We come now to look at the far-reaching impact we make when we touch even one person…
Rahab wasn’t the only one saved the day the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. She cut a deal with Joshua’s scouts that included her parents, siblings, and their families. It occurs to me that if all she cared about was her own salvation, Rahab could’ve simply gone back with the scouts and left her family to die in the attack. It didn’t seem to enter her mind to leave her loved ones behind. She pled for their rescue along with hers right from the beginning. Continue reading →
I love the fact that the very first “convert” in the Promised Land was an idolatrous prostitute! If that doesn’t show us something about God’s wide and wooly welcome, I don’t know what does. Rachel Held Evans said, “The Gospel isn’t offensive for whom it leaves out but for who it lets in!”
I’m sure glad he let me in.
As I said before I don’t think the scouts went to Rahab’s house to buy sex. Maybe they thought they’d blend in better at a house of ill-repute. With the male foot traffic in and out of her house, two more would raise no immediate suspicion within the community. Continue reading →
There’s a ministry in India that rescues and re-trains sex slaves, called “Rahab’s Rope.” Its founder says: “The rope in the story represents Rahab’s rescue both physically and spiritually, and there is a high probability that Rahab made the rope herself. Our hope is that, just as the rope that Rahab made represents her rescue, the skills taught to the women at our women’s centers will represent their physical and spiritual rescue as well.”
The British Royal Navy used to weave a scarlet thread throughout all their rope. No matter where you cut it, this red thread could be seen. Figuratively, you might say that God wove a scarlet thread––the story of sacrifice––to run throughout the entire Bible and that wherever you open it you’ll find the sacrificial blood of Jesus represented. It appears in the sacrificial system, in prophecies, in the narrative of the cross itself, and in the teaching of the Apostles. If there’s a prominent theme in both testaments, it’s Jesus’ bloody sacrifice. Continue reading →
With the story of Rahab’s “salvation” as a backdrop, let’s now see who does the actual saving and how he does it.
Walls crumbling at the sound of shouts and trumpets? Not bad in the miracle department! Was it the perfectly articulated shouts or the trumpets’ tone that did the trick? I think not.
Remember how God told the Jews to march around the city walls for seven days without saying a word? No speaking for a week! Now that would be a miracle for me! I mean, not a word whispered between marchers, not a shout up to the Jerichoans peering down from their ramparts. What was that all about? My guess is that the Lord was reinforcing the point, “Put me first, do what I tell you, rest your mouths for the moment, and let me do the rest!” Continue reading →
The story of Rahab’s rescue from the destruction of Jericho has been the basis for our discussion of how God prepares people for hearing the good news by installing a supernatural wonder in their hearts. Let’s turn our attention now to the “witnesses” commissioned to share that news with her.
I’m not saying that Joshua’s two scouts had any intention of making Canaanite converts that day. They were on a mission, but not necessarily one to win souls. Of course, it was no accident from heaven’s vantage point, but on their part their saving influence on Rahab appears to have been purely serendipitous.
My sense is that they were more surprised by Rahab’s pre-faith, than she was by their visit! It’s not like they were out “witnessing” or expecting to do any outreach on the trip. Joshua’s instructions were to “Go, look over the land,”* not go door to door with tracts inviting people to church. Yet, by God’s design, their reconnaissance operation morphed into a saving encounter with an openhearted prostitute. Continue reading →
“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. 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 Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” Joshua 2:9-11
In the last post I introduced this notion of viewing the Rahab story as an example of how God invites people into friendship with himself. Let’s elaborate on that here…
We all have people in our lives that, like Rahab, have a supernaturally installed respect for God. Though they might be squandering their lives at the moment, they evidently have “eternity in their heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Their respect for God doesn’t necessarily mean they know him personally or love him in their hearts yet, but it is a huge step in the right direction. Continue reading →