A Gentile Declaration- Rahab (Joshua 2)
News of Israel’s powerful God went ahead of them into the Promised Land of Canaan. Stories of what God did to the Egyptians and Amorite kings struck fear in the hearts of surrounding nations. When Israel’s leader, Joshua, sent spies into Jericho, they met Rahab, a woman whose response to these same stories was one of faith. She shared what she had heard about Israel’s God and acknowledged, “The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.” (Joshua 2:11) Rahab risked her life to protect the spies in return for the chance to be saved from Jericho’s destruction and grafted into God’s people. She was an unlikely candidate – a woman, a prostitute, a non-Jewish foreigner – but the promise to Abraham was passed on through her, making Rahab the first Gentile in the genealogy of Jesus. God was already blessing the nations!
Bible: Read Deuteronomy 20:16-18 and Joshua 2 with your family.
Family Activity 1:
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: blocks, a small ball, small people figures (Lego people, army men, game pieces, etc.)
Work together to make a house with blocks. Add small people figures. Take turns rolling the ball to knock down the house and people. Discuss how real buildings are condemned, or marked for destruction, if they are unsafe. God had already condemned the cities in Canaan and planned to destroy them because of the wickedness of the people who lived there. This included Jericho. God used Israel to destroy Jericho, but showed mercy to one woman in the city who put her faith in Him – Rahab. Construct another block building and add people. Remove one of the people figures and put it in a safe place. Then roll the ball to knock down the blocks.
1. Read Joshua 6:22-25. How did God rescue and provide for Rahab and her family?
2. Like the people of Jericho, each of us began life with a sinful heart. We were condemned by God and headed for destruction. Read what Jesus said in John 5:24. How did God rescue and provide for us?
Family Activity 2:
Teaching Time: 12 minutes
Materials: two apples/oranges of similar size, one banana
Set out the pieces of fruit and have the children point out the one that is different. Talk about the differences in these fruits (color, size, shape, texture, taste). Would both kinds of fruit grow on the same tree? No. God’s promises were passed down through generations of Israelites on the same family tree. Hold up the two similar pieces of fruit. These relatives shared the same history, had similar customs, and worshipped the same God. Rahab was NOT part of Israel’s family tree. Hold up the banana. Rahab was born into a Canaanite family that worshipped idols. She grew up in Jericho, a city that God judged for its wickedness. Yet when Rahab responded in faith to what she knew about God, God made her a part of His family. God accepts each of us in the same way – not because of who we are, but because of our response to who God is.
1. Think of ways that Rahab was probably different from the people of Israel. In what important way was she the same? (see Joshua 2:11)
2. Matthew recorded the family tree of Jesus, beginning with Abraham. Read Matthew 1:5. Who became one of Jesus’ relatives? What can this teach us about God’s heart and plan for all peoples?
Thank God for His mercy and grace towards all who put their faith in Jesus.