I'm Available

No doubt one day when people are still sitting around campfires telling stories, the story of Rahab will still be told.  

In the longer narrative of the Israelites entering the land of Canaan, Joshua 2:1-24 tells of their first move toward entering the city of Jericho, the most strategic place to hold on the way to Jerusalem.  The Israelites had sent spies ahead of time to gather intel and made friends with a local, Rahab.  She not only helped them, but she also expressed faith in the LORD, because of the wonderful events she and her people had heard about for forty years since the Israelites’ escape from Egypt.

In verse 12, Rahab asks that God would have mercy on her if she helps the Israelites.  It’s a bold act of treason against her own people, but not one without motivation.  The Canaanites were known to be an unholy, unjust, and barbaric people, from whom a woman of Rahab's standing probably had ample motivation to flee.  So she expresses faith in these strangers, and ultimately faith in God.  And the Israelite spies’ response is to make a covenant with her and her family.  The Hebrew word hesed refers to an intertwining of lives, used often at Jewish weddings, and expressed in this passage as the men say "our lives for your life" and promise to treat Rahab and her family "kindly" (hesed).

The spies aren’t fools, though.  They tell her that the oath is good only if she indicates that she has not changed her mind and turned double-agent against them!  The sign would be a scarlet cord in her window indicating which house was hers, which would tell the invading army which home to pass over.

Rahab remembered the story of the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt -- stories which had no doubt made their way north toward the Jordan valley over the last four decades -- and had chosen to believe that any God who would save those people could save her, too.  

Moreover, Rahab made herself available to the covenant people of that God.  She put her belief into practice and said “Here I am, what can I do?”  She made herself available to God because she knew that God’s salvation was available to her.

Availability is perhaps one of the most underrated spiritual qualities, isn’t it?  No one in the scope of human history has done anything of ultimate significance without being available to God.    

For reflection:
- Have you ever had periods in your life when you were particularly unavailable to God?  What were the circumstances?
- Have you ever had periods in your life when you were particularly available to God?  What were the circumstances?
- How available are you at the moment?  Since the COVID shutdown started in mid-March?  
- If you need to become more available to God than you have been, what is ONE thing you can change in your daily routine to become more available?


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