March 13

Read Joshua 1 -- 3

Joshua was born into Egyptian slavery, along with the older generationof Israelites who experienced deliverance from Egypt. While the majority were complaining and finding fault with Moses during their desert trials, Joshua became a faithful coworker with Moses.

Israel's first encounter with the Canaanites in the Promised Land was at the powerful walled city of Jericho, situated about six miles west of where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River. The people of Jericho had heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea, of Israel's departure from Egypt, and how they destroyed the two kings of the Amorites (Joshua 2:10). Rahab made a decision to turn from her false gods, leave her life as a prostitute, and trust in the mercy of the One True God. Joshua sent two spies to go view the land, even Jericho (2:1). In human terms, this appears to have been a military maneuver. But God had a greater purpose in mind. He saw the heart of one repentant heathen sinner who needed to confess her faith. It was no accident that the spies were led to her home to bring the Lord's protection upon her and her family. It is quite clear, from both the Old and New Testaments, that Rahab desired to commit her future into the hands of the One True God before she met the two spies: She said to the men (Joshua's spies), I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. . . . for the Lord your God, He is God in Heaven above, and in earth beneath (2:9,11).

In contrast, the majority of Israelites who had experienced a miraculous deliverance from Egypt were always finding fault with their circumstances as well as Moses' leadership. The Gentile Rahab, by faith, welcomed the messengers of God and hid them from the king of Jericho. Because of her submission to the Lord, Rahab was honored to be included in the Messianic bloodline of Jesus Christ. She became the mother of Boaz, David's great-grandfather (Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32). She is also listed in the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:31).

It is not often we find a person who is willing to give up such a prominent position as Moses did when he relinquished his right to be a Pharaoh of Egypt, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt (11:25-26). And it is not often that we see a common laborer, such as Joshua, who remains faithful to God when the popular majority threaten to kill him (Numbers 14:6-10). Nor do we often find a prostitute, such as Rahab, who forsakes her sin and her former associates and lives to please the Creator God. Each of these three said farewell to the world and its pleasures and made themselves available for God to accomplish His will through them.

All of us have faced, or will face, choices similar to those of Moses, Joshua, and Rahab. Let us not be like the majority who let self-interest, physical satisfactions, and material gain be their deciding consideration. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).

Christ Revealed: Through the scarlet line in the window that saved Rahab and her household -- symbolic of the blood of Christ (Josh. 2:21; Heb. 11:31; Jas. 2:25; compare I John 1:7).

Word Studies: 1:4 the wilderness means the desert; Great Sea means Mediterranean Sea; coast means territory; 1:11 victuals means food; 2:20 quit means no longer bound.

Prayer:

Government Official: Gov. John Hoeven (ND) · BPM Staff: Karen Hawkins · Pray for Lay Witnesses for Christ and Dr. Sam Mings · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Helen M. Prater · Country: Azerbaijan (8 million) southern Transcaucasia between Europe and Asia · Major languages: Azeri and Russian · Religious freedom · 80% Muslim; 3% Russian/Armenian/Georgian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Psalms 55:16).

Optional Reading: John 4

Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 2:9