Joshua 2 - The Unlikeliness of God
Opener - What’s the longest you’ve gone “off the grid” for? What was it like when you finally made it back into civilization?
1. 40 years earlier the Israelites stood in this same place, deciding whether it was time to go in. What has changed for them between now and then?
2. Read through all of chapter 2 or the leader can recount the story to their group.
3. The Israelites were about to invade what looks like a “stronghold” city. Yet they hear a report that the hearts of the people of Jericho were melted. Where do you see signs of this in your current secular circles? Is this still happening? Are people's hearts still aware that a power beyond themselves exists?
4. Rahab seemed like an unlikely convert. She lived in a pagan culture, she lived an immoral lifestyle and to top it off she was a woman. A woman's testimony was not worth much in the Ancient Near East yet God used her testimony to encourage a nation! Are there Rahab’s in your life? Have you ever written someone off because of who they were or what they’ve done?
5. Do you see yourself as an unlikely convert or an easy convert?
6. Rahab really put herself out there. She had, in effect, just cut herself off from her background, cut herself off from her culture and would have been charged as a traitor for what she did. If God’s people would not have welcomed her in, Rahab and her family would have been dead. We can not put ourselves anywhere near her situation but yet it can be hard for us to put ourselves out there in order to follow God.
What kinds of things would we lose if we followed God radically?
Is it worth it to you to lay those things on the line for your obedience to God?
7. Rahab’s faith is also unlikely. In verse 9-11 she gives an amazing confession that not even the most optimistic Israelite could have imagined. It’s interesting to note that Rahab doesn’t give the recognition to Moses or any other human leader; rather she gives the credit to “the Lord your God who is both God in the heavens above and the earth beneath.”
How much of the credit to the blessings in your life and the lives of others do you give to human achievement, hard work and wisdom? How much do you give to God? Why is it so hard for us to see how God is at work and to give him credit for it?
8. Rahab also had a test of her faith. She was not being asked for one act of obedience but an ongoing commitment to “coming through” for the Israelites. This would culminate in the hanging of the scarlet cord in her window. What do you think was going through Rahab’s head in those days that followed? Imagine every knock on her door from that point forward.
Do you struggle with following through on the commitments you make to God? Why do we have a hard time with this? What are practical ways we could combat this from happening?
9. In light of this most unlikely of stories, let’s both pray and expect God to work.
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