Joshua 2:1-7

1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. "Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho." So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land." So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land."

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them." (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.) So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.

Intelligence is important for any military operations. Ask the military historian to tell you everything about how intelligence is related to the military. I wrote this in my thesis that I will now quote, knowing that it will be inside turnitin: "the ultimate objective of intelligence is to enable action to be optimised. The individual or body which has to decide on action needs information about its opponent as an ingredient likely to be vital in determining its decision: and this information may suggest that action should be taken, or even that a completely different course of action would be better". In Joshua's case, there is wisdom in seeking intelligence about the land that God has promised Israel and not take it for granted that it was there for the grab.

Apply this to our own life and ministry. Do we obtain information when we are embarking on new tasks or new projects? I often lament and I still, that sometimes we dun maximise the information that we have in church. All sort of reasons can be given, but the primary concern remains that the people need a break or what. This aside, sometimes we dun obtain enough information. Sometimes we simply don't prepare enough before we embark. I tried but I failed too, and I am guilty of this. But often, my complaint is that we often trail along the thin line of faith and testing God. I am thinking about some incidents that happened last year which I will not elaborate here.

In our own lives, do we obtain enough information before we make any decision in career or relationship? Ironically, we do a lot of research in career but not so in relationship. How many times do we see people in church getting into relationship just because they think or they feel? I am not denying that relationship has to be based on feelings, but I think knowing each other's character and personality is a long term effort that cannot be rushed and compromised. How many people understand this?

It was amazing that the spies found refuge and cover in the form of Rahab. As I was reading the passage, I saw the footnote. I was surprised that she might be an innkeeper instead of a prostitute. But in any case, being part of the city that was going to be invaded by the chosen people of God, it does not matter whether she was a prostitute or an innkeeper but it matters that she recognised that these spies were from God and was willing to put her life on the line for them, by hiding them.

Put it in our own life. One question that arises is whether we will protect the spies like Rahab did. Will we put our life on the line for God or His people. As 1 John 3:16 says, we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Or is it that our lives and well-being is more important? Remember Jesus says that whoever wants to save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for His sake will find it. Ultimately, is our self-interest in the way? Are we ready to lay down our lives? I remember the last question during my time when they asked me as I was in the water ready to go down: 'By the grace of God, would you lay down your life for Him when the times come'. I thought through this seriously before I went down. Honestly, when I knew about the question, I questioned myself several times before that day.

But I think about it, we see so many people running away from being committed to God. Just a little commitment and we see people running away. It saddens me and sometimes it tempts me and got me asking if I'm doing too much or what? But yet, if God is so real in your life, then why are you running away from Him when He asks you to give Him your life? Is it because He is not real enough for you to believe in Him completely? I wonder when I sing the songs I sing, do I mean them? I hope I can mean them, because I am not planning to be a hypocrite.

So continue to pray. I am praying that I can gradually change some of my ways so that I can lead a holy life before Him and I can be real before Him. Not that I need to do good works, since it will cheapen God's grace. But I know things I do and thoughts I think lurks beneath and so loving God, it is one step to change and not to cause Him hurt anymore.


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