Today we start the book of Joshua. This book represents a change in the mode and style of this part of the Old Testament. Joshua and the upcoming books represent a more historical style of narrative. They are more concerned with recording historic events.
One thing that is interesting if what Rahab tells the Israelites:
…”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. 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. 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.
News of the how the Israelites escaped Egypt has proceeded them.
Two interesting things in today’s reading. First, Paul points out to them that God finds pleasing how you live your life:
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.
Second, we see one of the verses that is the basis for the idea of “the Rapture”, made popular in the “Left Behind” series of books and movies.
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
However, even just a simple reading of the passage show that the idea of a rapture is faulty. The being caught up of the righteous coincides with the second coming of Jesus; there is not a period of tribulation after the rapture where non-believers are given a chance to convert. The point Paul is making in the passage is that the resurrection of the dead will happen at the same time as the second coming. The idea of a rapture did not occur in Christianity until about 150 years ago. It is another indication how interpretation of scripture untethered from tradition and the Church can produce spurious results.