The Fear of Falling: Fall Guys 101 and Rahab (Joshua 2)

I… was… terrified. My palms were sweating, my forehead was dripping with perspiration… even my FEET were sweating. My FEET. I felt a wave of anxiety wash over me as I knew I was about to attempt something I had never done before… and feeling the eyes of everyone else in the room watching and judging every move I made wasn’t exactly helping. My stomach was knotted up with tension as I realized that it was now or never… and once I attempted this jump there was no going back. There was nowhere left to go, and I was out of time to think… I either had to attempt to leap forward towards victory or remain where I stood, paralyzed by fear, as I became enveloped by the slime. Yes, you read that correctly…the slime. The slime that had been patiently pursuing me throughout the obstacle course I was racing through… the slime that had filled in ALL of the space behind me and was continuing to inch closer to me and all the remaining players in this level of Fall Guys. If you haven’t played Fall Guys yet, you are in luck… it is going completely “free-to-play” and finally expanding to all major platforms to give everyone a chance to enjoy the unique madness that it brings to the table.

Fall Guys is a multiplayer free-for-all game that requires almost equal doses of luck, skill, and patience in order to succeed, proceeding at a frenetic pace as every player in the field fends for themselves through a variety of obstacle courses and activities… and as the challenges get progressively harder, the number of participants gets rapidly whittled down until only ONE player stands tall at the end with the crown. And I have found success with almost EVERY one of the crazy challenges that Fall Guys has thrown at me… except for Slime Climb, that is. The level called “Slime Climb” is exactly as I described it earlier… a mad dash to the finish line where you and your competitors all must run, jump, and dive across increasingly slippery and ever narrowing surfaces while the slime behind us slowly catches up. Even the most methodical player has little room for error as the slime slowly removes your options for making a mistake… if you slip and fall at any time after the midway point you can pretty much expect that the slime has cut off your options for advancing. It never stops, it never slows down… it just SLIMES its way toward you emotionlessly, unaware of the panic that is setting in as it grows ever closer to the remaining players.

Our path in life can feel much the same way… just one problem after another closing in on us, a bunch of spectators standing around judging each choice we make, and each new bit of drama seeming completely oblivious to the challenges we have already overcome just to make it THIS far. And all of the yelling, screaming, crying and denying won’t slow it down… it is forcing us down a path in which the only options are to join those who have already lost or to make a blind jump towards the next safe zone. And if there is anyone who would understand that conundrum it would be Rahab, a woman who was thrust into a position that required more than just faith… it required GUTS. And if you aren’t familiar with Rahab’s story, it’s time to become so.

Joshua 2:1-6 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.”

Rahab was gainfully employed as… ummm… look, I didn’t write this story, okay? Honestly, it might help many of us to know that the heroine of this story didn’t exactly start out as a Disney princess. Rahab was a harlot in the city of Jericho, a wicked city that had been marked for destruction. As a prostitute making her living in a city full of idol worshippers, Rahab’s life had nowhere to go but up. And things were about to look up in a major way as we find her destiny intertwined with the destiny of the entire Israeli nation. The spies that Israel had sent to scout out the city of Jericho had clearly not played through Splinter Cell or Metal Gear Solid, as the alarm klaxons were sounding shortly after their arrival. Like any good spies, they tried to get out of sight of the guards to wait out the “alert mode”… but they were going to need a little help from Rahab to avoid capture. And Rahab’s story was about to make a dramatic leap forward… as long as she was willing to make a pretty dramatic leap of faith herself.

Joshua 2:4-6 Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.”  (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)

This is a pretty bold move… hiding the spies of an enemy army on the roof of your home. Nobody asked her to do it, and she might have even briefly enjoyed being the “hometown hero” if she had chosen to turn them in. But Rahab put herself out there as an ally of God’s people and made a choice not only for herself, but for her entire family as well. If they were going to avoid the slimy consequences that were about to devour the entire city of Jericho, a dramatic leap of faith was not only called for, but necessary. And Rahab clearly knew what she was doing when she hid these men and which side she was choosing, as evidenced by the deal she made for herself and her family once the coast was clear…

Joshua 2:12-15 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.” Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall.

Rahab put herself out there and decided that she was going to throw herself at the mercy of a God that she didn’t even know and wasn’t even serving. She put her life and her entire family’s life on the line and made the blind leap of faith… and not only did she and her family land safely on the other side as the SOLE survivors of the city of Jericho (once the walls came down), but she earned herself an entirely different crown as well…

Matthew 1:1-5 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.

Did you catch that? Rahab was the mother of Boaz (the man who married Ruth), making Rahab the great-great grandmother of King David… and more importantly she is part of the chosen lineage of Jesus Christ Himself. She is one of only FOUR women named in the genealogy of Christ… and one of the few examples from the writer of Hebrews used as an example in the classic “heroes of faith” chapter…

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

The beginning of Rahab’s journey did not indicate where her story would reach its’ conclusion… in her case, the equivalent of the Bible “Hall of Fame”. Her legacy is to forever be remembered as someone who was specifically CHOSEN from a less than stellar background to be part of Christ’s family… both literally and figuratively. Rahab secured her place in the physical family tree of Jesus Christ through a dramatic blind leap of faith into His arms… a jump she made without any promises or guarantees that He would catch her. She simply trusted that He would, ignoring her fear of falling so she could step into her calling. She didn’t allow her past life, her present baggage, or any of the other things that might be considered “disqualifiers” prevent her from diving headfirst across the finish line and landing safely in His arms. She simply made a choice and jumped.

Our lives can feel a whole lot like a level from Fall Guys… it may feel like each challenge in life is getting more difficult, the “slime” keeps inching closer and closer towards us, and we have absolutely no idea which direction to jump next. And like Rahab, we may possess a “bad reputation” that makes us feel like we are unworthy of the calling He has placed on us. But here is some good news… the Father didn’t leave Rahab behind once she had served her purpose, and He didn’t merely save her and her family from destruction either. He picked her up and planted her firmly in the family tree of His own Son… not because He had to, but because He chose to. He wanted every one of us to read her story and realize that no matter how far we have gone or where we are at right now, there IS a path back into the family and into the destiny He planned for us. All it takes is a willingness to ignore the slime that lies behind us and the chaos that currently surrounds us and JUMP towards Him. It may seem like we are jumping towards nothing… trust me, I know that feeling. He doesn’t tend to show us where we will land until we are already in the air… Rahab would know a little something about that. Let’s not allow the fear of falling to prevent us from making that leap of faith into our Father’s hands… no matter how “disqualified” we may feel we are. Every soul who has chosen to fall into His arms of grace has landed safely on the other side.

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