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An Audio Bible Adventure: A New Leader and His Undercover Agents

A retelling of Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1 and 2

When Moses reached the plains of the Jordan River, he knew that his time had come. He had already given his final words and blessings to the twelve tribes of Israel and had chosen Joshua to lead the children of Israel after him. Now Moses stood alone atop the windy heights of Mount Nebo overlooking the plains where God showed him the whole land across Jordan, saying, "This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it."

And so Moses died up there with only the Lord by him, and he went on to his heavenly reward.

Down in the plains, God told Joshua, "Moses my servant is dead. Now then arise, go over Jordan, you, and your people, into the Land of Promise." And God gave His word to Joshua, saying, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, I will give to you, as I promised Moses."

At the news of Moses' death, all Israel wept for thirty days. It was also a time of deep prayer not only for the people, but especially for Joshua, who had to face the leadership responsibilities which had been given him. Those first days without Moses to run to for strength and answers to his questions were probably days of learning, more than ever, as Joshua had to now depend upon the Lord alone for the needed help and guidance.

But God was with him, and He gave such wonderful promises to His new leader of the Israelites, saying, "As I was with Moses, I will also be with you. I will not fail you or leave you alone. ... Be stouthearted and brave. Don’t be fearful, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go." This was precisely the encouragement Joshua needed. What a strength it was to him to know that he was not alone!

Before crossing over to Jericho, which stood on the other side of the Jordan River in Canaan, Joshua wisely chose from the ranks two of his most trustworthy men to go over and spy out the defenses of the walled city of Jericho. Any information they could gather would be vital for planning their first conquest in Canaan.

The next day, the two scouts, dressed in clothing similar to that of Jericho's citizenry, passed through the huge gates of the city and found a house located along the city walls where they would lodge for the night. A harlot named Rahab owned it.

As the two scouts conversed with Rahab; however, the clanking of men in armor approaching the house interrupted them. Unbeknownst to the spies, someone had told the king that two Israelite spies had entered the city gates. So the king had sent messengers to deliver an order to Rahab for the men to appear before him.

"Quick, follow me," Rahab whispered and she led the two spies to her roof, hiding them beneath stalks of flax.

Regaining her composure, Rahab went to answer the banging at her door. She opened it and smiled. "Whatever is the matter, sirs? May I help you?"

"Bring out the two men who came to you,” the king’s messengers demanded. “They are Israelites, come to spy on our city."

"There were two men here a short while ago, sir,” Rahab said. “But I had no idea from whence they came. They left at dusk when it was time to close the city gate. But if you go now and pursue them, perchance you will catch them."

Not sparing a moment, the king’s men rushed out of the city and onto the road leading to the Jordan River in an attempt to overtake them.

When the messengers were gone, Rahab sighed with relief, but she was still trembling when she went to the two men.

"I know that God has given you this land and that all its inhabitants are afraid because of you,” she said. “We know of how God dried up a passage through the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and of your exploits on the other side of Jordan. No wonder we are afraid of you. No one has any fight left in him after hearing such things, for your God is the supreme God of heaven, not just an ordinary god!

"Now then," she continued, "please swear to me by your God that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness to you."

"If you won't betray us, we'll see to it that you and your family are unharmed," they said. "We'll defend you with our lives."

Since Rahab’s house was on the city wall, she led them to her window at nightfall and she let them down by a scarlet rope that she had tied to the window bracing.

"Escape to the mountains," she whispered. "Hide there for three days until the men who search for you have returned. Then go on your way."

The men thanked Rahab and left her with a warning. "You must leave this scarlet cord tied to your window. And unless you and your family remain inside your house, we will not be responsible for what happens to you."

Rahab pulled up the rope, but left it tied to the window to identify her lodging to those outside the city walls.

Finally, the two spies made it safely across the Jordan, and joyfully reported all that had happened to Joshua.

"God has surely given the whole land into our hands," they said. "All the people are terrified because of us."

What an encouraging report Joshua received from his two faithful men who had braved the dangers of Jericho in their narrow encounter with the enemy. Now Joshua knew that the time for marching had come. First, to cross the Jordan River, then on to Jericho!

See “Hero of the Month: Joshua” for more on this fascinating Bible character.

S&S link: Christian Life and Faith: Witnessing and Missionary Training: Great Men and Women of God-2a; Character Building: Values and Virtues: Courage-2c

Adapted from Good Thots © 1987. Read by Jeremy.
A My Wonder Studio Production. Copyright © 2012 by The Family International.


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