Summary: As the summer turns to snow, we thank God for the richness of our past years as well as the many blessings He will have in store for our future years.
As we inch our way into the upcoming months, I am reminded of two favorite songs I really liked while growing up, entitled “See You In September” and “The Summer Song.” Both were love songs, and both were recorded in the early sixties when I was just this side of a teenager. “September Song” spoke of a boyfriend and girlfriend reuniting after the long summer months, September finally arriving. Would they unite once again, or would they loose each other to a summer love? And “The Summer Song” spoke of a summer love, and how this love could possibly survive saying good-bye to one another, eventually looking back when the autumn leaves would begin to fall, and when the rain would beat at the windowpane? One perspective looks ahead while the other looks back.
We seem to do that a lot in our lives. It is easy to look back and live in the past. This is not God’s design. Do you know that we are the only living being that has the ability to look back? All the other creatures forget what happened yesterday, yet we can’t. Why is that? But this is life. I have always felt we should cherish our past while we embrace our future. We do this in our individual lives and we certainly do this as a church. Two different perspectives, looking back and looking forward. We as a church had faith that God would provide and He has. I can look back and remember all of the rich memories that have brought us where we are today, now ten years later. And I truly look forward to whatever God may have in store for our future together.
Biblically I believe that God wants us always to look forward. He has shown us examples throughout Scripture that only affirms this. David, the man after God’s own heart, could have easily wished that he had made better choices and stopped living altogether. Joseph, Jacob’s son, could have wished he had been quiet while interpreting dreams. Moses could have ignored God because of his past. Paul could have gone into seclusion for fear of his family’s reaction. Peter could have run from Jerusalem, never to be heard of again. Yet these and countless others prospered because of their faith.
The New Testament book of Hebrews is amazing. We are not sure of the exact writer, the only New Testament author we cannot identify, but we are certain the inspiration came from God. Some say the writer is Paul, some say Barnabas, some Silas, Apollos, Luke, Phillip, Priscilla, and Aquila (and others) have been suggested, but we really do not know. It is a wonderful Epistle, one to study and one to know. There is great life application found in these pages.
In Hebrews chapter 11, the writer begins by saying “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The rest of this long chapter (40 verses total) describe all of the great men and women who looked forward instead of looking back, who relied on their faith, who understood that God was ultimately in control of their lives in any situation, no matter what was going on around them. This chapter is known as the Bible’s “Hall of Faith.” Great men and women, lives you can study in the Bible. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David, Samuel, as well as others.
And Rahab was a woman lost in the middle of the list. Who was Rehab? She is one who easily could have, or perhaps should have lived in her past. What was her occupation? She was simply a harlot, to be kind. How did God use her? If you read the New Testament Gospel of Matthew chapter 1, outlined is the genealogy of Jesus Christ. There you will find her name listed with other great names, a woman who had faith. A woman who looked forward and refused to look back. Perhaps a lesson for us all.
You can find the account of Rahab and the spies in Jericho in the 2nd and 6th chapters of Joshua. It is fascinating how God can use anyone in a powerful way if we are faithful to Him. As Rahab was hiding the two spies, knowing that Jericho would soon be destroyed said to Joshua; “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, and spare my father and my mother, may brothers and sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” (Joshua 2:12-14) And Joshua promised that the Lord would deal with them kindly and faithfully. And that is exactly what God did.