Faithlife Sermons

Spying Around

Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

1) 5-11-08…AM…SBC  2)

“Spying Around”

Joshua 2

Introduction:

Ø      Like Bruce said last week, the reason we anticipate a literal kingdom in the future (Rev 20-21) is because of the literal kingdom established and anticipated in the past with Israel

1)      Kingdom of God[1]

A-  The Kingdom of God is the grand-central theme of the entire Bible

1-      the OT and NT Testaments are like two acts of a single drama

a-      Act 1 (OT) point to its conclusion in Act 2 (NT – Revelation) and without Act 2 the play is incomplete

b-      But, Act 2 (NT) must be read in light of Act 1 (OT) or else the meaning of Act 2 (NT) will be missed

c-      To understand the meaning of the Kingdom in Eschatology we must understand the meaning of the Kingdom in OT History

 

B-    God Kingdom rule has a dual aspect

1-      God’s Universal Rule             Psalm 29:10

 

“The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever” (ESV)

a-      this rule of God has always existed and has never been abrogated or interrupted

b-      man’s duty in this Kingdom is to acknowledge its reality and bow to its sovereignty

c-      we are not to pray for the coming of this rule of God

2-      God’s Mediatorial Rule (ruling through a mediator)

a-      this rule of God is done by a divinely chosen representative who speaks and acts for God and who represents the people before God

Ø      In Joshua, God was directly ruling over His people through His divinely chosen representative

-----------------------------------------------

Matthew 6       “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.”                   (Revelation 20-21)

Ø      the disciples are to be praying for the holiness of God’s name, for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done – on earth as it is being done in heaven

·         although God’s Kingdom was ruling universally over all there was a profound difference of its rule in heaven and on earth

·         the difference between the two is seen in the existence of sin upon the earth

·         the Mediatorial Kingdom must finally “come” to rid the earth of the rebellion of sin

·         When sin is finally removed and Revelation 20 is accomplished then God’s Kingdom will be on earth as it is in heaven

·         When sin has been removed and the God’s Kingdom has come to earth, then the Mediatorial aspect of the Kingdom will disappear being merged with the Universal Kingdom of God

------------------------------------------------

 

2)      Bottom Level Narrative          Joshua 2

-          builds to the top level narrative

-          like subplots build to the main plot

Illustration:                C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia

·         top level = the battle for control of Narnia / The conquest of the Promised Land

·         middle and bottom levels = the war in England, Edmond’s rebellion, Peter’s battle with Mougrim, etc. / Rahab’s confession of faith in God

Transition:  What we want to take away from the story of Rahab is that


Proposition:   A proper observance of an awesome God must lead to a proper fear of God.


Transition:  We see first of all…

1) The Directions (that were given)       v1a

 

 

A-    Despite Joshua’s intent that this be secret, the very next verse states that their presence was known immediately to the king of Jericho.[2]

1-      After taking Jericho, Joshua could then cut straight across and divide the land from north and south.[3]

2-      The tropical climate and vegetation of the Jordan Valley earned Jericho the title ‘city of palm trees’ (Deut. 34:3).[4]

3-       It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Num. 22:1; 34:15), and the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan. It was the key to Western Israel. [5]

B-    Rahab the Prostitute         v1b

Ø      Remember - Narrative accounts don’t answer all our questions regarding a given story

 

-          they are limited in their focus giving us part of the overall picture of what God is doing in history

1-      How the spies chose the house of a prostitute named Rahab is not revealed.[6]

a-    Providentially they were led there

b-   A sinful woman was there whom God in His grace purposed to spare from the coming judgment.[7]

     2- vav consecutive used throughout this passage

a-      gives us the sequence of events going on

b-      some speculate that the wording at the end of v1 refer to the spies going to Rahab for sexual relations

·         what complicates this is that specific Hebrew word can refer to sexual relations

·         this is why the context is so important for us

·         without context you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say – hermeneutics

c-      we find in this context a reference to the house that they went to

d-     one is on thin ice contextually to say that they went to the house for an illicit relationship


Ø      The Hebrew word translated “harlot” can also mean “one who keeps an inn.” If all we had was the Old Testament text, we could absolve Rahab of immorality and call her the “proprietress of an inn.” But there is no escape, for in James 2:25 and Hebrews 11:31, the writers use the Greek word that definitely means “a prostitute.”[8]


e-      Rahab’s house was likely a way station, inn, tavern, or a combination of these.[9]

f-       This type of location would have provided a good cover for the spies sent by Joshua[10]

g-      Their purpose was not impure; rather, the spies sought a place where they would not be conspicuous. Resorting to such a house would be a good cover, from where they might learn something of Jericho.[11]

h-      Also, a house on the city wall (v. 15) would allow a quick getaway. [12]

Conclusion:  The spies were following out Joshua’s instructions and we are given that in a logical sequence of events

·         in this narrative we are introduced to Rahab, the prostitute who would prove to be a beautiful picture of God’s redeeming grace

Transition:  Next we see…

2) The Deception             v2-7

 

A-    Joshua’s secret mission was not a secret for very long     v2-3

B-    Rahab lies in order to protect the spies     v4-7

1-      there is not question that Rahab lied

2-      the real question is, did the end justify the means?

·         did saving these spies exonerate Rahab of her untruth?

3-      Proverbs 6:19 does not pardon Rahab for lying

·         she should not have lied before a holy God

·         if we believe in an unchangeable God then He could not have overlooked her lying

·         it was a sin no matter which way you slice it

·         we must believe that God could have and would have protected those spies

 

Application: 

-          When faced with allegiance between God and country as Rahab was we must always choose the higher authority

-          Are we to live by the principles of “Situational Ethics”

·         can absolutes be applied differently to different situation

·         can help euthanize the elderly because they are of no worth

·         has the image of God been removed from them

·         can we abort babies because of they handicaps they might possess

·         can we lie on our taxes to receive a better tax break

·         if God is a God of absolutes then none of these options are really options

 

Ø      In James 2:25 is not justifying her works but in the context of his argument he is telling us that her actions proved her faith

Ø      She was justified on the basis of her faith in God – Hebrews 11:31

Ø      The commendation of Rahb’s words in James 2:25 is not an approval of her actions but an demonstration of her fear of God

Ø      Let’s not forget that the actions of her deceptive words were not out of the scope of God’s forgiveness

Transition:  Following the directions to the spies and Rahab’s deception we see in v8-11

 

 

3)  The Declaration               v8-11

 

-          In these verse we find the heart of this particular bottom level narrative – Rahab’s confession

A- Rahab’s dialogue with the spies disclosed the fear of the Canaanites      v11a

1-      the people of Jericho had already heard about the events of the Exodus and the defeating of the Canaanite kings (Deut 2-3)

B- Rahab’s dialogue with the spies disclosed her faith in God          11b

1-      “for the LORD your God”

a-      Rahab uses the personal name for God – designated by LORD

b-      יהוה - the one who is: i.e. the absolute and unchangeable one, Ri; the existing, ever-living, as self-consistent and unchangeable[13] (in contrast to her probably polytheism)

c-      This declaration is as remarkable as St. Peter’s, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” [14]

d-     Her actions of hiding the spies and deceiving the King’s messenger is evidence of the sincerity of her profession

1.      For no one willingly incurs danger for what he does not believe.[15]

2.      And the reason for her acting as she did was faith and in God.[16]

3.      She could have known little about Jehovah; but she recognized His hand in the drying up of the Red Sea and the discomfiture of Sihon and Og. Then (c) she seems to have lived up to her light.[17]

2- “He is God in the heavens above and the earth beneath”

a-      She confessed the realization that He is the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all that exists (cf. Deut. 4:39; Acts 14:15; 17:23–28), thus the Supreme One[18]

b-     Responding to the word she had received about the mighty working of God, Rahab believed, trusting in His power and mercy. And that faith saved her.[19]

Salvation Application:

  1. in the infinite forgiveness of a loving God there is no sin too great to be pardoned from
  2. don’t believe Satan’s lie that your sin is to great to be forgiven
  3. the mercy of God towards you as a sinner is unending

Ø      Have you come to a place in your spiritual life where you know for certain you have eternal life or is that something you would say you are still working on?

Ø      If you would you say you are still working on obtaining eternal life listen to 1 John 5:13…

These things I have written to you…that you may know that you have eternal life.”

Ø      if you say that you don’t have any sin then the Bible says that you are deceiving yourself for all have sinned

Ø      Is there an answer for all this sin in your life?

 

·         yes there is an answer and God has provided it for us

·         just as much as God hates sin, he loves the sinner – you and me

·         the bible says that “The Father sent the son to be the Savior of the world”

·         will you make Him your Savior today?

-          faith is only as good as its object

-          True saving faith isn’t just a feat of intellectual gymnastics by which we convince ourselves that something is true that really isn’t true[20]

-          Faith is not merely a stirring of the emotions that gives us a false sense of confidence that God will do what we feel He will do.[21]

-          Nor is it a courageous act of the will whereby we jump off the pinnacle of the temple and expect God to rescue us (Matt. 4:5–7).[22]

-          True saving faith involves “the whole personality”: the mind is instructed, the emotions are stirred, and the will then acts in obedience to God.[23]

 

Transition:  after the declaration of Rahab’s faith we also see…

4) The Decree           v12-22

A-    Rahab asked the spies to take an oath of protection for her and her household.[24]

1-              Oath-taking was a serious practice, as illustrated by the Israelites’ ill-advised oath with the Gibeonites that they could not take back (9:15–21).[25]

B-    When Rahab asked for kindness (ḥeseḏ) to be shown to her family she used a significant and meaningful word.[26]

-          ḥeseḏ means loyal, steadfast, or faithful love based on a promise, agreement, or covenant. [27]

-          Sometimes the word is used of God’s covenant-love for His people and sometimes, as here, of relationships on the human level.[28]

C-    The response of the spies was, “If you don’t report our mission we will protect you and your family or forfeit our own lives“[29]

Transition:  Lastly we see

5) The Determination            v23-24

 

Ø      The chapter wraps up quickly, telling of the spies’ hiding in the hills for three days, their pursuit being called off, their return to Joshua across the Jordan, and their confident report to him.[30]

Ø      The spies’ report in v. 24 is simple, confident, and direct[31]

Ø      The spies’ exact report of Rahab’s testimony (cf. 9, 24) underscored the point that God had defeated the Canaanites spiritually.[32]

Conclusion

What can we take away from a narrative such as this?

1- We can learn from Rahab that a proper observance of an awesome God leads to a proper fear of God.

But what is a proper fear of God?

- it is a reverent submission that leads to obedience – Rahab heard of God’s power and submitted obediently by faith

- a proper fear of God means exalting what he thinks over what others think of you (fear of man)

- worship God by placing in faith in Him for you salvation

- worship God by seeing His awesome power and responding appropriately in holy living


----

[1] Info in this section was taken from “The Greatness of the Kingdom” by Alva J. McClain.

[2]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 97.

[3]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:1.

[4]Paul J. Achtemeier, Publishers Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper's Bible Dictionary, Includes Index., 1st ed. (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 458.

[5]M.G. Easton, Easton's Bible Dictionary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897).

[6]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:330.

[7]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:330.

[8]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:1.

[9]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 98.

[10] See Hess, Joshua, 83–84 and M. Weinfeld, The Promise of the Land: The Inheritance of the Land of Canaan by the Israelites (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 142–44, on the existence and function of such inns in Canaan and the ANE. This evidence renders even more plausible the grammatical evidence just noted against a sexual encounter having taken place. The suggestion that this was an inn and not a brothel is common and goes as far back as Josephus[10]

[11]John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Jos 2:1.

[12]John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Jos 2:1.

Ri E. Riehm.

[13]Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Strong's, TWOT, and GK References Copyright 2000 by Logos Research Systems, Inc., electronic ed. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 218.

[14]The Pulpit Commentary: Joshua, ed. H. D. M. Spence-Jones (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004), 29.

[15]The Pulpit Commentary: Joshua, ed. H. D. M. Spence-Jones (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004), 30.

[16]The Pulpit Commentary: Joshua, ed. H. D. M. Spence-Jones (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004), 30.

[17]The Pulpit Commentary: Joshua, ed. H. D. M. Spence-Jones (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2004), 30.

[18]John Jr MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Word Pub., 1997, c1997), Jos 2:11.

[19]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:331.

[20]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:8.

[21]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:8.

[22]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:8.

[23]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Strong (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996, c1993), Jos 2:8.

[24]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 105.

[25]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 105.

[26]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:332.

[27]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:332.

[28]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:332.

[29]John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck and Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1983-c1985), 1:332.

[30]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 117.

[31]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 117.

cf. compare

[32]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jos 2:22.

Related Media
Related Sermons