leaders of His day – “tax collectors and harlots shall enter the kingdom of God before you.” (see Mt 21:31)
Throughout His earthly ministry, we often find that the ones who were the most receptive to Christ’s ministry were not the religious, but rather the sinful. On one occasion Jesus was even called ‘a friend of publicans and sinners.’ (see Mt 11:19) What was it about the sinful that attracted Jesus?
We know that it wasn’t because He loved their sin. Though Jesus was called a friend of sinners, He did not associate with them in order to participate in their ways. No one was ever able to justly accuse Jesus of doing something that was wrong. As a matter of fact, Peter referred to Jesus as God’s ‘holy child.’ (see Acts 4:30) Why then did He associate with the sinful? It was because He loved, not their sin, but their souls.
God loved the soul of Rahab and it is most likely that He had been stirring in her soul for quite some time. Perhaps He had even been guiding her to pray for someone to show her how she could escape the kind of life she had been living. God answered her prayer when He miraculously caused two Jewish men to end up on her doorstep.
Many years ago I heard a story from a missionary who in a blinding snow storm in Canada was forced to quickly land his airplane. As he neared the ground he could see the faint light from a window in a cabin. Little did he know that inside that cabin was an elderly Eskimo woman who had been praying for decades for God to send someone to tell her the truth about eternal life. As the missionary began to converse with the woman, she told him of how a man had come to their village when she was a little girl and spoke to them about a God who loved them. But then the man left and the woman never learned who this special God was. All her life she had been searching for someone to tell her the rest of the story. Now, in the last days of her life, God had sent another man to finish the story. That night the missionary told her about Jesus and how she could be saved. Today that Eskimo woman is with the Lord in heaven.
As I think of my own salvation, I am amazed that God would care enough about a twelve year old boy to help him find salvation. I am even more amazed that He would use that same boy to one day become someone who could help others. Yet it has been said that sharing the gospel is just one beggar telling another where they found bread.