Focal passage: Joshua 2:1-14
Perhaps you have heard the adage, “The same sun that melts wax hardens clay.” I thought about that statement as I read Joshua 2, considering the radically different response of Rahab as compared with the people of Jericho. They had been confronted with the same awesome force – the obvious power of the Almighty God of Israel. And yet, their responses could not have been more different.
The hearts of the people of Jericho melted within them, like wax in the noonday sun, like chocolate on the dash of a hot car. The heart of Rahab, however, galvanized into confident courage. What was the difference?
On the one hand, the people of Jericho didn’t respond with faith in the God of Israel. They were simply overcome with paralyzing fear because of His mighty power. They knew they had no hope of overcoming this one who had the power to part the Red Sea and they were terrified. On the other hand, Rahab saw the same power of God on display and responded with reverential fear (awe) and faith – recognizing Him as “God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” And this fear (reverence) of God and faith in God led Rahab to action.
Rahab’s faith in the one true God overflowed with courageous action. She was not crippled with fear regarding what the men, or even the king, of Jericho might do to her. Whatever fear she could have had toward them paled in comparison to her fear of, and faith in, the true God of Israel. Rahab’s courageous response was not simply a demonstration of human boldness in a trying situation. It was an overflow from a heart of faith in the one true God. The writer of Hebrews leaves no doubt when he includes Rahab in the famous “hall of faith” chapter, noting that she acted “by faith” in God.
Do others see you walking with confident courage because of your faith in the one true God? Ask God to help you flee from the fear of man and to walk in courageous faith for His glory.