Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Value of One - Part 2

It started with two unnamed men sent on a covert mission into enemy territory.

Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” Joshua 2:1

The two men had their mission. They were spy out the land – especially Jericho – and report back to Joshua the assets and position of the enemy. Secretly. No one was to know. Easy mission. In. Out. That’s it.

But God had other plans. Think for a moment – did God really need the report of these spies in order to inform the battle plan He was going to give to Joshua for taking Jericho? No. Nothing the spies reported added to or took away from God’s plan for Israel to walk around Jericho for a week and then capture the city. Why, then, did God encourage Joshua with the idea to send in the two spies?

So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. Joshua 2:1

This was supposed to be an in and out mission, and yet the two men found themselves hiding from the enemy police in, of all places, the house of a prostitute. Coincidence? I think not.

Wait a minute, you may be thinking. Did God send two of His chosen men – Israelites of high caliber – to go find one prostitute in the city of Jericho? Absolutely! Why? Because the Holy Spirit had been in Jericho before the men had even arrived moving on Rahab’s hearts. Listen to what Rahab says:

I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Joshua 2:9-11

Did you hear that? A prostitute in the evil city of Jericho believed that Israel’s God is the God of all! And before the city of Jericho was destroyed, God sent His people into the city to rescue His precious child.

The spies arranged a signal for Rahab so that when Jericho was in crumbles they could quickly find her house. A scarlet cord was to be hung on the window as identification. This is very reminiscent of the blood the Israelites had placed on the doorposts of their home 40 years earlier as identification that their homes were marked for God and safety. Isn’t it remarkable that a home attached to the wall of Jericho (Joshua 2:15) remained in tact after the rest of Jericho’s wall came tumbling down? God saved Rahab and her whole family with her. Many souls for the Kingdom.

And the icing on the cake is that God took this redeemed prostitute and inserted her into the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). She gave birth to Boaz. And I believe it was growing up with Rahab as a mother that softened Boaz’s heart toward Ruth. Rahab and Ruth had much in common.

Let the beauty of this story sink in. What if Joshua had not obeyed God by sending in the two spies in the first place? What if the two Israelite men had turned down the place of safety God had opened before them when they were running for their lives? And what if the two men had looked at Rahab as just another sinner – a foreign sinner at that – and thought she couldn’t possibly be interested in God and therefore not worth saving?

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:4-7

Remember, God values the “one.” God may ask us to do something that seems odd to us and which we don’t see how it could possibly fit into God’s plan. We need to do it anyway. God may ask us to go find one of His children that we look at and wonder how could this person ever be a positive addition to the Kingdom. We need to do it anyway. God may ask us to inconvenience ourselves for one person, and we may feel that the inconvenience is not worth it. We need to do it anyway. We will never know until heaven the positive rippling effects of bringing one lost child of God back into the family through our obedience.

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