Biblical providence refers to God’s work of providing for the needs of His people. It is sometimes surprisingly miraculous and often seemingly simple. Always, it is deeply compassionate and a cause for gratitude. Today’s Scripture passage pulses with providence.
After Rahab declared that Israel’s God was the one true God, she begged the Israelite spies for protection for herself and her family. Some commentators are disturbed by Rahab’s request and the spies’ agreement to honor it. After all, Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute. They see the spies’ agreement as direct disobedience to the Mosaic rules of holy war.
Others, however, see Rahab’s situation as wholly unique because of her faith confession in Israel’s God. By proclaiming Him to be the one true God, she denounced the gods of Canaan. Her request to be spared and join with Israel would change her entire life. We can be sure that it was only by God’s providence that Rahab’s heart became softened. It was only by providence that she hatched a successful escape plan, that she lived on the wall with a strategically placed window, and that the spies came to her home in the first place.
Everything went according to plan, and when they returned to the Israelite camp, they told Joshua the whole story: “The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands.” Their report is a stark contrast to the pessimistic statement the twelve spies gave in Numbers 13: “The people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large” (v. 28). “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are” (v. 31). The spies in Joshua 2 were confident by comparison. Their victory was not a result of Israel’s strength but won by the providence of the Lord.
>> Consider how God’s providence has affected your life. Look back at the ways God orchestrated past events for His purpose. When we remember how God has worked in our past, it helps us trust Him with our future.
We see Your providence, Lord, not only in the doors You have opened but also in the ones You have closed. Thank You for Your divine direction and intervention in our lives.