Reflection: What aspect or lesson from last week’s study or lecture most encouraged or challenged you? Why?
Rahab lived in Jericho, a strategically located fortress city surrounded with a massive wall, representing an overwhelming obstacle to the children of Israel as they entered the land of promise. Rahab’s response of faith is an illustration of how God uses obedient faithfulness to break down obstacles facing His children. Pray that God will reveal to you how significant your faithful obedience might be to someone else this week, even another woman in your discussion group.
Biblical hospitality [Gk philoxenia – from philos “loving” and xenos “strangers”] is to welcome and gladly receive the servants of God, providing sustenance, shelter, and fellowship. Philadelphia [philos “loving” and adelphos “brother”] is brotherly love, yet philoxenia extends that love to strangers. God’s love has been revealed in His Son, and believers are His instruments of love to one another.
Hospitality is demonstrated in both testaments, from Abraham, who entertained angels unawares and received the revelation and blessing of God, to Jesus and Paul, who regularly experienced the hospitality of other believers. Hospitality is a recognized trait of leadership, is expected of believers, demonstrates maturity in the faith, and brings God glory.
Be hospitable to one another without complaint!
1. Why was God giving Israel the land of Canaan? (Gen. 12:l; 15:12–20; 28:13–15; Ex. 3:7, 8, 16, 17) What did God want to teach these people by doing this? Remember they had lived for 400 years in a nation that was grossly idolatrous. (Deut. 4:32–40)
2. What did the king’s orders in Joshua 2:2–3 indicate about the knowledge of the people of Jericho concerning Israel and her future? (See also Josh. 9:9–11,24).
3. How do you reconcile Rahab disobeying and lying to her king when compared to the principle stated in Romans 13:1–5? (See also 2 Sam. l9:11–17; Ex. l:l5–20; Acts 4:19; 5:29.)
4. What was the emotional state of the people in Jericho? (Josh. 2:9, 11; 6:1)
How did this confirm God’s promises in Deut. l:21, 29–31?
5. Read carefully Josh. 2:9–13. What did Rahab know about Israel's history?
A. How long before had the Red Sea been crossed? (Ex. l4)
B. How long before had Sihon and Og been conquered? (Deut. 2:26-3:ll)
6. What did Rahab specifically say she believed about the God of Israel?
A. What is impressive about her faith?
B. Could anyone else in Jericho have come to the same conclusions?
7. How did she demonstrate her faith? What risk was she taking? (Josh. 2:4–7, 12–13, 21; James 2:25) How was her faith rewarded? (Josh.2:12–13, 17–21; 6:22–24; Matt. 1:5) Organize your observations on the following chart.
8. Joshua 3 happened between the episode of the spies and the conquest of Jericho. With this evidence, when the people of Jericho saw the army marching around their walls for seven days, what could they have done? (Josh. 2:9–14. See also Josh. 9:9–11, 24)
9. What conclusions do you draw from Rahab’s inclusion in the genealogy of Jesus Christ? (Matt. 1:5)
A. What does the mention of this woman three times in the New Testament tell us about the grace of God?
B. What additional insights do you gain from any of the cross-references on God’s view on the importance of hospitality and the household in the Optional Studies for Personal Enrichment?
1. Do you feel that some sins in your past or present are so terrible that they can’t be forgiven or that you are unworthy to serve God? How does Rahab’s story encourage you?
2. Acts 26:17, 18 and 1 Thess. 1:9 reveal that a drastic change took place in the lives of early believers as it did with Rahab. Has your life changed substantially since you trusted Christ, or do you have a foot in both worlds?
A. What do you need to stop?
B. What do you need to start doing?
3. Read Josh. 2:8–14. Notice how the total person was involved in Rahab’s faith: her mind had facts, her emotions reacted, her will made a decision, and she acted. This is always involved in true faith. Have you, with the facts you know about Jesus Christ, trusted Him as your Lord and Savior with an act of your will?
4. What one insight or lesson do you hope to remember from your study of Rahab? Write it below to share in class, and then write it on the journal page entitled “Lessons Along the Way” at the back of your study guide.
Choose one verse from this week’s lesson to memorize. Write it here and meditate on it.
Rahab had heard of God’s mighty works, and when the opportunity arrived she displayed courage and willingness to risk her life for the servants of God. Rahab reveals that God’s grace can redeem any sinner. Utilize your word study tools to examine the meaning of the following words, and list the insights you learn from the related scriptural cross-references. How do these insights enhance your understanding of the response of faith in practicing hospitality, and the reward of faith that blesses the entire household?
Welcomed (received, KJV) [Heb. 11:31]
1 Tim. 3:2
1 Peter 4:9
Household [Josh. 6:25]
1 Tim. 3:4
What is remembered and commended about Rahab? What is forgiven and forgotten about Rahab? How can this provide encouragement in your own life and in your ministry to others?