Spiritual Weapons, Part VII: The Weapon of Praise

The Story of Rahab

Having heard about the amazing victories of the Israelites, their miraculous conquests over the Egyptians and the Amorites, the citizens of  Jericho lived in dread and fear of the approaching Israeli nation, but they still felt safe behind the great walls of Jericho, which were legendary for their impregnable size and strength, capable of keeping out any invading force.  

In spite of the security and wealth Rahab enjoys as a seller of flax and linen, as well as serving as a Temple prostitute, when Joshua’s two spies sent out to learn about the city’s defenses come to seek lodging in her home, Rahab resolves to protect them from the King of Jericho, hiding them on her roof among the drying stalks of flax.  When the king’s men come seeking the spies, having heard that they had come to Rahab’s house, Rahab tells them that she didn’t know where the two men had come from, but they had left before the city gates were shut.  “I do not know where the men went,” she says. “Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” 

After the king’s men leave, Rahab hurries to talk to the two spies, telling them that she understands their mission:

I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. (Joshua 2:8-11)

She tells the spies that in exchange for protection for herself and her family, she has decided to shelter them for she knows that the Israelites will emerge victorious over the walls and citizens of Jericho.

Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.  (Joshua 2:12-13)

Rahab makes an agreement with the spies to help them escape from the city, helping them to climb down with a rope through her window.  The spies agree that when the Israelite armies come to the city, they will allow Rahab’s family to escape destruction, but only if she hangs a cord of scarlet thread through the same window.  

When the spies climb down from the window, Rahab immediately ties the cord made with scarlet thread to the window, letting it hang down so it can be seen by the approaching people of Israel.  What happens next is a story almost impossible to believe unless we know the God of miracles who can cast down even the strongest of strongholds.

Casting Down Imaginations and Every High Thing 

Read the following psalm carefully to see if you can find the Spiritual Weapon described:

Psalm 149 

Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones.
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise His name with dancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.

Let the godly ones exult in glory;
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations
And punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with chains
And their nobles with fetters of iron,
To execute on them the judgment written;
This is an honor for all His godly ones.
Praise the Lord!

Verse six is the significant verse for our purposes now, for it reveals the powerful Weapon of Praise.  How can praise be a spiritual weapon used against the forces of darkness and evil?  Its focus is directed to the only God worthy of true praise?

In another Psalm we are shown not only how to praise God, but also what to praise Him for:

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.

Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

Here we are told that since God is everywhere, we need to praise Him both in the sanctuary and in “His mighty expanse.”  We are also told that we should praise Him for His “mighty deeds” and to praise Him because of His greatness.  And clearly, music and dancing and shouting may be a part of how we praise the Lord.

Praise in Action

In the story of Joshua and the Children of Israel, after their wanderings in the desert and their crossing of the Jordan River to the Promised Land, we find that the Weapon of Praise is supernaturally powerful.  

Marching around the great walls of the City of Jericho, all of the men of war along with seven priests carrying seven trumpets and the Ark of the Covenant circle the city.  On the seventh day, they march a final seven times when the Israelite priests were told to blow their trumpets.  The people, hearing the trumpets, were told to shout: 

Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.”…So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:16, 20) 

Rahab and her family, however, were spared destruction, for the scarlet cord was seen hanging out of her window and those sheltered in side were  saved:

“Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” (Joshua 6:25)  

The scarlet cord may be a type, or representation, of the blood of Christ, which offers us salvation, a way of escape in spite of our sins.

This is not the end of Rahab’s story, however, for she ultimately married Salmon, the son of the leader of the Tribe of Judah.  Boaz was their son, a man who would marry Ruth, a story told in the book with her name.  

The son of Boaz and Ruth was Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David, the man who would be King of Israel and from whose line would come Jesus, the Savior of all mankind, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:3-5).  

Thus, a former harlot of Jericho of Canaan would become one of the few woman listed in the line of the Messiah, a woman who decided to align herself and her family with the true God of Israel rather than with the many gods of the Canaanites.  She decided to prostitute herself no longer to those gods, an astounding change which immediately put her in conflict with those in her city, yet opened her to the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of Yahweh.

Why Praise Works in Spiritual Warfare

Satan prefers to be invisible, to tell his lies without being seen.  Yet when he is exposed, he wants to be the center of everyone’s attention.  Either way, at all times we Christians need to be focused on the Lord and His promised blessings rather than the deceits and lies of the enemy.  Praise puts our attention on the redemption and salvation of God provided through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, who took all of the sin and the assaults of the enemy upon Himself.  He even went to Hell to take our place for three days and nights until He ultimately “led captivity captive” and brought about Lucifer’s ultimate defeat.  

Thus, the Weapon of Praise is used not to win a battle, but to acknowledge a victory that has already been won.  It is faith in action, for it is a demonstration of our belief in spite of what we may see or experience in the natural realm, preferring to be guided by the Word of God according to His true reality.

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