“Will you please stop?” Mother snapped. “Again, you talk about ‘being ready. ’ Ready for what? The inevitable will happen. Let it rest! Everyone in the city is terrified of the day when war comes to us. Who are you to have been given a guarantee of safety? Honestly, daughter, you ask too much of me to believe such a thing from you!” Waving her arms, she paced the room as she talked.
This outburst was directed toward a young woman, sitting across the room at a rough-hewn table. The starkly furnished room was dark except for a sunbeam coming in through one window. Discouraged, the daughter lowered her head. Dark brown hair fell across her face, temporarily hiding her tears. She was beautiful, but it was that beauty which forged her shameful lifestyle. Alone and abandoned by her friends, her life seemed hopeless, until she got The Message that she could be saved.
“Why don’t these people understand?” the daughter thought. “Why are they so stubborn?”
Her mother’s voice broke the silence. “Must you be so unbending in your rantings about the future? You know, people already shun you.” She saw pain in her daughter’s eyes and momentarily felt ashamed of herself. Crossing the room she cupped her daughter’s face in her hands. “I love you, daughter, but you must admit people will think you are crazy talking like this.”
Her daughter’s eyes widened, glistening with tears. “Mother, you didn’t tell anyone what I said, did you?” If she had, all their lives were in danger.
“No, daughter,” she responded, moving away from the table. “No one would believe me.”
“Mother, please, just listen.” the young woman continued. “If I am wrong, what do you have to lose? No one will know. If I am right,” excitement filled her voice, “you and Papa and the family will be safe and we will make it through this.”
“Ah, such a worrier!” her mother lamented, flinging her arms in the air and hastening from the room, her long brown skirt raising dust in the sunbeam as she left.
“I am not one to be easily defeated.” she mused as a slow smile crept across her mouth. She stood and tightened the tie at her waist. It was then that she formed her plan. “I will invite Papa’s entire family to spend a day with me. I must make sure the whole family gathers here.” Acting quickly, she began extending invitations to her family for a party at her home, saying she would notify them of the exact date soon.
The night before the party, she removed the red tie from her waist where she kept it since her encounter with the men who brought her The Message. When no one was looking, she carefully placed it in her window on the north wall, tying it securely as she peered out to see the Israelite army surrounding Jericho. Praying to the God of the messengers, she pleaded, “I believe you chose me, no matter what anyone else thinks of me. Grant us your protection!”
On the appointed day, happy for the distraction, Rahab's family gathered and shared a meal on the north side of the city. They came willingly, trying to ignore the ominous sounds outside the walls, the sounds of a marching army. This huge, silent army had circled the city once a day for six days. Today they had gone around at least six times. Inhabitants of the city were sick with fear. Worry was evident on the adults’ faces as they attempted to be jovial. They spoke in hushed tones to shield the children from their concerns.
Suddenly, the sound of trumpets pierced the silence. Then the army began to shout, “Praise be to God! Holy, holy is He!” The ground rumbled and shook!
Her door flew open, revealing two men with swords. Rahab recognized them immediately. The children screamed and women wailed. “Rahab, it is time! Bring your family and follow us!” She turned to see her terrified family’s astonished faces.
The walls of the city began to crumble. Rahab ran to the door, shouting, “Quickly! Follow the men to safety!”
The walls surrounding Jericho fell that night. No one from Jericho survived except Rahab and her family, a testament to the faithfulness of the messengers' God.
*Rahab and the Spies
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