A Working Faith – Rahab
In Joshua 2, the children of Israel begin their military push across the Jordan River to take over and occupy the promised land of Canaan. Joshua sent out two spies to view the land and city of Jericho. Once entering the city, the spies lodged at the house of a woman who became both an ally for the army of Israel and an example of faith for Christians.
The story of Rahab is a fascinating one, and I find it interesting how God will use people from all walks of life, in a multitude of different situations, to show a working faith. Some struggle with the fact that God would honor a Gentile prostitute, who is best remembered for the fact that she told a lie. In fact, Rahab is mentioned 3 times in the New Testament; Matthew 1:5- she is one of five women mentioned by Matthew in the genealogy of Christ, Hebrews 11:31- She has her own verse in faith’s “Hall of Fame”, and James 2:25- James uses her as an example of justifying faith alongside Abraham.
As the story progresses, the king of Jericho heard of the spy’s presence and sent men to Rahab’s house, demanding that the spies be delivered to them. Instead, she hid them on her roof and told the king’s men that they had already fled out of the city. After Rahab had sent the king’s men out looking for the spies, she came to them on her roof, Josh. 2:9-11- and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 When we heard it, our hearts melted, and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath." All of Jericho believed that God was with the children of Israel. Rahab was not saved because she only believed in God… she was saved because her faith moved her to act. She hid the spies and spared their lives, in hope that they would return the favor. Faith does not save, unless it moves us to action, and faith without work is dead: James 2:17- Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
In fact, her faith reached out to others. The first thing that Rahab did was secure salvation, not just for herself, but also for her family: Josh 2:12-13- Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, 13 and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” In some ways our faith is very personal, each of us stands as an individual before God. We are saved as individuals, and we will be judged as such (2 Cor. 5:10). However, God wants us to have a faith that looks outward, not just inward. Does our faith move us to try to save others or just ourselves?
Our relationship with God is built upon our faith: Heb 11:6- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. But God doesn’t recognize just any kind of faith. Rahab’s faith demonstrated itself in works/action and reached out to others and changed her life. It’s a kind of faith that is possible for all of us to have!
- Craig Hecht
What Great Leaders Often Experience
Moses had the qualities of a great leader . . .
Vision - a clear sense of mission. He knew where he was going.
Courage to face hardship and adversity.
Persistence and determination to overcome difficulties and obstacles.
A humble spirit - open to advice from others and the counsel of God.
Willingness to delegate and share responsibility.
A servant’s heart. God repeatedly referred to him as “Moses, my servant.”
Concern for the welfare of his people. When judgment came on Israel because of their sins, he pleaded with God in their behalf.
Yet, Moses lived with constant conflict and bitter criticism.
- Handling Conflict, by Paul Powell
In his effort to build the Panama Canal, Col. G. W. Goethals had to contend with manifold problems of geography and climate. Added to this was the carping criticism of countless opponents back home, who confidently predicted that he would never complete his task.
“Aren't you going to answer your critics?” a subordinate once inquired.
“In time,” Goethals answered.
“But how?” the other man asked.
“With the canal,” replied the colonel.
We would do well to follow that example, when others criticize our efforts to do good and assure us that we will surely fail !
You can tell a lot about someone by observing how
they treat those who can do nothing for them.