“Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his death will be his own fault, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his death will be our fault.” (Joshua 2:18-19, Christian Standard Bible)
“So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her.” (Joshua 6:23, CSB)
At last! After forty years of wilderness living, God said it was time for the children of Israel to move into the land He had promised them. As the people prepared themselves for the conquest of the land, Joshua, their leader, sent two spies into Jericho. The men took refuge in a place it seemed two strangers would less likely be noticed, the home Rahab, a prostitute. But still the king heard of their presence and sent men to Rahab’s house to find the spies. At great risk, Rahab hid the spies and lied to the king’s men.
A More Powerful God
What the king and his searchers did not realize was Rahab had become a believer in the Israelite’s God. She had heard the stories of the miraculous things their God had done and recognized His power. There was no question in her mind that the God of the Israelites was more powerful that the gods her people served. Unless she put herself under His protection, she knew her fate, and the fate of her family, was sealed. She bargained with the spies for all their lives. The spies agreed—with conditions.
- She must keep their plans secret.
- A scarlet cord must hang in the window.
- She and her family must remain inside the house.
We find many amazing things in this story—Rahab’s faith in a God her people did not serve, her passion to preserve her loved ones, and her place in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. She must have been an effective witness, for her family did indeed join her in her house to await deliverance from the destruction of their city. The instructions to remain in the house seem counterintuitive. Wouldn’t it be better to flee to a safe distance outside the city before it is destroyed? Or hide in a cave somewhere? But no— stay in the house. Yes, destruction is coming, but it is safe there.
What if a family member forgot an item at their house and decided to run back to retrieve it? Or perhaps one of her relatives thought it would be fun to go out for a while to watch those Israelites marching around the walls. Maybe someone wanted a last visit with friends. The warning was clear. If they lost their lives outside Rahab’s house, it would be their own fault. They stepped outside the place of safety.
A Place of Safety
The world around us is becoming a dark place filled with turmoil and wickedness. We hear the rumbles of battle forming and realize it is almost time for the Lord’s return. But until He arrives, we have shelter in a safe place—within His church. It is important that we stay “inside the house.” We are protected there. The enemy of our soul would love to draw us outside the church with promises we can partake of the world’s enticements for a while longer. Don’t listen!
Our God is more powerful than any gods of this world. He will protect us if we follow His instructions. Stay safe. Stay in the house!
Lord, as I see Bible prophecy being fulfilled on an almost daily basis, I realize You will be returning for Your church soon. This is not the time to grow careless in living for You. I must stay focused on things of the Spirit, not on things of this world. I am safe when I shelter in the church.