Read Joshua 2:1-3, 8-13, 6:15-25
What does it mean when we show mercy? Usually, we show mercy when we give someone who wronged us more or better than they deserve. After crossing the Jordan River, the Israelites were poised to begin what is called the conquest. God would use His people as an instrument of judgement against the pagan and evil Canaanites. The fortified city of Jericho was the first strategic objective in the conquest of the Promised Land.
Joshua had sent out two spies to scope out the city and the territory. The spies hid at the house of a prostitute, Rahab. After being commanded by the king to turn over the spies, Rahab deceived the king and sent his men on a wild goose chase. She made a leap of faith that, since Yahweh had done great things for the Israelites, He was going to fulfill His promise to give them the land. She wanted one thing, though, protection for herself and her family when the invasion came.
The Israelites moved against Jericho under God’s specific instructions. They moved around the city, carrying the Ark of the Covenant and, as the old song says, the walls came tumbling down. Joshua issued specific instructions to the spies to bring Rahab and her family out. This family of Gentiles was spared and eventually brought into the life of the community.
Rahab is held up as an example of faith in God (Heb. 11:31), but her story is also one of God’s mercy as well. God wants to show mercy to those who are willing to place their faith and trust in Him. He wants to show mercy to those who respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent. If you think about it, Rahab’s story is much like ours. Today, thank God for His mercy toward us through His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.