Sunday, November 10, 2013
What We Can Learn from Rahab
(1) And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot's house, named Rahab, and lodged there. (2) And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. (3) And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. (4) And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they [were]: (5) And it came to pass [about the time] of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. (6) But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. (7) And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. (8) And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof; (9) And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. (10) For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. (11) And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. (12) Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: (13) And [that] ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. (14) And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee. (15) Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house [was] upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. (16) And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. (17) And the men said unto her, We [will be] blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. (18) Behold, [when] we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee. (19) And it shall be, [that] whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood [shall be] upon his head, and we [will be] guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood [shall be] on our head, if [any] hand be upon him. (20) And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. (21) And she said, According unto your words, so [be] it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window. (22) And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought [them] throughout all the way, but found [them] not. (23) So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all [things] that befell them: (24) And they said unto Joshua, Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
(5) and Salmon begat Boaz of Rahab, and Boaz begat Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Jesse, (6) and Jesse begat David the king. And David the king begat Solomon, of her [who had been] Uriah`s, (7) and Solomon begat Rehoboam, and Rehoboam begat Abijah, and Abijah begat Asa, (8) and Asa begat Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat begat Joram, and Joram begat Uzziah
Jos 6:17 "...only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. "
(23) And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. (24) And they burnt the city with fire, and all that [was] therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. (25) And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel [even] unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Prov 2:16 " To deliver thee from the strange woman, [even] from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words; "
(10) And, behold, there met him a woman [with] the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (11) (She [is] loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: (12) Now [is she] without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) (13) So she caught him, and kissed him, [and] with an impudent face said unto him, (14) [I have] peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Keeping in mind that a harlot could also mean an inkeeper,when most people think of the word harlot someone who is unsavory and promiscous comes to mind. It is true that the Bible has much to say about those who commit sexual sins such as homosexuality, adultery, and prostitution. All life is important. All humans are important and are created by God. Nobody has the right to look down on someone else. The gospel isn't just for the believer, or the person living in the suburbs. It is also for the homeless, the pimp, gluttons, liars, prostitutes, as well as those in the suburbs and believers..
God uses people who the world consider unlikely to accomplish his goal. In this case, God used Rahab to hide the messengers and in turn save their lives. God's word has been called from "inspired" to "contradictory". It is the inspired word of God, yet harlotry is a sin and a harlot was justified by her works. A harlot is a woman who is shameless, unrepentant, and indiscreet, yet a harlot is the one who gave the messengers a way of escape after she was promised safety from destruction for herself and her family. Rahab's story is not only proof of God's use of the unlikeliest of people, but also of God's faithfulness. He is the God that cannot lie. For that reason alone, God's word is not and cannot be contradictory.
Rahab is among a number of women in the Bible who have been given honor for their deeds, their faith, and their virtue. She is of the lineage of Jesus Christ according to Matthew 1. She is the mother of Boaz. Boaz is the husband of Ruth, the virtuous woman who stayed with her mother-in-law. God hates sin and is outraged by the ways of the wicked and He is Judge. He is also the one who judges the heart of man, not just the deeds of man. Rahab has been remembered and justified by what she did. James is saying we are justified by our works. Granted we are saved by grace. But our works justify us, or back up our faith. Whatver one has done in the past, we don't have to allow the past to define who we are today. God gave us free will. We don't have to be stuck in the past or allow guilt to hold us back.
If you think that what you did was so bad that you cannot be forgiven, then it is not true. The only sin that cannot be forgiven is sin that is unconfessed and blaspheming the Holy Spirit. No matter the station in life, God loves you. Jesus died on the cross for you and God raised Him from the dead. Whatever any of us has done, come to God. God does forgive. He is not a cosmic, far off being who sits in judgement. But he is the Great Judge and he will judge all sin. But he is also the loving God that others have talked about. Just talk to him. He will forgive you. All you have to do is call on the name of Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and you will be saved.