Put Faith in Action (Rahab)
Faith in God should compel us to obey him
…….Our obedience and consistency testifies of our faith, it always goes hand in hand. People obey God, walk, talk and live with the character of Christ because they believe in God and his fullness.
When people live in disobedience and lack the fruit of the Spirit, it is a sure sign of a lack of faith. Faith in Christ brings a knowing that there are consequences of living in disobedience.
After Israel crossed the Jordan river under the leadership of Joshua, The Fortress City-Kingdom of Jericho stood a formidable Sentinel, barring Israel’s entrance to the promised land. Jericho had to be defeated, it could not be bypassed. The city’s capture and destruction was crucial to Israel’s success in the conquest of Canaan. To obtain this outcome, Joshua sent spies into Jericho, whose lives were protected, and their escape facilitated, by a harlot name Rahab. This lesson is the story about her faith in Yahweh, the God of Israel, and how she risked her own life to put her faith in action to save the Israelites spies. As a result, she saved herself and her family.
I. FAITH AND FEAR EXPRESSED
A. Protecting Israelite Spies
1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men (Caleb and Phinehas) 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.
*Question: Why do you think the spies picked a harlots home to Lodge and hide in?
What do people do when they want to rebel openly? They Sin. They give signs that they no longer want anything to do with common moral rules and laws.
Think about every country that has law breakers, how many videos are streaming of people deliberately breaking the law? It is a sure sign of rebellion.
Think about the culture in those days; if a woman could not bare children, they were thought as worthless. Maybe she tried to be that good wife and was thrown out by a husband that thought she was worthless and this was the only occupational option for a woman in her state. How does Rahab the harlot so far compare to your life?
Maybe, God chose the harlot because, besides her sin, she knew of God and God knew her heart.
B. Believing in Israel’s God
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.
…….God had already prepared the heart of Rahab before the spies ever knew their journey. She was a woman who feared and knew of the God of Israel.
…….This is the reason we should walk with Godly confidence, God prepares the hearts of the people long before we enter the battle.
…….This goes hand in hand with witnessing and ministry. If God calls you, he will always prepare the path!
C. Kindness Asked and Promised
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.
…….Not all unsaved people are selfish. There are many in this world who have just never come in contact with a real Christian.
Real Christian’s aren’t walking around casting judgement in everything that doesn’t look right, it’s actually the opposite. It’s loving people for what they are at this very moment, and leading them through prayer and the Word (not opinions and carnal religion) and watching the Spirit of Christ do the work!
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.
……. Because Rahab had identified herself with Israel and Israel’s God, the spies could make the promise to save and keel them from destruction.
II. FAITH IN ACTION
A. Helping the Spies Escape
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.
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.
……. Because the spies had faith in God and believed the journey was in every way ordained by God, they could trust the instructions of Rahab, and trust the route of escape she provided.
…….Look for God’s Providence in your life. Think if all the good things he has provided and saved you out of. It’s always better on this side of salvation!
B. The Spies’ Promise
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.
…….Caleb and Phinehas made the promise to spare the lives of Rahab and her family. As representations of Jesus Christ, our word should always stand strong to all people. If we say we are going to do something, it is our duty to fulfill.
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:7 have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
C. Active Faith is Essential
In the book of James ch. 2:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
…….Faith is a believing in something so strong, that it produces action. It give the strength, confidence and most importantly anointing to do whatever God compels a person to do. If our daily actions aren’t a proving testimony of salvation, then our faith is dead.
…….Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is Deception!!!
III. FAITH REWARDED
A. Rahab’s Father Rewarded
22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
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.
…….What a feeling if accomplishment that must have been, when the same two men that made the promise showed up on the scene.
…….Think about this story when you make a promise to anyone, your faithful actions will cause faith to grow on the inside of others.
B. Rahab’s Faith Remembered
31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
…….God uses a sinner to save a Nation and then mentioned her in the holy scripture! Such faith demonstrates reverence and love for God, and obedience to his word. This pleases God.
C. Rahab’s Faith Honored
5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab (Rahab); and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
…….It amazes me how many people that are from the worst ways of life become chosen for great purpose!
…….Our faith in our God pleases him in such a way that he is faithful in using the faithful to do his work. The greatest honor for any person would be from the ancestry of Jesus Christ!!!