Note: I just realized this was the seventh installment of this series (double 0, 7). It wasn’t intentional, but rather serendipitous, right?

I love a good spy story. Whether in TV shows like Burn Notice and 24 or movies like the Bond and Bourne series, spies are fascinating. Mysterious, intriguing, and full of danger. And cool. Being a spy requires (or inspires a certain level of coolness. They’re so charming, you almost forget to fear them. But you do fear them.

Now, I know these on-screen depictions of spy life aren’t truly indicative of real life. And as we revisit our Jericho spies, cowering under drying leaves on the roof of a seedy establishment, reality sets in a little bit. They’ve they’ve kinda lost the upper hand, by putting themselves at the mercy of Rahab. And this is what happens.

JOSHUA 2:8-24 LET’S MAKE A DEAL

Rahab comes up to see the two spies huddled in hiding on the roof. The two spies the king’s army is looking for. The two spies Rahab lied to protect. And she’s got a proposition.

First, she confesses the fear and awe of the city in regards to the Israelites. She tells them that the entire land has been watching them and tracking their progress since leaving Egypt. And everyone is terrified, “melting in fear” because of them. They are in a position of power because they have God’s power behind them and His favor on them and there’s no denying it. She mentions the Red Sea and the defeat of two Amorite kings. I’m guessing there were some Paul Bunyan tales going around as well.

But right now, Rahab has the upper hand. These two owe her a favor. And she asks them to spare her, as well as her family. This may not seem like a big deal – and God certainly makes it work within His plan – but keep in mind that during this campaign, leaving survivors was not really an option. Most of the time, the orders are for complete annihilation. But, they owe her a favor. She helps them escape and they leave her with specific instructions to ensure the safety of her household. Basically, tie a scarlet cord in the window and stay inside.

So, as a leader, you surely understand the importance of strategic partnerships as well as the risks involved. Even spies, who live in a world of misdirection, lies, and deception, have to trust someone. Everyone has to trust someone. So, despite their incompetence, these spies served their purpose. Rahab, after all, becomes part of the lineage of David, so it worked out pretty well. Perhaps she was included to remind Israel of the other leadership lesson I see here. One that goes hand in hand with the first. Trust is a two-sided coin. You have to trust someone, but even more, you need to be worthy of trust.

This is a lesson that many companies are just beginning to understand. One of the many byproducts of the Internet has been this age of accountability that increases the need for companies to be respectful, fair, honest, and trustworthy. No one wants to get called out online, because that stain never goes away.

The point here is that the spies could easily have left out their promise to Rahab when telling Joshua the land was theirs for the taking. They could have just destroyed the entire city and this little exchange might never have come to light. But instead, they kept their word. Like they were supposed to. And as a leader, aspiring leader, or even just as a member of a community, you should follow their example. (Maybe learn how to do your job a little better, but definitely keep your word.)

peace… love… bdg…