Pastor Kathleen Kelly,
The docudrama of the Israelites entry into the Promised Land continues in the first lesson of today's Daily Office readings. Joshua sends two spies into the land, and their adventures would make for a good Netflix mini-series, complete with a Mata Hari-like character (the prostitute Rahab), who befriended the would-be invaders.
It's tempting to query why the first stop for the Israelite spies was to a prostitute. But there is a greater question to ponder: Why did Joshua feel the need to send spies into the land at all? God had promised to deliver it into their hands. Was Joshua doubting God? Had he lost confidence? Why the need to assess things?
God does not scold Joshua for sending the spies, so that means it was not a faithless act. How should we understand it? Apparently, God expects us to both trust divine providence AND use our noggins. Joshua sailed as the Lord commanded and wore a life vest.
How does this modeling apply to us? I read a quote in the paper from a woman taking no precautions to guard against Covid-19 transmission saying, "If God wants me to get Covid, I will get Covid; if God doesn't want me to get Covid, I won't." It is not faithless to both trust in God's care and guard against sharing pathogens. We all drive on the right side of the street (I hope) for our mutual good. Facial coverings and distancing can be understood similarly. I think Joshua would agree.
Yes, she has one for every outfit!