Aug26MonAugust 26, 2019
Read Joshua 2; 6:17-23; Hebrews 11:31; Matthew 1:5
What a story! A prostitute living on the outer wall of Jericho. An outcast in her town. But a woman who had a father and mother, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. A woman who had enough smarts to know that the Israelites were powerful, they were coming and Jericho would not survive the power of their God. So when Joshua sent some men to spy out the land before his military plan was to be executed, she sees her chance for survival. When they are found out, she takes them in and hides them. She saved them and then asked them to save her and all of her family. She petitioned them in the name of their God for mercy and justice.
When she let them down with a cord and sent them away to safety, they told her to tie the cord at the window. When the army would come to destroy and capture Jericho, they would see the scarlet cord and she and all who were there with her would be saved. The same cord that led them to safety would save her and her loved ones.
Rahab was looking for survival but if you read the subsequent scriptures above, you will see that she received far more than that. Rahab became one of God’s people. She married Salmon and they had Boaz. She is included in the hall of faith in Hebrews by her faithful act and she is remembered in Matthew’s genealogy as one from whom came the descendants of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father.
One way that such stories in scriptures can reach into our personal lives is to engage with something called Contemplative Gospel Imagination. It’s when we put ourselves in the story and allow our senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch) within our imagination.
As you read this story in Joshua 2 and then the rescue in Joshua 6:17-23, imagine that you are Rahab. Here are some questions to lead you through. You might have to read it through more than once.
- Imagine that you know that you and your whole family/city are in danger of being wiped out. What are you thinking when you decide to take these godly men into your brothel? What is forefront in your mind? What are you most afraid of?
- Imagine that the officials from Jericho are at your door looking for where these spies have gone. They treat your poorly, look down on you. You lie to them to save the men. What is your primary reaction when they believe you and walk away?
- Imagine going and asking the men to remember you and your family – return the mercy that you have shown to them. Do you believe them when they say they will? How big is your hope?
- Imagine letting them down the wall with the scarlet cord. What are you thinking? Feeling?
- They tell you to tie the cord on the window – that they will remember you and come for you. As you tie the cord in the window what do you experience?
- You have your family in the brothel with you when the army comes. They come and get you and lead you out. You look from a distance as your city is burned with fire and no one else escapes. What is going through your mind?
- The years have gone by…it all seems so distant now. You have discovered the Israelite’s God and made Him your own. They have embraced you, a harlot, and an outcast. You have experienced honour throughout these years, honour you couldn’t have imagined. Are you comfortable with it? Can you receive it? Salmon has married you and you have a son named Boaz. You are part of a faith community now and you live in a beautiful faithfulness with your husband and children. You are sitting reflecting on all these things. What would you say to God?
- In all of this imagining, does anything connect with your real life situation, struggles, joys or longings? Take time to talk to God about the connection and wait for Him to speak to you.