Faith despite dangerForty years previously twelve spies went into the land. They came back carrying samples of the produce of the land. We have no indication that their lives were in danger at any point, and, if they had engaged any of the people of the land, I think they would have encountered the same fear of Israel's God, because the events of the Exodus would have been fresh in everyone's mind.
But only two of the spies were positive, the remaining ten were fearful. They were still slaves in their hearts.
Joshua's two spies are a stark contrast to the fearful ten. They go into the heart of an enemy city. They engage the people and experience great danger. They have to lie under the flax stalks on Rahab's roof for a day and then they have to hide in the hills for three days before they can make the dangerous trip back to Joshua and the people.
After four days of life-threatening danger the spies return to Joshua. One might expect them to say: "Wow. We were barely there for a day when the city's intelligence caught on to us. We nearly didn't make it. We need to be very careful about this."
But this is not their language. Despite the personal risks they have had to take, they are able to see the bigger picture of what God is doing. They are able to see the gift that God has given, even though it comes in dangerous packaging. They understand that God's promises sometimes require taking some risks. They understand the leap of faith.
|So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. 16 Now she had said to them, "Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way." ... |
22 When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them. 23 Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." (Joshua1:15-24)