by Steve Jones

The Harlot Who Went to Heaven
Steve Jones
Joshua 2

INTRO: "The rivalry is not a matter of life or death. It is more important than that." Thus spoke UCLA football coach Red Sanders on their rivalry with USC. That may be overestimating the importance of football. However, one thing is more important than life or death and that is salvation because salvation concerns eternal life after death.

This lesson is about life and death, rivalry and cooperation, but ultimately it is about the more important issue of salvation. Joshua chapter two describes a spy mission by two Israelites sent to reconnoiter and bring back intelligence concerning the city of Jericho - the first city targeted for destruction in the land of Canaan.

Through the providence of God, these two spies are narrowly rescued from certain death by one of Jericho's citizens. What passes between these spies and their benefactor is one of the most dramatic illustrations of the process of salvation in all of the Old Testament. From the story of Rahab and the two spies we will see four facets of salvation.


Rahab was an unlikely prospect for salvation for two reasons. First, because she came from a bad neighborhood. She lived in Jericho where they practiced witchcraft, idolatry, sexual immorality, and child-sacrifice - and that was just the religious people. I doubt the two spies had any notion that they would find someone who was sympathetic to their cause among that rabble.

Secondly Rahab was an unlikely prospect for salvation because she had a well-deserved bad reputation - she was a prostitute. Prostitution may have been legal in Jericho as it is in some parts of the United States, but it was illegal among the Israelites and punishable by death. Rahab's occupation is one of the most striking details of this account. In fact, the unlikelihood of a harlot as the heroine of this adventure is weighty evidence in favor of it' ...

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