Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God can use unexpected people with extraordinary faith to do extraordinary things.

An Unlikely Faith

Text: Joshua 2:1-24


1. Illustration: A wife woke up one morning and said, “Honey, I just had a dream that you bought me a new gold necklace. What do you think it means?”

“I don’t know, but Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Tuesday, you’ll know,” He replied.

A few nights later, she again woke up after having a dream, “This time, I dreamed you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?”

“You’ll know Tuesday,” He replied.

The night before Valentine’s Day, she again woke up telling him about her dream, “This time I dreamed that you brought me a diamond necklace. What do you think it means?”

“Honey, be patient. "You’ll know tonight." he said.

That evening, the husband came home with a package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it--to find a book entitled, "The meaning of dreams."

2. We don’t always get what we expect, and it is like that with faith. God can use anyone who has the faith to believe. God can use:

a. Unexpected People

b. Unexpected Events

c. Unexpected Circumstances

3. That is what we learn from the story of Rahab. She is the last person you would expect God to use, but that is exactly what He did.

4. In the story of Rahab we see:

a. Faith In Action

b. Faith In Words

c. Faith Rewarded

d. Faith’s Affect

Proposition: God can use unexpected people with extraordinary faith to do extraordinary things.

Transition: In this story, we see...

I. Faith In Action (1-7)

A. Prostitute Name Rahab

1. Before stepping out into the Jordan, Joshua wanted to know what they had to deal with on the other side of the river, so he "secretly sent two spies from Shittim.”Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho."

a. Jericho is located by an oasis about 5 miles west of the Jordan River and six miles north of the Dead Sea.

b. It guards the strategic passageway between the Jordan valley and the central hill country to the west, as well as the major ford between the Jabbok and the Dead Sea. (The IVP Bible background commentary: Old Testament (electronic ed.) InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL).

c. This would be a strategic city because it was a gateway to the rest of Canaan.

2. When the spies got to Jericho, they "entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there."

a. This is where the unexpected portion of this story begins. Why would they go into the house of a prostitute?

b. Rahab’s house was likely a way station, inn, tavern, or a combination of these.

c. It would have been a logical place for spies to frequent, as a public gathering place and a potential source of information—(New American Commentary).

d. Not to mention the fact that as strangers they would have been inconspicuous there.

e. So were not looking for a good time, but were looking to find out what was going on and to keep from being noticed.

3. However, their plan does not work, and someone tells the king that some spies are at Rahab’s place, and the king comes to Rahab and insists that she deliver the men to him.

4. Again, here is where an unexpected part comes in, as verse 4 tells us "But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them."

a. Apparently, God has already done a work in her heart.

b. Even though she had everything to lose, she took a step of faith and hid the Israelite spies.

c. If she is found out she would not only lose her home and place of business, but she could also lose her life.

d. Yet she risks everything to save them.

5. Furthermore, she not only hid the spies, but she lied to lead the king and his men in another direction. She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from. At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I do not know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them."

a. Keep in mind that she is not an Israelite. She is from Jericho, but puts herself in jeopardy to save the spies.

b. Notice something else, she was a prostitute, yet she was an instrument in the hand of God.

c. She may not have been the one that you or I would have chosen, but she was the one that God had chosen.

B. Unexpected Faith

1. Illustration: Michelangelo was browsing about in a marble shop one day. His attention was drawn to one particular piece. He walked around and around it, pondering its beauty. After a time, he told the shopkeeper that he wished to purchase it. The shopkeeper, evidently an honest soul, agreed that though it was indeed a fine piece of stone, it had a major flaw. "I know," said his famous customer, "I want it anyway. I see an angel in there and I must set it free." Michelangelo’s exquisite work of David was the angel he set free from the flawed marble. God, it seems, is able to see an angel in the most unlikely of his people.

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