Receive Those Spies With Peace!

Joshua 2:1 -And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there.

Hey all, thanks for reading my blogs, the aim of them is to point you to the Bible, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am returning to Joshua 2 today. It would be best to read Joshua 2, I will be blogging from the whole chapter today. I have done a blog on Rahab before, and this will be similar, but I feel like blogging from this story because I think this story is a wonderfully accurate picture of the situation we find ourselves in the last days today. There is no doubt we are in the last days, the Bible says so, scripture is being fulfilled today. There are tough times ahead, glorious times ahead, exciting times, terrible times. It all depends on what you do with the Lord Jesus Christ today. Today is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time. If God is bearing down on your heart today, the wisest thing you will ever do is work out your salvation with fear and trembling. You don’t just get saved when you like, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that unless the Father draws you, you will not be saved. God will visit your heart, he gives you every chance, his Spirit moves upon the face of the deep, don’t miss your chance, don’t miss your day of visitation. God waited a long time in the days of Noah, but there came a day when the ark was shut, and God sealed Noah in. It was game over at that point. Today may be the last time God deals with you, don’t be like a Saul… God departed from Saul. He had his chance, but he entrenched himself in rejection, disobedience and rebellion against God’s word. Today you are either like Rahab or you are like all the other nameless inhabitants of Jericho. Rahab and her family were the only ones saved out of Jericho. So few saved out of so many, Jericho was a large city with many inhabitants. Jesus said there are only few that take the narrow way that leads to eternal life, but conversely there are many that take the broad road that leads to destruction. And in the last days, we see from the Bible that judgement and tribulation and wrath is coming upon this world. John the Baptist preached to FLEE from the wrath to come! As sure as God’s judgement came upon Sodom and Gomorrah, it is coming upon this world today. Get on the right side of this thing. Get on the Lord’s side.

God is not willing that any should perish, he is long suffering, full of mercy, grace and compassion. If you go to hell, it’s because you chose to go there. It’s a choice. Just like Joshua sent spies in, so God sends spies, messengers, into the world today. They are his word. His word is the spies, his word is the messengers, his word seeks out. His word seeks you out. The Spirit, the blood, the water bear witness in the earth, agreeing in one, agreeing in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible points you solely to the Lord Jesus Christ, elevating him, glorifying him, making him true and every man a liar. His word seeks out and finds lodging with anyone who has a heart that will receive the truth, who will receive the incorruptible seed of the word of God into the good soil of their heart. Before destruction comes, there is a chance. There is many a chance. God gave the inhabitants of the land, Canaan, that he promised to Abraham a long time to repent. Israel had to wait a long time to possess the land, God did not let them possess it until the iniquity of the inhabitants of the land was full. These inhabitants of the land were very wicked, they were so wicked that in Leviticus, God said the land itself vomited them out. They were vile, ungodly people. They flaunted their wickedness, they were not ashamed of it. Sound like the world today? What is gay pride all about? People not only sinning openly, but proud of it, throwing their sin in God’s face. Proud sinners breathing on the fumes of God’s grace, don’t excuse God’s longsuffering for him winking at your wickedness. The Bible says their damnation slumbers not. Just like Jericho was facing impending doom, so this world is under impending doom. That doom is unavoidable. All you can do is be saved out of it. You are without excuse. God sends messengers to you, he has to everyone, but will you receive those messengers, those spies in peace? Or will you kick God’s word to the curb? Will you be offended by the word?

The next thing that happened when Rahab housed the spies was that the king of Jericho was told about it. He was concerned about it, he wanted them and quick! Not because he wanted their message, but he wanted to kill them. He wanted to prevent the work of the spies, he was against the ministry of the word of God. You have an enemy, I have an enemy, an enemy that comes quickly. Where God is working, Satan will be right there too. He was right there in Zechariah, standing to withstand Joshua the priest. In Genesis 14, when Abram returned from the slaughter of the kings, the king of Salem met him, but you know who else went out to meet him? The king of Sodom did. The king of Sodom made an offer to Abram, that Abram refused. Jesus made it clear in his kingdom parables that when the word is sowed, Satan is very active in trying to take that word away. Jesus made it clear we have an enemy, an enemy that sows tares, that deceives, that steals, that corrupts, that works to hinder, withstand, contend, dispute, prevent the word and work of God. People hear the word of God, but Satan snatches it away. That’s why it’s important to let what God is saying sink into your ears, to let it take root in your heart. To meditate upon it, abide in it. To immerse yourself in the word. Because the devil will look to snatch the word away from you. He will look to choke it out, to distract you away from the important things of life. When it comes to your salvation, the devil will load you under the cares and pleasures of this life. He wants you to keep putting it off. There was a man in Acts who put salvation off. He was a very important man, Felix, standing at the trial of Paul the apostle. He said at a convenient season he would call for Paul. That convenient season never came. There will never be a convenient season for you to be saved. Now is the time. Do it now. Putting it off could well be signing off your own eternal death warrant. You have no guarantees that God will move upon your heart again. Maybe God has already moved on from you, maybe your rejection of the gospel is full and final today.

Rahab didn’t give up the spies though. Rahab gets a mention in Hebrews 11, the great chapter of faith in the Bible. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. She heard the word of the spies. She hearkened unto them. She obeyed them. She placed her faith in them. Those spies spoke with authority, they were under the authority of Joshua. And so the Bible today carries the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the living Word, the Bible is the written Word! Jesus sends forth his word, he can because he is the very Word, the Word of God, that spoke the world into existence, that sustains the world, by whose word the world is kept in store today, the same world that is reserved unto fire and judgement and the perdition of ungodly men. Rahab received the messengers with peace, she received those spies of Joshua with peace, she hid them. And that’s what we’ve got to do with the word of God, with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hide it in our hearts. Keep it. Don’t let it go. Don’t surrender it. No matter what. Satan is after it in your life. When the Bible says to keep the word, to keep the commandments of God, we easily miss the fact that it’s just as much the possessive meaning of the word. There is keeping as in obeying, but there is also keeping as in physically keeping something. Keep the word! Satan wants to take it off you. He wants you to trade in the word for ANOTHER word. Another gospel, another Jesus. Anything bar the real thing. Naboth kept his precious vineyard, it cost him his life, but he kept the word, he kept the faith. He got lied against and stoned for his act of faith, but his eternal reward will far outweigh the suffering he endured in his brief time of sojourning here on earth. You see, Satan is after the vineyard, he is after YOUR vineyard if you are saved. He wants us to sell it out. Don’t sell out. He will make you a decent offer, he will offer an alternative, just as Ahab offered Naboth a garden of herbs in exchange for his vineyard. Do you want a garden of herbs, or the vineyard? This applies to Bible versions. People have traded their vineyard in for a garden of herbs. People have sold out. People have settled with the devil. People have compromised with Pharaoh. Jesus is the true vine. Don’t trade him out. Don’t sell him out. Don’t sell out your inheritance, your heritage, don’t sell your soul, don’t trade with that cheat, don’t sell out on the word of God. KEEP the word. Hide it in your heart. Don’t let it go without getting that true token first, without obtaining the promise of the spies! Rahab was desperate to be saved, and to get assurance of salvation, be like Rahab today!

Rabah didn’t miss her chance. Before they laid down to sleep the Bible says she came to them and she spoke with them. She didn’t put off anything. She wanted to commune with them immediately, she wanted to work out her salvation from Jericho then and there. Read her gracious words, she knew Jericho was finished, she knew she was on a sinking ship in Jericho. Jesus spoke of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the Comforter (truth comforts!!!) and the Holy Spirit convicts the world of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged. Satan is judged, he is finished, he is redoubling his efforts today, because he knows his time is short. Get off his ship. It’s going down fast! Despite the king of Jericho’s efforts, the spies returned to Joshua safely. Satan’s persecution of the word, of the Godly seed in this world always falls short. Satan can never beat God, try though he might. He got Herod to kill all the babies, but Jesus had escaped. Athaliah trying killing all the royal seed, but one precious baby was saved through which the godly line continued. God’s word has continued from start to finish. God’s word will never be exterminated. God’s word is not bound, the gospel is not bound. Jesus’ kingdom ultimately will fill the whole earth as promised in Daniel, and Jesus will be eternally victorious. But terrible times first, the destruction of Jericho first. The spies escaped, they had achieved their purpose, they had spied out the land. Joshua’s purpose and will had been accomplished. God’s word never returns void. God’s word accomplished his purpose. We read that Samuel didn’t let any of God’s words fall to the ground, Rahab didn’t either. She let them down and they escaped out of the locked city. God’s word can’t be imprisoned, can’t be contained. God’s word knows no physical limitations. God’s word has gone into all the world, the gospel has gone to the four corners of the earth. And whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!

Rahab wanted a token of her salvation. Wow, don’t miss this. Because God gives us a token of our salvation. Something we can pin our life on. Something we can hang from our window of our soul, from the window of our life. Something our eternal existence can be staked confidently on. What’s that? The scarlet thread. The Lord Jesus Christ, his righteousness, his blood shed for us, which takes away the sins of the world. When you receive the word, you receive the Christ that the Word is all about. They are synonymous. The Word is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true token of the word of God. He is the message of the Bible. The Bible is about the Lord Jesus Christ start to finish. You want something you can stake your life on? Stake it on the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the true token. He is Abel’s lamb. He is Noah’s rainbow. He is Gideon’s fleece. Christ is the token of our salvation. If he is not enough, nothing is enough. But he is enough. Stake your existence on what he has done, who he is, not what you have done, not who you are, not where you’ve come from. We are all spiritual harlots as Rahab was a harlot, but he is faithful, he is righteous, he is the justifier of the ungodly, he is the one who forgives, who came to have mercy, who came to call not the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish. Ask the dying thief, who acknowledged that he was getting what he deserved by being crucified, but who got saved while he was dying there on the cross next to Jesus.

The spies said to Rahab… our life for yours. While the spies are alive, you are alive. It’s in your best interest to keep them alive!!!! They are going to go back to Joshua, the word of God goes back to Jesus, it doesn’t return void, it reports, it records who received it, it seals, it saves, it leaves those who receive it with a scarlet thread to stake our fate upon. Jesus knows those who are his. He doesn’t cast out anyone who comes to him. He who loves Jesus, the same is known of him the Bible says in Corinthians. Because Jesus lives, we can live today. Our fate is inextricably linked with Jesus Christ. He lives, we live. If he didn’t live, our faith would be in vain. But he lives.The same cord that she let the spies down by was the same cord that saved her life too. She hung that in the window. Everyone was instructed on Joshua’s side that when they saw the scarlet thread, everyone in that house is to be spared, to be saved alive. Whoever was in that house with the scarlet thread was saved. What she did with the spies was what saved her life. What you do with the word of God is what saves your life. She could’ve surrendered the spies, but that would’ve in turn surrendered her own life as well. What you do with the spies determines your eternal destiny! What you do with the messengers determines your eternal destiny! Don’t surrender the gospel, surrender truth and you surrender your own soul too! Our fate is dependent on what we do with Christ. When you are saved, you are baptized into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. We are risen with him. Our life is hid with Christ in God! When will we get it that it’s all about him. He must increase, I must decrease.

So destruction is coming. Fear the Lord, depart from evil, be saved while it is still today, because the night is coming when no man can work. God will not destroy Jericho before the land is spied out fully. In another of Jesus’ kingdom parables he spoke of the kingdom of heaven being like a net that caught of every kind and when it was full was drawn to shore, and the good were put into vessels but the bad were cast away. It’s not enough to be religious, to be a fake, there must be a reality, Jesus said you must be born again! You may be getting by but you’re not truly saved. That net is filling up, but maybe you are a bad fish that’s just going to be cast away. Are you an impostor? Why live a life pretending why waste your life in counterfeit, substitute religion and still go to hell? Judgement is coming, and we have all been warned. The world knows it’s coming, but the world chooses to keep on partying like it ain’t coming. Just like Belshazzar, who partied the final night of his life away as the Chaldeans were at the very doors of the city. When God was going to destroy Sodom, he did not hide the impending judgement from Abram. Abram pleaded with the righteous Judge of the earth. If there are just 50! 40! 10!? God saved Lot out, but the same day Lot went out of Sodom, the Bible says God rained fire and brimstone from heaven. Sodom was blown off the map. It’s still uninhabitable today. It was pulverized, and stands as an eternal reminder that God can and does judge humanity.

So the spies will come to you, but will you slam the door in their face or will they find lodging with you? They are come to spy out all the land… the king of Jericho was afraid of that. He played on that with Rahab, because some people want to receive the spies, but they don’t want to bare ALL their life, to surrender all their life to the authority of the word of God. Satan will get you to refuse the messengers by saying… you can’t keep that sin you love so much if you take them in! Are you happy for God’s word to search out every nook and cranny of your life? Are you willing to submit, to yield to God? It will get uncomfortable. Truth hurts, but receiving the truth is our only hope of salvation. The spies left, but not before they left Rahab with an oath, with an assurance, with a promise, with a true token, the scarlet thread. True believers are just like Rahab today. Counting down the days to our redemption from this wicked world. Trusting that the scarlet thread promise will hold. God keeps his promises. You can be saved and KNOW it. The precious seed of the word of God, the good news of salvation from Jericho came to Rahab, and she did not miss her day of visitation. She jumped off the sinking ship, she boarded the ship of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ship that reaches land, the ship that when Jesus is in the vessel, is straightway at land. The ship that makes it through the storm, that ship that makes it to the other side. We are all inhabitants of Jericho today, the only thing to be determined is… are you a Rahab, are you one of her family members that heard her testimony in the house with her and were also spared? Or are you just like all the other inhabitants of Jericho, who were utterly destroyed? Get on the Lord’s side today. Repent of your sin, receive the gospel, the good news of your salvation, today.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s