Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rahab: From the House of Shame to the Hall of Fame!

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “Especially Jerico.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute name Rahab and stayed there….Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given this land to you 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…Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness to you.” …

Then the Israelites burned the whole city and everything in it….But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jerico – and she lives among the Israelites to this day. Joshua 2:1, 8-9, 12; 6:24-25.

All Christians have a measure of faith and I am glad about it. Ephesians 2:9 says we are saved by grace through faith and this not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works, so that no man can boast.

Some of us, however, have a greater measure of faith. Abraham, for example, obeyed God when the Lord told him to leave his country, and the Lord made him the father of many nations (Gen. 12:1-4). The woman with the issue of blood had great faith (Mark 5:25-34). She went to extraordinary lengths to touch the hem of Jesus' garment because she believed He could do what no other doctor could do. Jesus rewarded her for her tenacity. He told her it was her faith that healed her.

I have made an interesting observation about faith while teaching spiritual gifts. Faith is both a spiritual gift (1 Corin. 12:9) and a spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22). Do you know the difference between a spiritual gift and a spiritual fruit? The first has to do with process and the other has to do with results of process.

Faith, interestingly enough, too, is one of the pieces of the armor of God (Ephesian 6:16). Scriptures says it is with faith that we quench all the flaming arrows, or fiery darts, of the enemy. I see faith in action on the cereal commercial where the guy is eating his crunchy cereal at his desk and a guy, his boss no doubt, walks up to him and tells him he's fired. The cereal is so good to the worker that he joyfully continues to munch and crunch, and he doesn't hear a word that his boss is saying. Finally, when the man stops eating and asks, "What did you say?," the boss says "Never mind!" In my Holy Ghost imagination, that man prayed before he went to work and asked God to protect his job, and career, and He did!

In this faith discussion, it is Rahab who intrigues me. She went from the House of Shame to the Hall of Fame! No respectable woman wanted to be in her presence. She was not on the "A" List at the Derby party, but the Black List at every party. Rahab was a prostitute, but more than that. She ran a whore house. She was a business woman. And in working her deal to save the Israelites and herself, she made sure to save her whole family. I call it the "I got you" clause in the contract. I can respect that.

Rahab lied in hiding the Israelite spies in Joshua chapter two. It would appear that it is okay to lie since God blessed Rahab, and even the Midianite midwives who lied to Pharoah.  However, the midwives were blessed with families not because they lied, but because they feared God (Exodus 1:17 and v21). And Rahab and her family were spared not because she lied, but because of God’s grace toward her and her faith in Him (Hebrews 11:31) and (James 2:25).

Rahab put her faith in God, and she went from the house of shame to the faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:31). How is your faith? Are you trusting in God because He is God all by Himself? Or are you putting your faith in people, your career or your finances? People are fickled. They won't let you forget your sins oftentimes. Careers and finances come and go.  But, the Bible says, "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). The Bible says, "Now, if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may share in his glory” Romans 8:17. Like Rahab, you, too, can go from the house of shame to the Hall of Fame. Put your faith not in your house, car, career, degrees, people or your bank account. Put your faith in God!

Join the Jesus Saves Social Network and join us in lifting up Jesus Christ to a dying world.  Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves.  Jesus saves!


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