IN GOD’S SECRET SERVICE! (Joshua 2)

1. The end of the road came for Moses when he reached the plains of the river Jordan.
2. He knew that his time had come. He had already given his last words and blessings to the twelve tribes of Israel and “Joshua, the son of Nun was filled with the Spirit of wisdom when Moses had prayed over him, for the Lord to anoint him as the new leader over God’s people.”
3. Now Moses stood alone atop the windy heights of Mount Nebo overlooking the plains where the Lord “showed him the whole land across Jordan, saying, ‘This is the Land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that I would give to thy seed. Behold, I have let thee see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not cross over unto it’.” (Deut.34:1-10)
4. And Moses died up there in a nearby valley with only the Lord by him, and he went on to his Heavenly reward.
5. Meanwhile, down below in the plains, the Lord Himself told Joshua, “Moses thy servant is dead. Now then arise, go over Jordan, thou, and they people, unto the Land of Promise.” And the Lord promised Joshua, saying, “Every place that the sole of thy foot shall tread upon, that shall I give unto you, as I promised Moses.”
6. The story of Joshua showed clearly that God is faithful to keep His promises. He had promised His people a homeland, and they were now entering to possess it, but it wasn’t all just handed to them with no effort on their part; God required of them that they actively engage in actual warfare in order to gain what He had given them. And when Israel did this the Lord was with them, helping them supernaturally and miraculously to overthrow one of the most wicked and perverse civilisations in History, that of the Canaanites–perpetual Sodomites!
7. After the news broke of Moses’ death, all Israel “wept for thirty days”. It was also a time of deep prayer and soul-searching not only for the people, but especially for Joshua who had to face the grave responsibilities of leadership which had been given him. Those first days without Moses to lean on and run to for strength and answers to his many questions, were days of learning, more than ever, that now Joshua would have to depend utterly and entirely upon the Lord alone for the help and guidance he so desperately needed.
8. But the Lord was with him, and He gave such wonderful Words of promise and encouragement to His new shepherd of the sheep, saying, “As I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee… Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither dismayed: For the Lord thy God is with thee wherever thou goest”. This was precisely the encouragement he needed. What a strength it was to know that he was not alone!
9. Before crossing over to Jericho, which stood on the other side of the Jordan in Canaan, Joshua wisely chose out of the ranks two of his most trustworthy men to go over and spy out the defenses of the great walled city of Jericho. Any information they could gather would be vital for planning their first conquest in Canaan.
10. The next day, the two scouts, dressed in clothing similar to those of Jericho’s citizenry, passed through the huge gates of the city and found an inn located along the city walls where they would lodge for the night. It was run by a woman named Rahab. She was a prostitute.
11. The two scouts talked with Rahab and found her to be a valuable source of information: However, their talk was suddenly interrupted by the clanging sounds of men in armour approaching the inn.
12. Unknown to the spies, someone had told the king that two Israelites had come in by night to search out the land. So the king was sending an order to Rahab for the men to appear before him.
13. “Follow me! Quickly!” whispered Rahab urgently. “You must hide in here. It’s the king’s guard!”
14. Then Rahab, regaining her composure, drew a deep breath and went to answer their banging at the door. With a coy smile she opened it, “Yes, whatever is the matter, Sirs? May I help you?” Rahab asked.
15. And the soldiers demanded, “Bring out the two men who came to you. They are Israelites, come to spy on our city to see how they might conquer it!”
16. But Rahab said convincingly, “There were two men here, Sir, a short while ago, but I didn’t know where they came from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate they left. But go now, and pursue them quickly. It may be that you will catch them!”
17. Believing her story and not sparing a moment to look any further, the soldiers rushed away out of the city on the road leading to the Jordan river in an attempt to overtake them.
18. With the soldiers gone, Rahab sighed with relief, but still trembling she went to tell the two men, “I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when you came out of Egypt; and of your exploits on the other side of Jordan. No wonder we are afraid of you! No one has any fight left in him after hearing things like that, for your God is the Supreme God of Heaven, not just an ordinary god!
19. “Now then,” she pleaded, “please swear to me by your God that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness unto you.”
20. And the men agreed: “If you won’t betray us, we’ll see to it that you and your family aren’t harmed,” they promised. “We’ll defend you with our lives.”
21. Then, since her house was on the city wall, she led them to her window and under cover of night she let them down by a scarlet rope which she had tied to the window bracing.
22. “Escape to the mountains,” she whispered. “Hide there for three days until the men who search for you have returned; then go your way”.
23. The men thanked her and spoke a last warning to her, “You must leave this scarlet cord tied to your window. And unless you and your family remain inside your house, we will not be responsible for what happens to you.”
24. So Rahab pulled the rope up, but left it tied to the window in clear sight to identify her lodging to the outside.
25. Finally the two spies made it safely across the Jordan, and with rejoicing they reported all that had happened to Joshua. “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands,” they said, “all the people are terrified because of us.”
26. What an encouraging report Joshua received from his two faithful men, who’d braved the dangers of Jericho in their close encounter with the enemy. Now Joshua knew that the time for marching had come. First, to cross the Jordan, then on to Jericho!
27. In his early days while he served under Moses, Joshua had proved his true worth as a leader of men. He’d not only been a faithful follower and an obedient and loyal officer, but also he’d been faithful himself as a messenger whom Moses could safely trust and depend on.
28. Full well Joshua knew the meaning of the proverb which says: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.” (Prov.25:19) He was so thankful that his two scouts had so bravely and faithfully accomplished their vital mission.
29. And so it is today, the need for trustworthy, loyal and faithful men is greater than ever!
30. God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands!
Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
Men who possess opinions and a will,
Men who love honour, men who do not lie.

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