“The Faith of a Harlot”

The children of Israel exercised great faith when, after being delivered from the Egyptians, they crossed over the Red Sea as by dry land (Heb.11:29). Forty years later they exercised a similar faith in God when they crossed over the Jordan River as by dry ground into the land of Canaan (Jos.3:14-17). Faith, however, was very scarce during those forty years when they wandered in the wilderness. One year for every day the spies spent in the Promised land God caused them to wander in the wilderness because they failed to go up and take possession of it. Except for Caleb and Joshua that unbelieving generation died in the wilderness and were not permitted to enter the land of Promise.
The new generation exercised great faith when they came once again to the border of the Promised Land. They crossed over Jordan believing God would dry it up as they stepped into its waters. They came first to Jericho into which another set of spies had been sent earlier to scope out. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days” (Heb.11:30). They believed what God said and acted upon it! That is faith! God told them to march around Jericho once a day for six days and then on the seventh march around it seven times. When the seventh circuit was completed the priests were to blow trumpets and the people were to shout and the walls would fall down. They believed God; they marched, blew trumpets and shouted; the walls fell down!
The writer of Hebrews mentions a non-Israelite who also exercised faith at this time saving her family from death in Jericho’s overthrow (Heb.11:31). Her name was Rahab. She believed God’s promise that he would give his people the land in which she dwelt. “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (11:31). Because of her kindness to the spies, when the children of Israel came to destroy Jericho, they first ensured the safety of Rahab and her family.