Rahab. The prostitute, with her red cord and brazen lies are the subject of books, commentaries, and articles. Rahab. A woman who started out with a questionable past and then finds herself in the linage of Christ. Rahab leads our study on faith for the month of November.
Rahab’s story is found in the first few chapters of Joshua. We find Rahab living in the land of Canaan. God had promised this land to His people. It was time to conquer it. The first stop is Jericho. Rehab lived on the edge of Jericho’s famous walls. God had promised Joshua victory before a single step was taken. God would destroy Jericho and its man-made walls.
Apparently Rahab had a inkling of what was coming. She immediately recognized the two Jewish spies. She hid them. Then lied for them. She helped the two men escape the city. In return, she asked to be saved (along with her family) from the coming destruction. How did Rahab know what was coming? And why did she choose to help the enemy?
Hebrews 11:31 “By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.”
Faith. How did a harlot’s name end up in a list of names including Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? How did her faith save her life, and the life of her family?
Joshua 2:8-11 “Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.”
Knowledge. She knew what God had done. Forty years prior to the spies, word had spread about that incident in Egypt. How this God of the Israelites had parted the Red Sea and defeated the armies of Pharaoh. Rahab’s knowledge of God led to faith.
Knowledge doesn’t always lead to faith. In Daniel 2 we read the story of Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. After Daniel interrupted the king’s dream, the King Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged God as the one true God. However, his acknowledgment did not lead to faith. In the very next chapter we read how he immediately built a statue to himself. Obviously, he did not believe what he knew about God. His actions prove it.
Rahab’s actions proved her heart of faith. A woman with a twisted past, ended up in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews because she believed what she knew about God and hid the spies. She saw God’s works and trusted Him. Rahab heard and believed the faithfulness of this God of the Israelites. Rahab is the perfect picture of what James is trying to tell believes: And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:25-26)
As we study FAITH in the month of November, let’s begin with our knowledge of God. What we know about God affects our faith. Today, let me encourage you with this: We can have faith because our God is faithful. Rahab saw God’s faithfulness to His people and she wanted in. Her knowledge of God led to faith. Let our knowledge of faith lead us to our Faithful Father as well.
Upon God’s faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness. Only as He is faithful will His covenants stand and His promises be honored. Only as we have complete assurance that He is faithful may we live in peace and look forward with assurance to the life to come….The tempted, the anxious, the fearful, the discouraged may all find new hope and good cheer in the knowledge that our Heavenly Father is faithful. – A.W. Tozer
How have you experienced God’s faithfulness?
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