- Which position do you think people most generally assume: judges or grace-givers?
TAKING IN: Understanding
- What are the repeated words and ideas?
- What is the mission of the spies?
- Who is the main character in the story? (Hint: observe who speaks the most.)
- The LORD (capitals) is the English translation of Yahweh. Who speaks about Yahweh in this story? What is said about him?
- What is the promise that Rahab receives? Who will be included in her salvation?
- Compare the mission of these spies with those sent out 40 years earlier in Numbers 13:17-20? How are the two missions different? How do the conclusions differ? (See Joshua 2:24 and Numbers 13:31-33.)
- Observe the repeated phrase, “search out the land” (2:2-3). They didn’t really “search out the land” (in this story). What do you think they were really exploring? What did they discover?
- Why do you think the spies went to Rahab’s house?
- In Hebrews 11:31, Rahab is mentioned as someone with faith. How does she express her faith?
- What do you think the scarlet cord represents?
- Context: in the book of Joshua, this is the FIRST story about Israel’s interaction with Canaanite people. As the first story, in what way do you think it is significant?
LIVING OUT: Applying
- This first story of Israel entering Canaan demonstrates the principle of “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). In what ways should this set a tone for Christian living and for church community?
- Which comes easier to you: mercy or judgment?
- What do you learn from Rahab?
- In the first spy story (Numbers 13-14), the spies had unbelief because they saw the obstacles. In this one, they had faith because of what they heard from a prostitute. (Observe that their words to Joshua in verse 24 are similar to Rahab’s words to them in verse 9.) What do you learn from these differing results?
- Like Noah’s ark, Rahab’s “house” is a picture of the church, set apart in world subject to God’s judgment. Share together as a group about how we can get more and more people into this “house.”