Two men came to my house yesterday. That’s not unusual in my line of business. I’d been watching them from my bedroom window; I felt certain they were up to something. These two looked like decent blokes and I didn’t want them getting into trouble.
I ran downstairs, opened my front door and beckoned to them.
The old battle-axe who lives down the road spotted me and stomped into her house, slamming the door. I shrugged my shoulders. So what? I don’t care.
I invited the men inside. I’m not sure, to be honest, that they knew what I was or where they were. My main room is tastefully decorated but what with the mirrors and linens draped around the walls, you can’t really mistake it.
I nearly laughed out loud when the coin finally dropped and the pair realised where they were.
‘Look, it’s pretty obvious you’re up to something. If I can tell, the king is going to be on to you like nobody’s business. Now, who are you and what are you doing here?’
Turns out the two men were spies, sent out by Joshua, the new leader of the Israelites. They are coming to invade my country. My heart sank.
Even in Jericho, we’d heard the stories of the famous God of Israel. How He’d done awesome signs and wonders for His people when they were slaves in Egypt and rescued them. Pharaoh and his army were made to look pathetic against this rag-tag group with their powerful God. Their God was Someone to be reckoned with.
I’d listened to the stories of the God of Israel and always secretly wished I could know Him. He sounded incredible, the way He fought for His people, rescuing them from slavery. The gods of Jericho just don’t compare. We bow and scrape and sacrifice, but they do absolutely nothing for us.
While we were talking, someone banged on my door.
‘Quick,’ I pushed the spies ahead of me up the stairs and onto my roof, and hid them under some stalks of flax I was storing up there.
Then I raced back down the stairs and opened the front door. It was officials from the palace. Word had evidently reached the king that I was harbouring the spies.
Good job I’m quick at thinking on my feet.
‘Oh yes, love, they were here,’ I told the officials, ‘but you’ve missed them. They left just before the city gates were closed. They haven’t gone long. If you’re quick, you’ll catch them.’
Thankfully, they believed me. They had no reason not to. After all, a couple of them were regulars….
Once the officials left, I went back to the roof. Now to take my chance.
‘I know the Lord has given you this land. I’ve heard how He’s fought for your people over the years. We, in Jericho, are terrified of Him. The Lord is the Creator God. Now, I’ve got a favour to ask. Since I’ve saved your lives, when you invade the city, please promise me you won’t kill me or any of my family.’
I was trembling inside. I gave it everything I’d got. Would God’s people be as kind as their God?
To my great relief, both spies nodded.
‘Yes okay. See this scarlet sash? Bring all of your family into your house, your mum and dad, brothers and sisters, everyone, and then tie this scarlet sash in the window. We promise that when we invade the city, everyone inside your house will be safe.’
I swallowed hard and nodded. ‘Thank you.’
In case my house was being watched, we tied a rope from the roof onto the city wall, on which my house is built, and the spies climbed down and escaped.
I’ve made a wise move I think. I hope the spies will keep their word.