The Prostitute Confessions Pt.2
Recently, I began a mini-series discussing the confessions of an Old Testament prostitute named Rahab and what they reveal about the nature and character of the Lord. We learned that in the second chapter of the book of Joshua, Rahab is quoted as admitting this remarkable truth to the two spies of Israel,
“I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:8-11 ESV).
We decided in the previous article that Rahab confesses a truth about God that is most profound and important—the reality that the Lord is, “God in the heavens and on the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11). We then proceeded in comparing Rahab’s confession with the flow of theological thought over the centuries. Thus, it was determined that Rahab confessed the ever-so-important truth of God’s transcendence and immanence in and above creation—two very essential doctrines that Christians must strive for to maintain for biblical accuracy. Knowing this then, leaves us to discuss another major theme present in verses eight through eleven of Joshua chapter 2—the fear of the Lord.
Again, Rahab recites the many astounding works of the Lord when dealing with His people Israel. She mentions how her people know that the Lord has given the land to Israel as a possession, how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea during the Exodus, and what the Israelite armies did to kings and cities that they invaded (Joshua 2:9-10). However, the importance for us to consider is not necessarily her admission of these mighty works, but rather the response she and her people have to hearing of them. Rahab cries out, “As soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and the earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11). Thus, the Lord has produced in Rahab an immense feeling of overwhelming fear in her heart, and it is because of this fear that we are able to learn about the character of God.
The Lord Himself in Scripture testifies to the fact that,
“I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these things” (Isaiah 45:5-7).
Scripture affirms the ever-sobering truth that the Lord is completely sovereign over every aspect of creation—nothing happens apart from His decree, even war. Though this may be hard to fathom, we must embrace the testimony of Scripture that the Lord is in total control with the creation under His command. This fact however, should produce a sense of fear in all who read/hear and understand, just as it did Rahab. For those who are not God’s people, I pray that it produces a sense of fear that leads to repentance, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). However, for the believer, the one who trusts in the promises of God, remembering the mighty works of the Lord should take us straight to the cross. We must be thankful with a humble heart that the wrath of God was poured out on Christ rather than on us (2 Corinthians 5:21). We must fear living as though Christ’s blood is not precious to us anymore (1 Peter 1: 17-19). Therefore, we may conclude with the prophet Isaiah,
“But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken” (Isaiah 8:13-15).
So then, we may conclude with Rahab that it is wise to fear the Lord and His mighty works. However, make sure to respond rightly to the Lord and repent as we shall see later that Rahab did. Either the Lord will be our fear and our sanctuary, or He will be our dread and the stumbling stone on which we shall break. Dear readers, “choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served” (Joshua 24:15), or the Lord in heaven and on the earth.