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That Was Too Easy

It must be some kind of sign.

Joshua 2:22–24

They departed and went to the mountain, and stayed there three days until the pursuers returned. The pursuers sought them all along the way, but did not find them. So the two men returned, descended from the mountain, and crossed over; and they came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all that had befallen them. And they said to Joshua, “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.”

Jericho is in the Jordan valley. The Jordan River lies about five miles to the east. To the immediate west is a mountain range known today as the Central Mountains. The spies head for the hills instead of heading east, as the posse expects. Thus, they avoid any contact.

Rahab’s plan works. The posse assumes that the spies had a head start, so they race toward the Jordan River and look for them all along the way. Since the spies could have easily walked the five miles in just over an hour, the posse is quickly discouraged. Even on horseback, their chances of catching them weren’t great to begin with.

After three days the posse gives up and heads home. The spies are then free to find their way back.

And they bring great news, which they deliver straight away to Joshua. “Truly the LORD has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.”

It’s interesting that their conclusion—the LORD has delivered all the land—isn’t a deduction from what they heard; it’s a quote. Rahab said, in Joshua 2:9b, “I know that the LORD has given you the land.”

This seems almost too easy. The two spies went on a mission that is normally considered very high risk. Joshua presumably sent two of his bravest, shrewdest men on this mission. Yet the way it played out, almost anyone could have done it. The only thing these guys did that could be considered shrewd was to decide to go to a prostitute’s house.

The level of blessing is obvious. God is in this.

This surprising turn of events might be more important than what the spies heard from Rahab. While we will eventually see that Rahab wasn’t lying and wasn’t wrong—the LORD has delivered the land into Israel’s hands—the spies don’t know that for sure just yet.

Conversely, the LORD’s blessing of the spies’ mission is an absolute fact, not merely the words of one resident of Jericho. It’s a powerful sign that they’re on the right path.

Confirming signs are an important part of discerning God’s will. When embarking on a new task, always look for whatever doors are opening or closing.

But this must be bathed in prayer. A clear prayer context is essential to interpreting God’s response.

You can’t interpret His response if He’s not responding to something specific.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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