Forty years before this time the spies had been sent out and had brought back to Moses their reports of the land. Of these, Joshua had been one of the two who had brought back a report revealing their recognition of the power of God.
Now Joshua himself once more sent out spies. The whole story, however, reveals the principle of his sending was very different from that underlying the sending of the spies in the time of Moses. As we saw in considering the Book of Numbers, the occasion then was almost certainly one savoring of unbelief. Here it was the action of faith.
Faith, however, is never foolhardiness. It acts with caution. Joshua's vision of God was no dimmer and his courage was evidenced by his attention to all the details of the coming conflict. Whatever the report of the spies might be, he would go forward, but it was important for him as a military leader to know the condition of affairs.
The men thus sent found all they wanted to know from conversation with Rahab. A comparison of what she said to them with the report which they brought to Joshua (verses Joshua 2:9-24) will show that their report was in exact accord with what she told them.
Thus these spies returning to Joshua made it evident that the promise of God that no man should be able to stand before him was being fulfilled; for, according to Rahab, "the fear of you is fallen upon us."
Rahab's action was that of faith (Hebrews 11:31), which was manifested in that she acted on the conviction that had come to her in common with the rest of the people in Jericho concerning this invading army. The men of Jericho shared that conviction but rebelled against it. Rahab recognized the activity of God and yielded to it. That is faith.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25