Remembering the Groundwork
What does it take for us to remember? We have calendars, reminders, and alarms on our phones. I must be reminded of the most minute things — wash the dog, food prep for the week, or pick up the dry cleaning. However, remembering is a crucial component in participating on the holy ground where God has you.
Consider this... after the Creator of the world split the Red Sea in half so tens of thousands of people could cross on dry land and then He destroyed the Egyptians in its wake, the Israelites were hesitant to possess the promised land. Not only hesitant — they were downright doubtful and disobedient.
God wanted to reassure the people, so He instructed Moses to send ten spies to give a full survey of the territory. Two came back with a good report.
Caleb + Joshua: "Guys, this property is unbelievable! Spacious and perfect for our livestock and gardening. Seriously... this is it! We can conquer it, for sure. Milk and honey are ahead!"
The other 8 spies: "It's a 'hard no' from us. This land and its inhabitants will devour us. In fact, we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."
Because these chosen people opted out, they began an extended tour of the wilderness — forty years erecting and reerecting campsite after campsite until a generation of unconvinced men and women checked out. God wanted His people to trust Him at His word and remember His wondrous works.
Sidenot | I wonder if the hesitation of their leader, Moses, had an effect on the group's overall attitude. Take a listen to the Hey Ladybirds! Cheers Vlog for a reference to Moses' propensity which we clearly observe in Genesis 3.
Fast forward to the conclusion of the desert excursion — Joshua (one of the two confident spies) is eager and ready to finally occupy the long-awaited promised land. Both God and Moses are his biggest cheerleaders — No less than six times they fire him up by saying, "Be strong and courageous! You got this!".
Joshua wants to assess and prepare, so he sends spies — but only two. He is assured and poised to attack Jerico — this is the entry point to imminent conquest.
The spies are almost discovered inside the walls of Jericho and must be hidden by a woman — a harlot, in fact — Rahab. Here comes the interesting part... interesting is actually an understatement.
Rahab: “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]
Do not let these words pass you by. Here is why this scripture is more than just interesting but probably shocking to the two men.
FORTY YEARS since the Red Sea crossing - yet everyone remembers
Triumph occurred in the wilderness tour - which has been the talk of the town
Terror and doubt are prevalent inside the walls - God is on their side
An outsider and outcast recounts history - with courage + confidence
The works of the Lord in the lives of the Israelites and in our own circumstances are miraculous. Escaping on dry ground, satisfied in the desert, and rescue and restoration despite despair.
Am I talking about the Hebrews?
All the above.
The goodness and grandness of our God are not lost on Rahab or the citizens of Jericho. In fact, she speaks truth with confidence when she says, "I know that the Lord has given you the land."
What does God want you to possess? What sphere, territory, area or acre, or promised land has He already prepared for you? He's laid the groundwork of what He has for you (Ephesians 2:10). Just like He did with the Israelites.
So, let us take our cues from Joshua, the eager and confident leader. Be strong and courageous because whatever or whoever lies ahead knows our history, our triumph, and our future are in the hands of God.
Janelle Nobles is lead creator at Hey Ladybirds! and Team Development Coordinator at Passion City Church in Atlanta where she lives with her husband. All the heart-eyes for her nest — kids, in-loves, & g-babies as well as running and quac. She’s obsessed with reading and memorizing the Word and building the local church. Connect on Instagram or Facebook.