Joshua 2: Rahab the Harlot

Joshua 2: Rahab the Harlot

The book of Joshua follows the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is basically a series of speeches given by Moses in the last months of his life.  Moses is preparing the next generation for what lies ahead as he prepares to pass the baton of leadership to Joshua.  In Deuteronomy, Moses goes over their history from the Exodus to the failure to enter the Promised Land and the subsequent 40 years in the wilderness.

Moses was a great leader and a great man of faith. Moses emphasizes throughout Deuteronomy the following truths God had taught him.  These are:

  1. Life is found in God.
  2. This life is sustained in a relationship with God through His Word.
  3. Follow these instructions and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed with the consequences. In fact did you notice the emphasis- ‘be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. *This promise of success was conditional. To experience the success God had promised, we must obey all of God’s law. And God is the same today as He was yesterday as He will be tomorrow and forever.

In other words, the Bible, the Word of God, is telling us life was made to work God’s way. When we follow His way and live life His way, we will be successful by God’s definition of the abundant, spirit-filled life which Jesus died to give us.

The more I consider our country and where we are is we are not so much the generation who refused to go in and thus lived and died in the wilderness. We are more like the generation who followed Joshua and those who took the Promised Land and fought the enemy and claimed their inheritance. We were given the Promised Land by our forefathers, and in my opinion we have become like the generation who lived in the time of Judges, where everyone did what was right in his own eyes. God’s story, the Bible, reveals God’s judgment is to give people over to the consequences of the life they have chosen.

What we are seeing in our country today is the de-Christianizing of America. We are now a minority living in a pluralistic, secularized society and culture. The enemy is all around us conforming us to accept ways which are contrary to the Word of God.  As the Proverbs tells us- ‘righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a disgrace to any people.’  I hate to say it, but we live in a time when everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.  Truth is relative. Religion is old-fashioned, and out-of-date. And yet I am hopeful and see a glimmer of revival and my heart is encouraged when a movie, like “The War Room” is the number 1 movie.  Perhaps if we humble ourselves and confess our sins, the God will hear our cries and heal our land.  We need to raise up an army of prayer warriors. We need, like the nation of Israel during the time of Judges, to call out to God and urgently appeal to God to raise up godly leaders who will help us regain what God has given us.  Create in us a pure heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within us. Restore in us the joy of our salvation. Do not cast away from your presence, O God. Remember your people! Remember your promises!

One thing I want to draw your attention to before we study this amazing story of the faith of Rahab the harlot.  The people who would take possession of the land God promised them, made a commitment of total obedience. “Then they (leaders of Israel) answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you have commanded us to go, we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so will we obey you? (Joshua 1: 16, 17)  Total obedience!  Wholeheartedness. Half-hearted efforts never work. Picking and choosing what you will obey will not work.  The Lord said, why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I tell you to do. (Luke 6)  *Also, we know they are about to cross the Jordan at flood stage. It is over a mile wide with swift running currents at this time of year. But notice Joshua does not tell the men to prepare and get ready some boats. Joshua remembers the Red Sea crossing. Joshua is not leaning to his own understanding and trying to solve the problem in his own wisdom. He is taking it one step at a time. One step at a time is the life of faith, the walk of faith. The Lord delights to order our steps.  But we must not second guess God or try to get ahead of Him.*

RAHAB AND THE SPIES

Joshua sends two spies into Jericho to check things out. This is not because he doubts what God has promised, but because he is a wise leader, he wants to make sure he knows all he can about his enemy before he goes to battle.

Rahab is a very interesting woman. And the placement of Rahab’s story within this story is to emphasize this is a story of walking by faith and not by sight. Let us bring our focus on a woman who is one of the only two women mentioned the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.  The other woman is Sarah.  Here is what is said of Rahab in Hebrews 11: 31: “By faith, the prostitute, Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”

God is showing us what true, saving faith is about in the story of Rahab. Hebrews 11: 1 described this type of faith:  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” This tells us saving faith, the gift of God, always exists in the area of the unknown and the unseen. For if it was known and seen we would not need faith. This type of faith involves the whole heart. And by heart we are referring to the mind, the will and the emotions. We will see how this faith works as we study her story and also refer to the examples of this saving faith which is described in Hebrews 11 from the stories in the Bible.

Let us look at one of the many examples and we will see this saving, wholehearted faith.  We will see the mind is instructed, the emotions are stirred and the will then acts in obedience to God.  Watch how this works:  “By faith, Noah when warned about things to come, (his mind is instructed by God); in holy fear (his emotions were stirred) built an ark to save his family (his will was moved to action and obedience and built an ark).

Notice also where the faith of Noah came from: it came from hearing the Word of God. Genesis 6 tells us: “God said to Noah…”  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) This is exactly the sequence which Rahab experienced. She tells the two spies: ‘I know the Lord has given you this land (her mind has been instructed) and a great fear (her emotions have been stirred) has fallen on us, so that all the 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.  This moves her will to action to save the life of the two spies at the risk of her very own life.

Rahab is not only a Canaanite, non-Jewish, she makes her living as a prostitute. Jericho is a walled city. It is reported by archeologists who have studied the remains of Jericho to have two walls adjacent to each other which they estimate were 15 feet in height.  If you recall the first spies who went into the land 40 years before, described the people not only as giants, they described the walls as reaching to the sky.  Fear can exaggerate our problems, can’t they?

By divine providence, God leads the two spies to the house of this prostitute, Rahab, whose living quarters are evidently in the wall of the city. Why did God choose this woman, a prostitute?  This is a picture of what God does. I Corinthians 1- Paul asks ‘where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its own wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things to shame the strong. He chose the lowly, things of the world and the despised things, – and the things that are not- to nullify they things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. “

Do you realize who Rahab is?  She would become the wife of a Jewish man, named Salmon. They would have a son, named Boaz, who married a Moabite widow named Ruth who would have a son named Obed, the grandfather of David. Rahab is in the direct line of Jesus’ descendants. And Jesus is not ashamed to have her listed in his genealogy, a non-Jewish female prostitute.

Let us look at this faith, for it is a clear picture of saving faith and without faith we cannot please God and we are commanded to walk by faith, not by sight.

RAHAB’S FAITH

Now some might take issue with the fact that Rahab lied in order to save the lives of the two spies. In doing so she also risked death for her and her family.  But telling a lie is wrong, right?  Is God condoning lying in situation? No-God is just telling the story just as it happened. Lying is wrong. However, we must consider the circumstances a new believer faced. (And remember, Abraham lied, David lied, Peter lied and those are just three which come to mind. Also Corrie Ten Boom and her family lied and I believe this situation is much like Corrie Ten Boom’s )  So let’s just set this aside and say- God does not condone lying, but Rahab was new believer faced with a life and death situation and the first thing her faith shows me is this is a COURAGEOUS FAITH. Her knowledge of God was adequate for salvation- but limited in knowledge of how she should live.  It takes a lifetime to reach a level of maturity where one can trusts the Lord with all their heart and not lean to their own understanding. In other words, I am saying, give her a break and look at the big picture here. This is a woman of courage who risks her life based on the faith she had which was adequate for salvation, but lacking instruction which she had yet received.  Let’s consider not only what the writer of Hebrews said about Rahab, but what James said about her.

James is known for his teaching on faith and works. James says faith without works is dead and useless. He gives two examples in James 2, the chapter on faith and works. First example is Abraham and the example is Abraham and his willingness to offer his son, Isaac, on the altar. James says his faith and actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. He then is inspired by the Holy Spirit to use Rahab as an example of this courageous faith. “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent the off in a different direction?” (James 2: 25, 26)  And remember, Abraham had lied twice before we know of and it was in a situation to save his own skin.

Faith must by its nature have an object of its faith.  And ones’ faith is only as good as its object. I remember in AA, we were told we could only overcome our problem by realizing we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable. Remember what I said earlier? Life was made work God’s way. When we live it our way- it becomes unmanageable. AA instructed us to turn our lives over to God as we came to understand Him. What I witnessed in AA was those who were successful in finding the God of Heaven and Earth, as Rahab was coming to understand Him, they would be more successful in long term sobriety than those who resisted the God of the Bible and tried to make a god of their own.

Today people have faith in many different things. Faith in science, medicine, money, achievement, the government- their spouses and loved ones.  But faith is only as good as its object and none of these can do what only the God who created the universe can do- He will never fail you. All of these others, including those you love and who love you cannot take the place of God. Rahab had been a pagan all her life, who worshipped idols. She had heard about this God of Israel.  And looked what she believed: She believed He was the One True God.  Rahab tells the spies, “When we heard of it (everything God had done in the Exodus), our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for The Lord Your God is God of heaven above and on earth below.” (Joshua 2: 11)  Notice this confession: She believes He is the one true God of heaven and earth. She believed this one true God was a personal God – who worked on behalf of those who trusted Him. She believed He was the God of heaven and earth and therefore He could and would give the land to His people as He had promised.

Her faith was courageous. Her faith was confident.  Are you confident you are God’s child??  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3)  What Jesus did at the cross and in the resurrection is He made a way where there was no way.  A way we could become the children of God.  “We are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8, 9)  Saving faith is a gift offered by God.  You can accept the gift or reject it. The Bible is complete with stories of those who rejected it, and those who accepted it.  We have those who stated they were almost persuaded. We have others who went away sad because they would have to give up their gods. Others simply said, I am busy now maybe later.  But when we accept the gift of faith we can now hear the Gospel, the good news.  Paul said I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believed.  Rahab heard and believed and was saved. She believed with all her heart. It was not just an intellectual decision of the mind only.  It was not just an emotional decision which would later be set aside when the tests and temptations of life came. It was a whole hearted decision in which her mind was instructed and her emotions stirred and she made a decision of the will to be obedient.

Now just to be clear. We are save by grace through faith alone. But not by a faith which is alone.  Saving faith, genuine faith results in work, which God has ordained beforehand we should walk in.

The courage of Rahab’s faith and the confidence of her faith did not come from her faith- but from the one she placed her faith in.  I did not understand how faith in God and His promises could save me from my compulsion to drink but He proved Himself to be faithful to His Word when I wholeheartedly depended on Him and His promise that He would make a way for me to escape the temptation and bear up under it. What a wonderful change had come into my life!  No wonder the early Christians were called The Way.  Because they had discovered life was in God and life was designed to work God’s way!

There is one other facet of Rahab’s faith we need to consider. It was not only courageous and confident, it also involved a covenant.   A covenant is an agreement between two parties with certain conditions laid down upon both parties to obey.  It can be described as a contract. The covenant often involved some type of payment to seal the deal.  In real estate, an offer would be sealed with a contract and ‘earnest money.’ A covenant with God can be accepted or rejected. It cannot be altered. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me.  He is the only way.

The new covenant Jesus enacted at Calvary was sealed by His blood as an atonement for our sins and the sins of the world. He became surety for sins. He paid for our sins with His own blood.  And as the song says, He paid much too high a price for me, but that is how much He values each and every one of us. This was picture of the last plague in Exodus, where the blood of the lamb was posted on the doorpost which said all those in this house have believed God’s promise to save them and in obedience placed the blood of the lamb on the door post and God passed over them.  This is why John the Baptist pointed out Jesus the day after his baptism and told his two young disciples, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1)

The Jews would come to place their faith in the tokens of the covenants rather than the faith in the living God who gave them the tokens.  The trusted the circumcision and the blood of bulls and lambs rather than the Lamb of God to which they pointed.

Rahab wanted these two spies to swear to her by the Lord they would show kindness to her family. She understood covenants and she said give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my family and save us from death- the judgement of God.

They told her to tie a scarlet rope and hang it from her window, so when they entered the city it would be marked clearly they were to be spared. Also her whole family must be in the house with her.

The color is significant. It reminds of the blood of the lamb posted on the doors of the Israelites. And those where the blood of the lamb was posted the angel of death passed over them and they and their families were saved.

Now – were Rahab and her family saved by the scarlet rope? No they were saved by their faith in the Almighty God of Israel. The scarlet rope from the window was the proof of her faith and her family’s faith in God.

Joshua 2: Rahab the Harlot

 

The book of Joshua follows the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is basically a series of speeches given by Moses in the last months of his life.  Moses is preparing the next generation for what lies ahead as he prepares to pass the baton of leadership to Joshua.  In Deuteronomy, Moses goes over their history from the Exodus to the failure to enter the Promised Land and the subsequent 40 years in the wilderness.

Moses was a great leader and a great man of faith. Moses emphasizes throughout Deuteronomy the following truths God had taught him.  These are:

  1. Life is found in God.
  2. This life is sustained in a relationship with God through His Word.
  3. Follow these instructions and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed with the consequences. In fact did you notice the emphasis- ‘be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. *This promise of success was conditional. To experience the success God had promised, we must obey all of God’s law. And God is the same today as He was yesterday as He will be tomorrow and forever.

In other words, the Bible, the Word of God, is telling us life was made to work God’s way. When we follow His way and live life His way, we will be successful by God’s definition of the abundant, spirit-filled life which Jesus died to give us.

The more I consider our country and where we are is we are not so much the generation who refused to go in and thus lived and died in the wilderness. We are more like the generation who followed Joshua and those who took the Promised Land and fought the enemy and claimed their inheritance. We were given the Promised Land by our forefathers, and in my opinion we have become like the generation who lived in the time of Judges, where everyone did what was right in his own eyes. God’s story, the Bible, reveals God’s judgment is to give people over to the consequences of the life they have chosen.

What we are seeing in our country today is the de-Christianizing of America. We are now a minority living in a pluralistic, secularized society and culture. The enemy is all around us conforming us to accept ways which are contrary to the Word of God.  As the Proverbs tells us- ‘righteousness exalts a nation; sin is a disgrace to any people.’  I hate to say it, but we live in a time when everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes.  Truth is relative. Religion is old-fashioned, and out-of-date. And yet I am hopeful and see a glimmer of revival and my heart is encouraged when a movie, like “The War Room” is the number 1 movie.  Perhaps if we humble ourselves and confess our sins, the God will hear our cries and heal our land.  We need to raise up an army of prayer warriors. We need, like the nation of Israel during the time of Judges, to call out to God and urgently appeal to God to raise up godly leaders who will help us regain what God has given us.  Create in us a pure heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within us. Restore in us the joy of our salvation. Do not cast away from your presence, O God. Remember your people! Remember your promises!

One thing I want to draw your attention to before we study this amazing story of the faith of Rahab the harlot.  The people who would take possession of the land God promised them, made a commitment of total obedience. “Then they (leaders of Israel) answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you have commanded us to go, we will go. Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so will we obey you? (Joshua 1: 16, 17)  Total obedience!  Wholeheartedness. Half-hearted efforts never work. Picking and choosing what you will obey will not work.  The Lord said, why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I tell you to do. (Luke 6)  *Also, we know they are about to cross the Jordan at flood stage. It is over a mile wide with swift running currents at this time of year. But notice Joshua does not tell the men to prepare and get ready some boats. Joshua remembers the Red Sea crossing. Joshua is not leaning to his own understanding and trying to solve the problem in his own wisdom. He is taking it one step at a time. One step at a time is the life of faith, the walk of faith. The Lord delights to order our steps.  But we must not second guess God or try to get ahead of Him.*

RAHAB AND THE SPIES

Joshua sends two spies into Jericho to check things out. This is not because he doubts what God has promised, but because he is a wise leader, he wants to make sure he knows all he can about his enemy before he goes to battle.

Rahab is a very interesting woman. And the placement of Rahab’s story within this story is to emphasize this is a story of walking by faith and not by sight. Let us bring our focus on a woman who is one of the only two women mentioned the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11.  The other woman is Sarah.  Here is what is said of Rahab in Hebrews 11: 31: “By faith, the prostitute, Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”

God is showing us what true, saving faith is about in the story of Rahab. Hebrews 11: 1 described this type of faith:  “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.” This tells us saving faith, the gift of God, always exists in the area of the unknown and the unseen. For if it was known and seen we would not need faith. This type of faith involves the whole heart. And by heart we are referring to the mind, the will and the emotions. We will see how this faith works as we study her story and also refer to the examples of this saving faith which is described in Hebrews 11 from the stories in the Bible.

Let us look at one of the many examples and we will see this saving, wholehearted faith.  We will see the mind is instructed, the emotions are stirred and the will then acts in obedience to God.  Watch how this works:  “By faith, Noah when warned about things to come, (his mind is instructed by God); in holy fear (his emotions were stirred) built an ark to save his family (his will was moved to action and obedience and built an ark).

Notice also where the faith of Noah came from: it came from hearing the Word of God. Genesis 6 tells us: “God said to Noah…”  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) This is exactly the sequence which Rahab experienced. She tells the two spies: ‘I know the Lord has given you this land (her mind has been instructed) and a great fear (her emotions have been stirred) has fallen on us, so that all the 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.  This moves her will to action to save the life of the two spies at the risk of her very own life.

Rahab is not only a Canaanite, non-Jewish, she makes her living as a prostitute. Jericho is a walled city. It is reported by archeologists who have studied the remains of Jericho to have two walls adjacent to each other which they estimate were 15 feet in height.  If you recall the first spies who went into the land 40 years before, described the people not only as giants, they described the walls as reaching to the sky.  Fear can exaggerate our problems, can’t they?

By divine providence, God leads the two spies to the house of this prostitute, Rahab, whose living quarters are evidently in the wall of the city. Why did God choose this woman, a prostitute?  This is a picture of what God does. I Corinthians 1- Paul asks ‘where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its own wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things to shame the strong. He chose the lowly, things of the world and the despised things, – and the things that are not- to nullify they things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. “

Do you realize who Rahab is?  She would become the wife of a Jewish man, named Salmon. They would have a son, named Boaz, who married a Moabite widow named Ruth who would have a son named Obed, the grandfather of David. Rahab is in the direct line of Jesus’ descendants. And Jesus is not ashamed to have her listed in his genealogy, a non-Jewish female prostitute.

Let us look at this faith, for it is a clear picture of saving faith and without faith we cannot please God and we are commanded to walk by faith, not by sight.

RAHAB’S FAITH

Now some might take issue with the fact that Rahab lied in order to save the lives of the two spies. In doing so she also risked death for her and her family.  But telling a lie is wrong, right?  Is God condoning lying in situation? No-God is just telling the story just as it happened. Lying is wrong. However, we must consider the circumstances a new believer faced. (And remember, Abraham lied, David lied, Peter lied and those are just three which come to mind. Also Corrie Ten Boom and her family lied and I believe this situation is much like Corrie Ten Boom’s )  So let’s just set this aside and say- God does not condone lying, but Rahab was new believer faced with a life and death situation and the first thing her faith shows me is this is a COURAGEOUS FAITH. Her knowledge of God was adequate for salvation- but limited in knowledge of how she should live.  It takes a lifetime to reach a level of maturity where one can trusts the Lord with all their heart and not lean to their own understanding. In other words, I am saying, give her a break and look at the big picture here. This is a woman of courage who risks her life based on the faith she had which was adequate for salvation, but lacking instruction which she had yet received.  Let’s consider not only what the writer of Hebrews said about Rahab, but what James said about her.

James is known for his teaching on faith and works. James says faith without works is dead and useless. He gives two examples in James 2, the chapter on faith and works. First example is Abraham and the example is Abraham and his willingness to offer his son, Isaac, on the altar. James says his faith and actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. He then is inspired by the Holy Spirit to use Rahab as an example of this courageous faith. “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent the off in a different direction?” (James 2: 25, 26)  And remember, Abraham had lied twice before we know of and it was in a situation to save his own skin.

Faith must by its nature have an object of its faith.  And ones’ faith is only as good as its object. I remember in AA, we were told we could only overcome our problem by realizing we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable. Remember what I said earlier? Life was made work God’s way. When we live it our way- it becomes unmanageable. AA instructed us to turn our lives over to God as we came to understand Him. What I witnessed in AA was those who were successful in finding the God of Heaven and Earth, as Rahab was coming to understand Him, they would be more successful in long term sobriety than those who resisted the God of the Bible and tried to make a god of their own.

Today people have faith in many different things. Faith in science, medicine, money, achievement, the government- their spouses and loved ones.  But faith is only as good as its object and none of these can do what only the God who created the universe can do- He will never fail you. All of these others, including those you love and who love you cannot take the place of God. Rahab had been a pagan all her life, who worshipped idols. She had heard about this God of Israel.  And looked what she believed: She believed He was the One True God.  Rahab tells the spies, “When we heard of it (everything God had done in the Exodus), our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for The Lord Your God is God of heaven above and on earth below.” (Joshua 2: 11)  Notice this confession: She believes He is the one true God of heaven and earth. She believed this one true God was a personal God – who worked on behalf of those who trusted Him. She believed He was the God of heaven and earth and therefore He could and would give the land to His people as He had promised.

Her faith was courageous. Her faith was confident.  Are you confident you are God’s child??  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (I John 3)  What Jesus did at the cross and in the resurrection is He made a way where there was no way.  A way we could become the children of God.  “We are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”  (Ephesians 2:8, 9)  Saving faith is a gift offered by God.  You can accept the gift or reject it. The Bible is complete with stories of those who rejected it, and those who accepted it.  We have those who stated they were almost persuaded. We have others who went away sad because they would have to give up their gods. Others simply said, I am busy now maybe later.  But when we accept the gift of faith we can now hear the Gospel, the good news.  Paul said I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believed.  Rahab heard and believed and was saved. She believed with all her heart. It was not just an intellectual decision of the mind only.  It was not just an emotional decision which would later be set aside when the tests and temptations of life came. It was a whole hearted decision in which her mind was instructed and her emotions stirred and she made a decision of the will to be obedient.

Now just to be clear. We are save by grace through faith alone. But not by a faith which is alone.  Saving faith, genuine faith results in work, which God has ordained beforehand we should walk in.

The courage of Rahab’s faith and the confidence of her faith did not come from her faith- but from the one she placed her faith in.  I did not understand how faith in God and His promises could save me from my compulsion to drink but He proved Himself to be faithful to His Word when I wholeheartedly depended on Him and His promise that He would make a way for me to escape the temptation and bear up under it. What a wonderful change had come into my life!  No wonder the early Christians were called The Way.  Because they had discovered life was in God and life was designed to work God’s way!

There is one other facet of Rahab’s faith we need to consider. It was not only courageous and confident, it also involved a covenant.   A covenant is an agreement between two parties with certain conditions laid down upon both parties to obey.  It can be described as a contract. The covenant often involved some type of payment to seal the deal.  In real estate, an offer would be sealed with a contract and ‘earnest money.’ A covenant with God can be accepted or rejected. It cannot be altered. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except by Me.  He is the only way.

The new covenant Jesus enacted at Calvary was sealed by His blood as an atonement for our sins and the sins of the world. He became surety for sins. He paid for our sins with His own blood.  And as the song says, He paid much too high a price for me, but that is how much He values each and every one of us. This was picture of the last plague in Exodus, where the blood of the lamb was posted on the doorpost which said all those in this house have believed God’s promise to save them and in obedience placed the blood of the lamb on the door post and God passed over them.  This is why John the Baptist pointed out Jesus the day after his baptism and told his two young disciples, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1)

The Jews would come to place their faith in the tokens of the covenants rather than the faith in the living God who gave them the tokens.  The trusted the circumcision and the blood of bulls and lambs rather than the Lamb of God to which they pointed.

Rahab wanted these two spies to swear to her by the Lord they would show kindness to her family. She understood covenants and she said give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my family and save us from death- the judgement of God.

They told her to tie a scarlet rope and hang it from her window, so when they entered the city it would be marked clearly they were to be spared. Also her whole family must be in the house with her.

The color is significant. It reminds of the blood of the lamb posted on the doors of the Israelites. And those where the blood of the lamb was posted the angel of death passed over them and they and their families were saved.

Now – were Rahab and her family saved by the scarlet rope? No they were saved by their faith in the Almighty God of Israel. The scarlet rope from the window was the proof of her faith and her family’s faith in God.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.