November 19 I Monday
“I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.” —Joshua 2:9
Thirty-eight years before Joshua led Israel into the Promised Land, he was selected as one of 12 spies to scout out the land. When they returned from their
40-day reconnaissance, they gave a glowing report of an incredibly fertile Canaan, but there was a problem. The land was filled with enemies, some of them giants, whose cities were well-fortified. Ten of the spies advised, “We can’t attack these people; we’re like grasshoppers to them!” Only Joshua and Caleb, the other two spies, believed that the God who delivered Israel out of Egypt would also deliver them into Canaan. Unfortunately, the rest of Israel bought into the fear of the 10 spies, and when they refused to attack, God sentenced the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for a total of 40 years.
later, Joshua, now leader of Israel, sent two spies of his own to scout out the land, but especially Jericho. When they arrived, they stayed in the house of a prostitute named Rahab. The king of Jericho came looking for them, but Rahab sent him on a wild goose chase. In return, the spies promised that when Israel conquered the city, she and her family would be spared.
During this conversation, Rahab explained why she was helping the spies. Like the rest of Jericho, she had heard how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, how He had parted the Red Sea so they could pass through on dry ground and how He had recently given Israel victory over two kingdoms just across the Jordan River. “When we heard of it,” Rahab said, “our hearts sank and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below” (Joshua 2:11).
For 40 years, the people of Jericho had been scared stiff wondering when this nomadic tribe with God on their side would arrive to conquer them, but ironically, it was also fear that kept Israel from attacking thirty-eight years earlier. This is what makes Joshua and Rahab’s faith stand out. While the rest of their people were gripped by fear, both Joshua and Rahab believed that God would grant Israel victory.
Faith is not an absence of fear but a disposition of trust no matter our circumstances. We may be facing situations that seem too big to handle: a lost job, a painful break-up, a fatal illness, a child who has turned their back on God, but no situation is too big for Him. The God who delivered Israel from Egypt and us from sin remains true and trustworthy, able to bring us through even life’s scariest and most painful moments.
Prayer: Sovereign Lord, there are many things in life that might make me afraid, but thank You for being with me the whole way as the source of my peace and victory.