The story of Joshua 2 is fascinating to me. First of all, things did not go well the last time Israelite spies were sent into the land to scope it out. But here Joshua is sending spies out again. Secondly, God’s plan for conquering Jericho had nothing to do with military strategy, so spying out the land was really unnecessary.
And yet, this time spying out the land goes very well. Not for military purposes, but for God’s plan. The immediate result is Joshua’s encouragement. I love how God does want to encourage us if we will listen! Joshua heard that the people of the land had melted in fear of the Israelites. What better encouragement could there be!
But, then there was a more long-term plan that none of the characters in the story would ever know during their lifetime. Spying out the land preserved the family of Rahab. Rahab is found again in Matthew 1’s genealogy of the Messiah as one of His direct ancestors.
God’s instructions often seem to fall into two categories. 1) Instructions that make sense logically but don’t always seem to have logical consequences. 2) Instructions that make absolutely no sense logically but simply require faithful obedience.
Spying out the land seemed logical to Joshua, but the results of the spying were, from an earthly perspective, irrelevant for the immediate task of conquering Jericho. But, God did work through it.
I often think that my actions are pointless if they do not produce the results I expect. I am challenged to change that view point. I am challenged to trust in God’s creativity and to remember that things don’t have to fall into a predictable pattern to be useful. My eyes may never even see exactly what it is that God is doing, but that is irrelevant in the grand scheme of His amazingly detailed and perfect plan.