“We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt.... When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:10-11
I used to work in an inner city drop-in ministry, where we provided meals and clothing and other basic needs for those living in poverty. On a particularly cold winter’s night, a woman came through our doors without a proper coat; and for the Canadian prairies, this was a big deal. A co-worker of mine went to see if we had any heavy jackets available, but unfortunately, they had all been given away. We had nothing to give to her.
Someone else in the drop-in had been observing the whole situation. He was a tough guy, not to be crossed, and had probably done some pretty violent things in his life. But he didn’t hesitate in his generosity: he literally gave the coat off his back to this woman. Despite our protestations, he simply said, “She needs it more than me.” And with that, he left.
Often we are quick to judge people who have lived rough, who are different than us, who don’t fit the mold of what we are comfortable with. We dismiss the idea that they have something to offer, that they are capable of bravery and courage, and that God uses them.
In Joshua 2, we read about Rahab’s bravery. She was a prostitute, the very definition of ungodly. Yet God used her because she recognized that the God of the Israelites was God. So when Joshua’s spies came to her door, instead of calling the authorities, she hid them. And when she was questioned by her king, she boldly lied about their whereabouts, putting herself in grave danger.
Because of her courage, Jericho was defeated. Because of her bravery, the Israelites were able to live in the land God had promised to them.
Dear God, thank You that You see past our exterior into our hearts. Give us the eyes to move past our snap judgments and to see people as You do: full of potential, deserving of our dignity, respect, and love. Thank You that You use people, regardless of where they’ve come from, for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Joshua 2. Does Rahab remind you of anyone in your life you’ve been quick to judge? How can you show this person dignity and respect this week?