JOSHUA BIBLE STUDY
Spies in Jericho
I. THE CAPTAIN OF THE SPIES ENCOURAGED.
A. Joshua Commissioned by God.
B. Joshua Commanded to Possess the Land.
C. Joshua Conditioned for Success.
II. THE LIVES OF THE SPIES SPARED.
A. The Spies Sent into the Land.
B. The Spies Sought by the King.
C. The Spies Saved by the Harlot.
III. THE GOD OF THE SPIES FEARED.
A. The Hearts of Jericho Melted.
B. The Harlot of Jericho Sought Grace.
C. The Spies of Jericho Escaped.
IV. THE OATH OF THE SPIES MADE.
A. The Promise of the Oath.
B. The Conditions of the Oath.
References for Study:
Gen. 3:15;4:4;Ex. 12:12, 13;14:13-31;Lev. 12;Num. 21:21-25;
Deut.34:10;Jos. 1:1-2:21;Ps. 91:1;Matt.1:5;28:20; James 2:19.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest
observed to do according to all that is written therein; for
then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have
good success (Jos. 1:8).
One of the great success stories of all time is the conquest
of Canaan by God’s people Israel. This account of God’s faithfulness,
power, and personal leading has been a source of comfort and
inspiration for believers for many centuries.
Historically, Canaan has been the name of a narrow strip of land
between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It is the Promised
Land of Abraham. Spiritually, Canaan represents Christian maturity. It
is symbolic of a life free from worldliness and carnality and
separated for the service of God. A study of the conquest of Canaan
benefits us spiritually as well as enlightening us concerning Israel’s
I. THE CAPTAIN OF THE SPIES ENCOURAGED (Jos. 1:1-9).
A. Joshua Commissioned by God (Jos. 1:1,2).
Moses, the great leader, was dead. According to Deut. 34:10,
there was not a ever a prophet in Israel like Moses. However, read
Jos. 1:1 records the death of Moses. No servant of God—not even the
great leader Moses—is irreplaceable. God’s servants die. His
service never does.
B. Joshua Commanded to Possess the Land (Jos. 1:3-5).
After commissioning Joshua, God immediately gave him the command
to possess the land of Canaan. To make that command real, God
promised, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon,
that have I given unto you…” (Jos 1:3).
God commanded Joshua to put feet to his desires and claim the
entire land of Canaan for the Lord. Dr. Jerry Falwell has said,
“I counsel young preachers, when God has laid a town on their heart,
to kneel by the city limits sign of that town and claim it in prayer
for the Lord. D. L. Moody went even further. He actually walked around
an area of downtown Chicago claiming every place the sole of his foot
touched for a Bible school to train young people in the Word. Today
Moody Bible School stands on that site. God commands us to claim a
possession for Him.
C. Joshua Conditioned for Success (Jos. 1:5-9).
Joshua needed the encouragement of the Lord, as we all do. If he
was to be successful, Joshua needed to know the source of his strength
and be conditioned for success. Thus God promised that as He had been
with Moses He would be with him (Jos 1:5). All believers have a
similar promise in Matt. 28:20.
Still conditioning him for success in possessing the land, God
added to His promise a command, “Be strong and of good courage”
(Jos. 1:6). This command is repeated in verses seven and nine. Being
strong in the Lord and courage and confidence of success arise out of
our study of the Word of God. Anyone who wants to be successful must
learn well the truth of Jos 1:8.
II. THE LIVES OF THE SPIES SPARED (Jos. 2:1-7).
A. The Spies Sent into the Land (Jos. 2:1).
Two spies were sent out from the camp at Abel-shittem, which was
about the enemy and his territory. When Joshua sent the spies into
the land he was demonstrating that delicate balance between trusting
the Lord and moving ahead to discern the Lord’s will. To have moved
ahead without the Lord’s blessing would have been wrong—dead wrong.
But to have sat tight when that blessing has been promised would have
been equally wrong. To have done so would have been like praying to
become a soulwinner but never going out to knock the doors of homes
where lost souls live. Joshua knew that the Lord would never do for
him what he could and should do for himself.
B. The Spies Sought by the King (Jos. 2:2, 3).
Upon entering Jericho the Israelite spies immediately went to the
house of Rahab, probably because such a house may also have been an
in with a cafe’ downstairs. Here the spies could quickly learn the
goings-on in Jericho and the strength of the king’s army. However,
danger lurked there as well. The appearance of the Israelites and the
accent of their speech marked them as strangers. The king was informed
two Israelite spies had come to Jericho on an intelligence-gathering
mission. Immediately the king sent for the spies, undoubtedly for
questioning before they were put to death.
C. The Spies Saved by the Harlot (Jos. 2:4-7).
When the king’s men arrived at the harlot’s house, they did not
find the Israelite spies. Rahab had taken the men to the roof of the
inn and hidden them among stalks of flax. She then prepared a lie to
tell the soldiers of Jericho, claiming that when the two Israelites
had come to her inn she did not know they were spies. When the gate of
the fortress-city was about to be closed at dusk, the men had fled.
Much has been written about Rahab’s lie, but interestingly
enough, the author of the Scriptures did not even comment on it.
Although we cannot condone falsehood, apparently neither Rahab’s
profession nor her lie stood in the way of true repentance and
It should be noted that the spies did not ask Rahab to lie in
order to protect them. She did it of her own volition prior to her
“conversion.” Afterwards she married Salmon (Matt 1:5), a prince of
the tribe of Judah and ancestor of David through whose line our Lord
was born. What a tribute to the grace of God.
III. THE GOD OF THE SPIES FEARED (Jos. 2:8-16).
A. The Hearts of Jericho Melted (Jos. 2:8-11).
When God moves in the lives of His people, the whole world soon
knows and tales notice of it. This was the case with Rahab. She came
to the spies and confessed to them her belief in what was
inevitable… read Josh. 2:9. The stories of the miraculous moving of
God on behalf of Israel had preceded their arrival. Everyone in
Jericho knew about the parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 14: 3-21) and the
mighty defeats of the two Amorite kings Sihon and Og (Num. 21:21-35).
Rehab could not help but confess that Jehovah was indeed God (Jos.
2:11). Confession of Jehovah as God does not constitute salvation,
however. The demons believe them and tremble at the thought (James
2:19). Salvation come when personal faith is placed in God as the
only saviour of mankind, an action stemming from an awareness of
personal need. Rahab had not yet indicated this awareness.
B. The Harlot of Jericho Sought Grace (Jos. 2:12-14).
The harlot was a realist. she knew that the fall of Jericho, and
eventually all of Canaan, was inevitable. After reminding the spies
that she had saved their lives, she begged for the safe passage of her
father, mother, brothers, and sisters from the doomed city of Jericho.
The spies agreed.
C. The Spies of Jericho Escaped (Jos. 2:15, 16).
Rehab’s house was built on the inside of the city wall, giving
Rahab direct access to the wall itself. She probably had a window that
permitted her to view the Jordan valley as well. When darkness had
fallen and the strong city gates had been closed, the harlot let the
spies down to the ground outside the wall by a scarlet cord suspended
from her window.
Quickly the spies made their escape westward to the mountain
range a few miles away, hiding until the soldiers had given up the
search for them.
IV. THE OATH OF THE SPIES MADE (Jos. 2:17-21).
A. The Promise of the Oath (Jos. 2:17, 18).
Rahab was instructed to hang the scarlet thread in that same
window when the Israelites return in full force. That thread, actually
a cord of twisted strands of sewing thread, would be the means of
Rahab’s salvation just as it had been the source of the spies
salvation. When the Israelite armies saw the thread in the window,
they would know the inhabitants of that house were to be spared.
B. The Conditions of the Oath (Jos. 2:19-21).
The oath, however, was not without conditions. The family of
Rahab was to remain in her house. Should they wander from the house
where the scarlet thread was displayed, their death would be their
responsibility. Likewise, safety and shelter are provided only when
the believer remains under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1), in
the household of faith.
One other condition was to be met. Rahab could not utter a word
of this oath to anyone or the oath would become void. This is evidence
that the spies still did not fully trust her. This lack of trust may
mean that although the harlot believed Jehovah was God, she had not
yet come to put saving faith in Him. This faith would come only when
she appropriated the promise of the scarlet thread.
The two Israelites returned to their camp at Abel-shittem, across
the river. Their report in verse 24 encouraged the heart of Joshua.
Joshua and the Israelites were ready to take Canaan. The fear of the
inhabitants of Jericho proved to them that they would be successful in
capturing the land physically. The faith of the harlot proved to them
that they would be successful in capturing the land spiritually.
Joshua and the Israelites were ready to take the land entirely for God
and through His power.
JOSHUA BIBLE STUDY
Crossing into the Land
I. THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CROSSING.
A. Getting to the Battle Early.
B. Sanctifying the Troops.
C. Getting Your Feet Wet.
II. THE MIRACLE OF THE CROSSING.
A. The Miracle of the Waters.
B. The Memorials to the Crossing.
C. The Magnification of Joshua.
III. THE RESULTS OF THE CROSSING.
A. The Fear of the Ememy.
B. The Circumcision of the Israelites.
C. The Cessation of the Manna.
References for Study:
Gen. 15:18-21; 17:9-14; Ex. 14:13-31; 17:8-16; Jos. 3:1-5:12;
1 Chron. 12:15; Jer. 12:5, 49:19; 50:44; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19;
Eph. 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:20,21.
And Joshua said unto the people, “Sanctify yourselves: for
tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Jos. 3:5).
With the Promised Land of Canaan thoroughly investigated and the
Israelites convinced of God’s presence and blessing, they were ready
to claim the possession of their forefather Abraham. (See Gen.
15:18-21.) The crossing of the Jordan was a high point in the
historical life of Israel. In the life of the believer, the crossing
of the Jordan also symbolizes victory — victory over carnality and
habitual sin and entrance into the Promised Land of Christian
maturity. (See Rom 8:1.)
I. THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE CROSSING (Jos. 3:1-13).
A. Getting to the Battle Early (Jos. 3:1-4).
The key element in the crossing of Jordan was the ark of the
covenant, which was the meeting place between God and man. The priests
and Levites were to carry the ark. The Israelites were to follow over
one-half mile behind. When the ark was moved, Israel moved. This
should be the case with all of God’s people in every age. We must be
prepared to move when God moves.
One of the secrets to the success of this mission was the
leadership of Joshua. He was so eager to get to the task and be used
of God that he rose early in the morning. Have you ever noticed how
frequently God does things early in the morning? Scripture records
nearly one hundred incidents of God’s moving in a mighty way during
the early hours. Each of us needs to meet early with the Lord each day
through prayer and Bible reading in order to prepare for our daily
battle against Satan’s principalities and powers. (See Eph. 6:12).
B. Sanctifying the Troops (Jos. 3:5-10).
To sanctify means “to set apart.” In the Old Testament, it
referred to the ceremonial washings in that a person was purified from
the world and prepared to stand before God. Sanctification always
implied a positive and a negative: being set apart from that which is
sinful and to that which is holy. Before Israel could enter into the
land of promise, she had to put away all the influences of her
In the same manner, a Christian cannot hope to enter spiritual
maturity with the smell of the leeks and onions of Egypt on his
breath. To be spiritually mature and responsive to the will of god we
must be sanctified, set apart from the past and from the world and see
to the future and to God.(See 2 Tim. 2:20,21.)
C. Getting Your Feet Wet (Jos. 3:11-13).
On the third day of camping on the banks of the river, the
priests bearing the ark of the covenant were told to move out. At the
very brink of the water the faith and courage of their leadership
would be tested. God had planned for the waters of the Jordan to part,
allowing free and easy access to the Promised Land. However, He also
purposefully designed that the separation of the waters would not
occur until the soles of the priests’ feet touched the water. They
were commanded to march directly into the waters of the swollen
Jordan. Obedience would take more than raw courage. It would take an
absolute trust in the promises of God.
As Christians we are to display that same trust in God.
Frequently the Lord God will place before us a seemingly impossible
task. We must seek His will, which may mean hours on our knees. We
must be sanctified for the task. As necessary as these things are,
however, there must come a day when we are willing to get our feet
wet. Before we can have miraculous spiritual victory we must be
willing to trust God and march directly into the face of the
impossible . The priests of Israel confidently set foot in the water,
and a great miracle of God followed. Their faith should be our
II. THE MIRACLE OF THE CROSSING (Jos. 3:14-4:18).
A. The Miracle of the Waters (Jos. 3:14-17).
The facts of the miracles are these: (1) Ordinarily a small,
meandering river, at the spring or early harvest, the Jordan rises to
fifteen feet or more above flood stage and is a raging torrent. This
is caused by the melting snows of Mount Hermon and the Lebanon
Mountains. (2) The yearly flooding of the Jordan is an established
biblical fact. The “swelling of the Jordan” is mentioned in Scripture.
(See Jer. 12:5; 49:19; 50:44.) It drives the wild beasts from their
retreats on its banks. (Read 1 Chron. 12:15.) (3) The northern
waters flowing south were stopped “upon an heap” in the vicinity of
Adam and Zaretan. (See Jos. 3:16) If, as some scholars believe, Adam
was the modern Damieh, it was located about sixteen miles north of
Jericho. (4) Even the tributaries that feed into the Jordan were cut
off, making the crossing possible on dry land.
Critics have been quick to point out that landslides and other
natural phenomena have caused the blocking of the Jordan three times
in relatively modern history (A.D. 1266, 1906, and 1927). Although it
is entirely possible that the God of nature could have stopped the
Jordan through a similar natural event, it would not have been
necessary. God had performed a similar miracle before. (Read Ex.
14:13-31.) Regardless of how He did it, the fact remains that the
Israelites miraculously entered the Promised Land just as they had
miraculously exited the Pharaoh’s land.
God is just as able to lead us into the life of Christian
maturity as He is to save us. Just as He delivered us from the sin of
Egypt, He can also deliver us into the victory of Canaan.
B. The Memorials to the Crossing (Jos. 4:1-9, 19-24).
At the direct command of God, Joshua instructed the people to
construct a memorial to this miraculous event. Twelve men — one
from each tribe — were chosen for the task. Each man was to take a
huge stone from the bed of the Jordan. With these twelve stones the
memorial would be erected in Gilgal. Joshua set up a similar memorial
in middle of the Jordan. (See Jos. 4:9). The purpose of this stone
memorial was clear. Like a father explaining to his son the
significance of this stone memorial to his children by rehearsing the
miracle which God had performed in bringing their forefathers into the
land of Canaan.
The application to our lives is equally clear. What God has
recorded in His Word and produced in our lives is to be shared both
with our children and with the world.
C. The Magnification of Joshua (Jos. 4:14-18).
This was a great day for the Israelites. It was a great day for
Joshua, their leader. His day had begun with the promise from God,
read Joshua 3:7. By the end of that day, Joshua knew the meaning of
Joshua was no hand-me-down, second fiddle leader. He was the
first-class choice of God. He had been prepared for his task by years
of service at the side of Moses (Ex. 17:8-16). He had been personally
commissioned by God. (Read Jos. 1:1-2.) He had been encouraged by the
Lord. (See Jos. 1:5-9.) He had been promised equal respect with
Moses. (See Jos. 1:5; 3:7; 4:14.) God magnified Joshua in order to
identify him with his work and to make him an effective leader of the
people. Notice that Joshua did not do great things in order to gain
God’s favor. He, through grace, received God’s favor. Then God enabled
him to do great things. Self-magnification always leads to sin.
Divine magnification always leads to glory.
III. THE RESULTS OF THE CROSSING (Jos. 5:1-12).
A. The Fear of the Enemy (Jos. 5:1).
God has a way of compounding courage. Each victory of Joshua and
the Israelites encouraged them to greater victories. However, God also
has a way of compounding fear. The two spies found that when people of
Jericho had heard what the Lord God had done in behalf of Israel,
their hearts melted. They became fearful. (See Jos. 2:11.) Now there
was more cause for Canaanite fear. When they heard of the miraculous
crossing of the Jordan, the residents of Canaan lost spirit in
retaining the land before the mighty Israelites. Undoubtedly God used
this fear to prepare the way for the great battle of Jericho.
B. The Circumcision of the Israelites (Jos. 5:2-9).
A second result of the crossing was the reestablishment of the
sign of the covenant with Abraham. The Israelites had entered the land
promised to Abraham and his descendants, but they had done so without
the physical sign of the covenant. God had established the surgical
procedure of circumcision as the sign of the Abrahamic covenant. (Read
Gen. 17:9-14.) But the Israelites entering the land of Canaan were a
generation removed from the last of circumcised Israel. (See Jos.
5:5.) During the forty years of wandering, those born of Israel had
not been circumcised. Thus, before their first great military battle,
Joshua had each uncircumcised male circumcised in order to conform to
the stipulations of the Abrahamic covenant.
C. The Cessation of the Manna (Jos. 5:10-12).
Within weeks of the exodus from Egypt, God had begun providing a
daily portion of food for the Israelites. It was a small, white round
cake which came to be known as manna. For forty years it appeared on
the ground each morning without fail. Suddenly, upon entrance into
Canaan, the manna ceased. That which Israel had come to depend on
— that which was the only type of bread known to the Israelites who
crossed the Jordan — was suddenly gone.
But God never takes from His people anything that He does not
replace with something better. In the place of the manna, the
Israelites ate the grain of the productive Jordan Valley. This event
accompanied the observance of the Passover on the fourteenth day of
the first month. The fruit of the land of Canaan was to be their
portion all the days of their lives.
The graduation from manna to fruit is similar to the Christian’s
graduation from milk to the strong meat of the Word of God. It was
necessary for Israel to have manna, but the time finally came for them
to give up manna for the fruit of Canaan. Likewise, milk is necessary
for baby Christians, but there must come a time when we put away milk
in favor of meat.
Christians must be aware of the miraculous power of God in their
lives. This power comes through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us (1
Cor. 3:16; 6:19). The crossing of the Jordan symbolically depicts the
Holy Spirit’s desire to make victors and champions of each of us. The
mighty Jordan was crossed because of the power of God from without.
Having the power of God within us, we should have even greater courage
to challenge the barriers that separates us from right Christian
living. If God can get His people across the physical depression of
the Jordan, surely He can get His twentieth-century people across the
spiritual depression of habitual sin into the land of maturity.
JOSHUA BIBLE STUDY
The Fall of Jericho
I. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE TRUSTED EXPLICITLY.
II. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY.
III. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE EMPLOYED ENTHUSIASTICALLY.
IV. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE CONTINUED EXPECTEDLY.
V. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED ENTIRELY.
References for Study:
Ex. 17:8-16; Jos. 5:13-6:27; Eccl. 9:10; Matt. 1:1-17; Heb. 11:31.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after that they were
compassed about seven days (Heb. 11:30).
When Joshua brought the Israelites safely across the Jordan River
and established a camp at Gilgal, he must have breathed a sigh of
relief. The great crossing into the land had been accomplished. But
the great conquest of the land lay before him.
Jericho had already been spied out, but it had to be taken. The
night before the week-long conquest began, Joshua (whose name means
“Jehovah is Saviour”), the captain of the hosts of Israel, met face
to face with Jesus (whose name also means “Jehovah is Saviour”), the
captain of the hosts of the Lord. When Joshua recognized the Lord, he
fell flat on his face before Him and was commanded, “Loose thy shoe
from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy”(Jos.
An important lesson is to be learned from the early verses of
chapter six. The night before the conquest began, and a week before
it was completed, the Lord made a strange statement to Joshua…
read Joshua 6:2. The Lord treated the for the coming victory at
Jericho as an accomplished fact. This is because God is above time.
To Him the future is already history. For Joshua, the victory of
Jericho was a future possibility. To the Lord God it was a present
I. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE TRUSTED EXPLICITLY (JOS. 6:6,7).!
William Cowper, the English poet, once remarked, “God moves in
mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.” One of the most mysterious
movements of God was the manner in which the city of Jericho was
captured. We must remember that Joshua was an experienced military
commander. He had led the victorious Israelite armies against the
Amalekites in Rephidim. (See Exodus 17:8-16.) He had the intelligence
reports of the spies. Jericho was now in view. Joshua knew the best
military strategy for taking the fortress-city. But God moves in
mysterious ways, His wonders to perform.
God’s plan for capturing the city involved some extremely
mysterious methods. Joshua was to have the people circle Jericho
once a day for six days. The Israelites were to bear the ark of
the covenant as they moved around the city, and seven priests were
to carry seven rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day Israel
was to circle the city seven times, and on the seventh pass the
priests would blow the ram’s horns, the people would shout with a
great shout, and the walls of the city would fall down flat.
You might expect Joshua to sneer at such strategy, but there is
no hint that Joshua questioned God’s plan in the least. He trusted
explicitly the mysterious methods of God. After all, Joshua probably
would not have devised a plan similar to God’s for crossing the
Jordan. Who was he to question God? Instead he immediately relayed
these plans to the priests and to the people. God’s plan may not seem
the logical to us, but it will always be the best plan. We must trust
II. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY (JOS. 6:8).
Verse eight is the key verse in the plan of God. Granted, Joshua
did not even flinch when God gave His mysterious method for capturing
Jericho, but that was the night before in the physical presence of the
Captain of the host of the Lord, on holy ground. Now it was the
following morning. It was time to pursue the plan of attack. The enemy
was only yards away. Now was the time Joshua could change the plan to
one in accord with his own “better judgement.” But verse eight records
no change in the divine plan. As Joshua had trusted explicitly the
method of victory as given by God, he also exactly followed the plan.
The first day Israel encircled the city as planned. Israel followed
their leader as he followed God. No mention was made of the methods’
being mysterious. They were God’s methods. It is not our
responsibility to improve God’s methods. Our responsibility is to
follow them exactly.
III. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE EMPLOYED ENTHUSIASTICALLY (JOS. 6:9-11).
There was more to following the Lord’s methods than simply
marching around around the city. Read verse nine.
The way in which we go about the Lord’s work is frightfully
important. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, counselled,
“whatso ever they hand findeth to do, do it with thy might (Eccl.
9:10). One can almost picture the priest blowing those trumpets,
cheeks bulging, faces flushed, blowing with all their might. The
methods the Lord instructed Joshua to use may have been mysterious,
but they were trusted, followed, and employed enthusiastically.
IV. GOD’S METHOD ARE TO BE CONTINUED EXPECTANTLY (JOS. 6:12-16).
The city of Jericho was shut up tight. They were under a state of
siege. Once each day the enemy would march around the city and the
priest would enthusiastically blow the ram’ horns. By around the
second or third day, when he city still had not fallen, the soldiers
of Jericho must have begun to taunt the Israelites. Their initial fear
may have given way to doubt that the Israelites knew what they were
doing. These methods were mysterious to the inhabitants of Jericho as
well. A feeling of division grew in Jericho. Day after day that taunts
In light of this historical and psychological situation, it is
significant that the text records the Israelites following the methods
of God…read Joshua 6:14. A situation that could have produce
distrust did not. A situation that by day six could have found the
people of God doubting His wisdom did not.
I have often said that you cannot determine a man’s greatness by
his wealth and ability, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.
The Israelites would not be discouraged. They absolutely refused to
quit. Day after day they marched anticipating that final day when God
promised the victory would be complete.
V. GOD’S METHODS ARE TO BE ACCOMPLISHED ENTIRELY (JOS. 6:17-21).
The city of Jericho was anathema to the Lord God. Everything and
everyone in it was to be destroyed, except Rahab and her family.
Jericho represented the idolatry of Canaan, and God had determine to
stamp out idolatry from the land of promise.
Excitement was running high by the seventh day. Again, Joshua,
the priest, the ark bearers, and the people arose about the dawning of
the day. As the priests blew the trumpets of ram’ horns, the people
shouted with a great shout. The shout was great, but not great enough
to send shock waves through the walls of Jericho to tumble them, as
some rationalists have supposed. Nevertheless, read Joshua 6:20.
Joshua continued to destroy the city after the walls came
tumbling down…read Joshua 6:21. All that remained was burned, a fact
confirmed by 20th century archaeology. God’s methods were accomplished
Some have said that the complete destruction of the city,
including every living creature, was a severe gesture. But the
Canaanites practiced all sorts of abominations opposed to the
spiritual principles of the God of Israel. The worship practices of
the Canaanites included debased sexual perversions (human/animal,
etc.) and live sacrifice of children. I personally believe that
venereal disease was rampant in both man and beast, adult and child…
our society today is being reduced down to the level of a pack of dogs
concerning sexual behavior…we would do well to learn from these
heathen nations. Thus God commanded that they be destroyed, and the
Israelites followed explicitly God’s methods until they were
Throughout the holocaust of Jericho one family, and only one, was
spared. God honored the word of the spies and saved alive Rahab and
her family. It is only when that scarlet thread was displayed in the
window of her house that she actually placed her faith in the Lord God
of Israel as Saviour. That faith activated God’s grace which brought
her salvation and eventually a place in the ancestry line of Christ.
(See Matt. 1:1-17.)
It may seem strange that a harlot was saved out of the midst of
the complete destruction of Jericho. It may seem even more strange
that she was included in the Hebrew “Hall of Fame” chapter of Hebrew
11. But God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Whether
He works through persons we might deem to be undeserving vessels of
His will, or whether He moves through unconventional methods to
achieve His purposes, we must always remember that God’s means and
methods are to be trusted explicitly, followed exactly, employed
enthusiastically, and continued expectantly to accomplish his ultimate
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