The Reach of Divine Mercy
8 Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you.,c 10 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 Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. 12 Now please swear to me by the LORD that you will also show kindness to my father’s family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.”
14 The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the LORD gives us the land.”
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city. 16 “Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won’t find you,” she said to them. “Hide there for three days until they return; afterward, go on your way.”
17 The men said to her, “We will be free from this oath you made us swear, 18 unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his death will be his own fault,,j and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his death will be our fault. 20 And if you report our mission, we are free from the oath you made us swear.”
21 “Let it be as you say,” she replied, and she sent them away. After they had gone, she tied the scarlet cord to the window.
22 So the two men went into the hill country and stayed there three days until the pursuers had returned. They searched all along the way, but did not find them. 23 Then the men returned, came down from the hill country, and crossed the Jordan. They went to Joshua son of Nun and reported everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Joshua, “The LORD has handed over the entire land to us. Everyone who lives in the land is also panicking because of us.”
I. An Unlikely Candidate
II. An Amazing Confession
These verses furnish information about Israel’s reputation, the Canaanites’ fear, and Rahab’s faith. Clearly, Israel’s reputation had preceded them: Rahab knew that Israel’s God had given her people’s land to Israel (v. 9), and the entire land was melting in fear because of Israel (vv. 9, 11). God already had dramatically delivered the Israelites in several ways in its brief history as a nation, and Rahab mentioned two of these great events in v. 10: God’s drying up of the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and the victories over two kings east of the Jordan, Sihon and Og (Num 21:21–35).