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As you tell the story, you could encourage the children who are listening to respond like a narrator’s mate: to be quiet, to sit very still, to sigh, to hand over a pretend cord and to tremble at the thought of climbing down the wall. They can do as much or as little as they like.

Shhhh. Be as quiet as you can. Be as still as you can, too. I can hear them searching for us downstairs.

Don’t cough. Don’t sneeze. And don’t move a muscle. If they find us we’re dead!

Yes, I know the stalks of flax that Rahab laid on this roof to cover us with are itchy, and all you want to do is to scratch your nose. But don’t do it! Not until we get the all-clear. Otherwise the king’s men will catch us. And we’ll be done for, trust me.

Now, listen! Do you hear that? She’s telling them she saw us but that we sneaked out of the city gate just before it shut. Just before dark. She’s telling them they’d better get a move on if they want to catch us.

So they’re leaving, do you hear? Heavy feet on the floor. The door slamming shut behind them.

And now, breathe. Go on. A great big sigh of relief. We’re not safe yet. Not by a long shot. But we’re safe for now.

It’s tough being a spy, isn’t it? But when Joshua asked us to creep into Jericho and check it out we both put our hands up, didn’t we? Yeah, just like that!

And this woman, Rahab. What a find she turned out to be. She not only gave us a place to stay, but she hid us when she heard that the king’s men were looking for us.

Yes, you’re right. She did it for a reason, no doubt. What did she say? That’s right! She’d heard that our army was coming. She’d heard how our God had split the Red Sea so we could all walk across on dry land. She’d heard what our armies had done to the cities we’d already defeated. So she wanted to do a deal with us.

“I’ll hide you,” she said, “if you promise to save me and my family when you conquer Jericho.”

I don’t know what you think, but that seems more than fair to me. And, hey, I’ve got an idea for how we can do it. Give me that scarlet cord you wear around your waist.

Yeah, I know your mum gave it to you. And, yeah, I have one, too. But mine’s brown. It doesn’t stand out like yours. If she ties your cord onto her window, we’ll be able to see it when we attack the city. And that’s the point, surely. We’ll see it. We’ll know where her family is hiding. And we’ll be able to rescue them. Just like she’s rescuing us.

Yes, I know that! We’re not completely rescued yet, but Rahab has a plan; a way to get us out of the city so that no one notices .Don’t look so grumpy. I didn’t tell her your plan because I didn’t want you to worry. After all, I know how you feel about heights.

See, you’re trembling. I knew this would happen. But it’s the only way. Her window is in the city wall, right? So if she lowers us out of the window and down the wall on a rope, no one will see us. Stop shaking your head. You’re going to do this. You have to do this or we’ll be stuck here! And eventually they’ll find us. And we’ll die.

Pray? Yes, I think that’s an excellent idea. And yes, I’m happy to go first if you think that will help.

Now listen, can you hear? Someone is climbing up on the roof. Someone is making their way across the rows of flax. Someone is pulling up the flax that covers us.

“Hello, Rahab!”

Come on, my friend, it’s time for us to go!

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