I've had many visitors come to my business, but none looked like the two men who stood in the doorway today. Their clothes and hair didn't match the people of Jericho,
Maybe they thought they blended in, but I could tell these men came from another land.
I greeted them. Their pupils looked normal, but their eyes had grown wide, like something made them afraid or they needed to hide from someone. Their breath ran in and out of their mouths. Someone must have been chasing them. But who?
I peeked behind the two visitors and found three men running down the street searching to their left and right. That's when I realized my guest must be Israelite spies!
News traveled fast in Jericho. Our people knew the Israelites camped on the other side of the Jordan River. We also knew they might cross the river and attack our city any day. Their God protected them from enemies and helped them escape from the great Egyptian army. Which means--Jericho couldn't win against their army. I didn't want to be on the loosing side.
I waved the two men inside, took them to a back room, and locked the door. They looked hungry. "Here eat to refresh yourselves." They ate like hunted animals. "I've heard of your God's protection." They squinted and signaled something to each other. "You'll need His protection soon, I think. The king is sure to send his guards to search for you."
A clatter from outside interrupted me. I ran to the door and listened. "Quick, you must hide." I took them to the roof where I had flax drying. "Hide under these flax bundles until those who search for you leave."
They crawled under the grain and let me cover them with thick bundles. I ran downstairs in time to hear pounding on the front door. "Yes, I'm coming. You can open the door yourself, you know."
Three guards pushed their way inside. "Bring out the men who came into your house today. They're spies who've come to harm Jericho."
I shrugged and nodded. "Many come into my business."
One of the guards glared. He grabbed my wrist and shouted. "You know who we mean. Go get them, now! They have come to spy out the whole land."
"Oh, I understand who you mean, now. Please forgive me" I jerked my arm away. "Yes, the men stopped here, but I didn't know where they were from. When the sun began to set, they left through the city gate before it closed."
The main guard squinted like he didn't believe me. I walked toward the door and pointed to the gate. "I don't know which way they went, but if you go after them right away you may catch them. Hurry."
They looked around the room then stomped toward the door. "She may be telling the truth. We better hurry before we loose the last specks of light." The guards ran toward the city gate and ordered it to be held open. Once the guards left the city, the gate closed for the night.
I ran back to the roof and yanked the flax off the spies. "I know the Lord has given this land to you. The people of Jericho are afraid. If I help you escape you must promise to spare me and all my family." I pushed my tangled hair off my face. "Do you promise?"
They stood and brushed flecks of flax from their clothes. "Yes, we promise. Our lives for your lives."
How will the spies escape? Will they get caught outside the city gate? Come back next week to read what happened next.
1. Who helped the two spies?
2. Who did the spies run from?
3. What people did the spies belong to?
4. Why were the people of Jericho afraid?
5. Why did Rahab want to help the spies?
6. Rahab lied to protect the spies. Will she be punished for lying?