Monday, October 19, 2015
Rahab - scarlet threads
Last week we studied Rahab and we saw that the things that would have condemned her were the same things we can see in our lives . . . praising God for His mercy, let's move on to see what happened to Rahab!
The first thing we see in our passages that we read (Joshua 2, and also chapter 6), is that she heard about God. What an awesome thing to happen to this Canaanite woman, who worshiped idols and had a less than savory occupation. She heard about Him! How in the world did that happen?
While she was entertaining the local customers from Jericho, Rahab would often have welcomed guests from other places, too. Because her house was on the wall, she would have seen and invited in guests from caravans who crisscrossed the known world on the trade routes. All sorts of men came through her doors, from all over the place, and as they came through the gates of Jericho, they would tell the city-dwellers about the people who were camped outside their city. They would be telling stories of years ago, of how the Israelites were very strong, and very large in number; but they would also tell the stories they had heard about how their God dried a path through the Red Sea, and many other things that would amaze the inhabitants of Jericho.
So, Rahab heard these marvelous stories about the Israelites, their travels, their battles, and their God. And this is what she says:
For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea
for you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two
kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of the Jordan,
Sihon and Og, whom you completely destroyed. (Joshua 2:10)
We can see that Rahab understood that their God had mighty power, over nature, the Egyptians, and more. She understood that He intervened for them and delivered them from their enemies. The two kings that she refers to were destroyed about forty years earlier, and she says they're still being talked about -- "I have heard!"
Let's put this in perspective:
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
When we read what Rahab said to the two scouts, it looks like she not only heard about God, but she also believed on Him.
I know that the Lord has given you this land, and that a great fear
of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are
melting in fear because of you. (Joshua 2:10)
First, she says "I know" that the Lord God had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. Then she says "I know" that a great fear has fallen on the land, and that her own people were fainting with fear of the Israelites.
Then she goes on to affirm:
When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear . . . for the Lord your
God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. (Joshua 2:11)
Rahab, the harlot, knew and believed that Jehovah, I AM, was the God of heaven and the God of earth. She knew whom she had believed, just like Paul:
I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able
to guard what I've entrusted to Him until that day.
(II Timothy 2:12)
This was her affirmation of faith. A ringing, confident statement of faith. In the face of sure condemnation and destruction, Rahab found the words to say. That's something in Rahab that we should try to emulate!
We'll learn more about Rahab next time . . .