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Good Morning, We often say “God can use anyone to achieve his purposes.”
We site the story of Balaam and the donkey.
We say if God can use a mule, he can use you and me.
In fact we’re often surprised at who God chooses.
Ø    Moses was a murderer, with a stuttering problem
Ø    David was a shepherd boy
Ø    Ruth was a housewife
Ø    Peter was a fisherman
Ø    Joseph was a carpenter
Turn to Hebrews 11, let’s look at the hall of faith fame.
We see ordinary people who did extraordinary thing.
I’ll site a name and you tell me why they should be listed as great pillars of faith.
Ø    4 By faith Abel
Ø    5 By faith Enoch
Ø    7 By faith Noah
Ø    8 By faith Abraham
Ø    22 By faith Joseph
Ø    23 By faith Moses
Ok, you get the idea, they believed God would do what he said, and acted on it.
Let’s go on,
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
I don’t think we recognize that it took faith to leave Egypt.
We know that roughly 1 million Israelites left, Exodus 12 says 600,000 men + women & children, AND Egyptians who had come to know the God of Israel.
I wonder how many of us stop to consider that in all probability some stayed behind.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
OK, I can see that this would take faith.
After all, there was nothing preventing the people of Jericho from going out and stoning those crazy people who were marching around their city.
31 By faith the prostitute Rahab,
Who? Rehab
What did she do for a living?
Not that’s an unlikely candidate for the superstar list in the faith hall of fame.
Have you ever considered why of all the other Bible heroes that came before and after her, the Holy Spirit would urge Paul to include her in this list.
Why not Ruth or Esther?
Well, I had to know.
So this week, I did some study on Rehab.
Turn to Joshua 2:1-5
Moses is dead and the Israelites’ had been in the wilderness for 40 years.
It was finally time for them to enter the Promised Land.
Joshua, who was now in charge had ordered some reconnaissance on the eastern border of Canaan.
1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim [where they were camped]
Secretly, he didn’t tell the people of Israel.
“Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.”
In all probability, if they were on a secret mission, when did they travel?
At night.
First had to swim the Jordan in the dark, then approach the strongly fortified city of Jericho, enter the city gate, and then find a safe place to stay so they could assess the city’s defenses.
What kind of business would be open at night?
So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
Her house was built into the city wall.
We would think that odd, but follow the reasoning.
How much space do you think an average person needs to live in?
Maybe an 8’x10’ room?
Now, if they put a series of these room houses together, like an apartment building where the back of the house was sandwiched to the city wall, it doesn’t seem so odd.
Who is most likely to live on the outskirts of the city?
Someone who was poor or a social outcast.
Also factor in that the walls of the city were there for protection.
If someone did break through the wall, they would find themselves in someone’s home.
Don’t you think you might hear someone trying to break down the wall of your home?
What your next door neighbor’s house, or the guy down or upstairs?
And what would you do when you heard strange noises?
You’d alert the authorities!
Sort of like a built in home security alert.
Back to the spies: By staying in the low rent part of town, they could observe what was going with a low risk of being discovered.
And because the house was located along the city wall, it gave them the opportunity for a quick getaway if  it became necessary.
2 The king of Jericho [An Amorite one of the tribes God said he would destroy back in Gen 15:16] was told, “Look!
Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.”
Remember I said they were in the best place not to be discovered, and yet they were.
What does that tell us about their skill as spies?
3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land.”
Why would he say that?
Jericho’s king was more like a mayor with military control.
Israel’s history was common knowledge to the people of the region.
They all knew how the God of Israel had brought them out of Egypt and had helped them in battles over the last 40 years.
The king was frightened over any potential invasion from the massive encampment of Israelites across the Jordan.
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.
She said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from.
5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left.
I don’t know which way they went.
Go after them quickly.
You may catch up with them.”

We know that God was at work on Rahab’s heart.
But the laws of Middle Eastern hospitality also led her to protect the spies, in much the same way Lot protected the strangers in Sodom.
In those days when someone was sheltered in your home, even if it was your greatest enemy, you were bound to save his or her life if you could.
I need to say something about lying here.
It was not right for Rahab to lie about where the Israelite spies were.
We need to remember, Rehab still does not know who God is or the value God puts on truth.
Now from a human standpoint, the lie seems necessary.
But we need to remember that no lie provides any assistance to God.
Therefore, it was not God’s will that Rahab lie to rescue the scouts—He could have and would have saved them anyway,
6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
It was harvest time.
We’re talking about 3-4 foot high flax bundles on the roof of Rahab’s house.
7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
I don’t know about you but I don’t see any evidence of great faith yet.
Let’s read on.
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “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.
10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea  for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.
11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you,
This next statement is key!
for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
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