In the movie Ratatouille, the food critic Anton Ego goes into a restaurant and instead of ordering a dish from the menu, asks the server to bring him some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective.  I think that this is a perfect line.  He is asking for the restaurant to provide him with a representation of who they are.  So this got me wondering, if someone were to ask that question to us, or the Christian church for that matter, for perspective, what would we answer with?  What is our perspective?

I know that there are several pat answers, like the Ten Commandments, or things like Deu 6:5  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  I almost feel like these are kind of a cop out.  If someone were to tell you that the keep the Ten Commandments, what does that really mean?

If we turn to the book of Joshua, we are introduced to the person who has been chosen to replace Moses as the leader of the children of Israel.

Jos 1:1  After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant,

Jos 1:2  "Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.

Jos 1:3  Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.

Jos 1:4  From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.

Jos 1:5  No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Jos 1:6  Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.

Jos 1:7  Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

This is not really a surprise to the people.  Joshua had been faithfully by Moses’ side for all the years they spent wandering in the desert after the majority of the people were too afraid to enter the land that was promised to them.  A whole generation is told that they, except for two, will die before they are allowed to enter the Promised Land.  Those two are Joshua and Caleb.

The bible does not tell us if there was ever any doubt in the mind of Joshua during those trying years, but he was ready to take the reins when the time arose.  And, at the same time, he takes in the gravity of his leadership, knowing that it will not be an easy time.

Jos 1:14  Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them,

Jos 1:15  until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise."


And yet, I do not find it that hard that someone who had been by Moses’ side, and witnessed all of the great works and miracles, would not doubt the power of God, and be ready to take this land.

Joshua trusts in the Lord, and he is not disappointed.

It is also funny, that at this same spot in the Bible, there is another story of faith.  Just across the river, in the City of Jericho, there is person of faith that has not witnessed the miracles.

Jos 2:1  And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there.

Jos 2:2  And it was told to the king of Jericho, "Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land."

Jos 2:3  Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land."

Jos 2:4  But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, "True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.

Jos 2:5  And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them."

Jos 2:6  But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.

Jos 2:7  So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.

Jos 2:8  Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof

Jos 2:9  and said to the men, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.

Jos 2:10  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 devoted to destruction.

Jos 2:11  And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.


There are some who believe that Rahab was an inn keeper.  And that the reason the spies when into here place of business was that, at the end of the day, when a little alcohol has been flowing, people are a bit more free with sharing information. 

Regardless of whether she had a legitimate business front, to hide a shadier profession, or not, she recognized the spies for who they were, and was willing to give everything to protect them.  I do not doubt that if they had been found hiding on the rooftop, that Rahab would have been killed as a traitor.

And what is more amazing, is that she asks that she, her father, mother, brothers, and sisters all be saved, without telling them where they are or how to find them.

I think that this puts it into perspective.  Here we have a woman, who is probably considered the lowest of the low.  Who sees the worst in people, and to a degree, brings out the worst in people.  And when this word of the Lord arrives, and the men of the city are dejected, she seizes on it, and uses it to find a way out for herself and her family.

Jos 2:12  Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a sure sign

Jos 2:13  that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death."

Jos 2:14  And the men said to her, "Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you."

Jos 2:15  Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall.

Jos 2:16  And she said to them, "Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way."

Jos 2:17  The men said to her, "We will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours that you have made us swear.

Jos 2:18  Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household.

Jos 2:19  Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head.

Jos 2:20  But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless with respect to your oath that you have made us swear."

Jos 2:21  And she said, "According to your words, so be it." Then she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.


I find it interesting that the spies treat this request as if it were a trivial matter.  If what she says is true, then the Lord will take care of her.  But if she were to betray them, then they are to free of guilt if she dies in the impending attack. 

I think that we can take these characters and use them to help shape our own perspective.

So why it is important for us to have perspective.  What does perspective mean?

Perspective is: the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship:

We have to understand what we are doing in this world.  I am not sure if it is just “luck” or divine providence, but I was reading an article this week that was pointing out that the megachurches are slowly adopting a message of “Feel good! Be happy! Be nice!”

Obviously, there is a bit more to their message than that, but a popular view of Christianity is that it is a modernized motivational movement where the bible is no longer referenced, and everything takes a position of Self-Help to give you focus.  I feel that this only serves to drive people away from God, not closer to him.  By replacing the act of seeking God out, asking for guidance and wisdom, and instead to look inside ourselves, we put ourselves in place of God.  We begin to think of ourselves as gods, and then move away from truth.  And when we have left Truth, we compromise.  God has already done the work of deciding what is good and what is evil right and wrong.  It is not for us to do this work again.

All we need to do is trust in his plan for us, to be bold, like Joshua, moving forward to accept his promise.  We know the power of the Lord, and have seen the miracles that he has given to his people.  We need to be like Rahab, and to treat his gift as the most precious thing that we can ever be given.  When we see it, we must be willing to sacrifice everything to keep our families safe through it.  And we are to be like the spies, not caring about the motives of those who have the power to help and to harm us.  Their actions are between them and God.  When we choose to live in truth, nothing else matters.