Summary: The kind of faith God is looking for in the kind of person we so often are not.
Text: Joshua 2:1-24
Title: “Amazing Grace”
I. Rahab the harlot (1)
• There are several things we find that are working against Rahab or why she would have been disqualified to do great things for God.
o She was a harlot. She practiced a lifestyle of open sin towards God. (Immoral)
o She was not a Jew; she was not from the chosen race of God. She was an Amorite living in a Canaanite military stronghold. (Outsider)
o She was a woman; in their culture women were not exactly considered as equals.
• Joshua commissions two spies to go into Jericho and do some surveillance.
o Even though Joshua knew God’s presence was with them and He was in control that does not mean they were not to be prudent by planning ahead and getting all the information they could.
o It is the same with us today; we must balance our faith with good planning.
Luke 14:28 -- 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—
• There is also an underlying importance to Joshua’s sending of the spies: to carry out the salvation of Rahab and her family. Ultimately the bloodline of Christ.
Matthew 1:5-6 -- 5 Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6 and Jesse begot David the king.
II. Her Actions (2-8)
• Rahab not only takes in the two spies, but she also hides them on her roof and then diverts the kings men who are looking for them.
2 Things I want to bring out here.
1. Her defiance of the King’s authority.
o Where do we draw the line between civil disobedience and sin?
Romans 13:1-2 -- 1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
o The exception is when the civil authority opposes the will of God.
Acts 4:17-20 --17 But so that it spreads no further among the people, let us severely threaten them, that from now on they speak to no man in this name.” 18 So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
2. The fact that she lied in order to accomplish her objective.
o Does the ends justify the means?
o Just to make a quick point, Rahab was not noted because she lied, but because of her great faith.
James 2:25 --25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
o We find that old man (sin nature) rasing his ugly head even in those who find their names in the hall of faith (Hebrews 11).
III. Her Motive (9-11)
• Why was she compelled to go to such great lengths to protect these two spies (no doubt her and her whole family would have been killed if she was caught).
• It was her fear and knowledge of the LORD.
Proverbs 9:10 -- 10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
o Somewhere between hearing these stories about God and receiving these two, she decided in her heart to trust the LORD.
o The work of God was never limited to only the children of Israel, revelation may have been limited to them, but not knowledge and faith.
• The information she had was small (she did not know of the covenant promises of God, she knew nothing of the Law of Moses, she had never offered a sacrifice) but her faith was larger than life.
o The children of Israel could have learned a great lesson from her life, as well we should.
Proverbs 3:5-6 -- 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
o So often we only want to trust the LORD as long as we can still understand it.
IV. Her Request (12-14)
• Because Rahab risked her life to save the spies, she was now trusting them to save her and her family.
• She was also trusting them as family, eventhough she was not a natural descendant of Abraham, she was now a spiritual child because of her faith.