Often we’re told that something is a classic.
Yet some of the great stories in literature, film, music and art (“the classics”) are completely lost on us because of how we approached them. We read them the wrong way.

If we read our bibles like one big story, one big narrative, by the time we got to Joshua, we’d have picked out a key theme that often gets lost because of how we read our Bibles.

  • In the story of Jacob and Esau, the blessing goes to the younger son
  • Jacob’s second youngest son, Joseph, is the one whom God chooses, not any one of his 11 brothers.
  • Moses, not his more eloquent brother Aaron, is who the Lord sends to speak for Israel in front of Pharaoh.

There’s a theme, a motif, that God uses the unlikely.
He speaks to them, speaks through them.

So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Rahab is the source of the stunning confession of Joshua chapter 2:
“for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”. [Joshua 2:11]

But we are.
Because we look to the beautiful and the powerful and follow the articulate and the intelligent.
We admire wealth and strength
We value appearances.
The Lord has a different economy.

Here is a pagan, Canaanite harlot with an Israelite confession on her lips; the words of Deuteronomy 4:39She’s never read Deuteronomy, but she knows who God is.


God in heaven and on earth.
God high and near, mighty and merciful.

And if that’s not what he looks like to you, then look to Jesus again:
The measure of God’s love and the embodiment of his character.
The mighty lord, the merciful saviour.

Look no further than Jesus:
Who hung out with sinners,
rescued the lost,
searched for the wayward,
saved the unlikely; ones like you and me.


For more on stories, faith and the unlikely, listen to the sermon entitled, “God of Heaven and Earth”.