Summary: Today we are going to look at another shelter of faith which can help withstand all calamities of life leading a Christian to move forward in God’s will despite the extremity of an existential life.
Faith and Evidence
Introduction: This month we focus on the theme, “Shelters of faith”. Experientially it means that faith needs to be sheltered, faith needs to come under the banner of a refuge - so to speak. Faith at times can become so fragile and vulnerable to the tensions and disappointments of life that it could be on the verge of extinction no matter how victorious it could have been in the past adventures of life.
And last week our senior Pastor spoke to us on holding on to God’s promises to shelter our faith even in times of crisis.
Today we are going to look at another shelter of faith which can help withstand all calamities of life leading a Christian to move forward in God’s will despite the extremity of an existential life.
There is an old Persian proverb, which says: “Trust in God, but tie your camel.” Now that phrase acknowledges the tension we often come up when we talk about having faith in God – what is God’s part in our faith?
At times faith would mean to let go and wait for God.
At times faith would mean that we get active and make plans and allow God to guide us while we are in action.
And at times faith would mean to gather evidence. Faith is not the absence of evidence. It is the Atheistic evolutionary Scientist by the name of Richard Dawkins who said, “Faith is belief without evidence & reason; coincidentally (he said) that’s also the definition of delusion.” But John Lennox Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, discredits that by saying that “Faith is a response to evidence, not rejoicing in the absence of evidence.”
Now the question is: If we use evidence to base Christianity as true, then why need faith at all? – the answer to that is this – we use evidence to base Christianity as true so that we have sufficient reasons to have the Christian faith in the first place! You see Faith cannot be blind. Faith has to be reasonable.
One can take a step of faith across all the evidences laid out. And this faith is not unreasonable, because it is grounded on the evidences that has preceded us; this Christian faith is grounded in good reasons to believe – that – what we believe is reasonably true.
But again just because we have faith, we are not going to get all our questions answered in the Christian journey. We will still have unanswered questions. But then we are called to shelter our faith despite unanswered questions and unstable realities.
And on those grounds let us study today about a woman who sheltered her faith in the unprecedented time of her life – when destruction in the place she stayed was just around the corner.
And she sheltered her faith based on the evidence of God’s work, God’s wonder and God’s Word demonstrated through the nation of Israel; and she also sheltered her faith evidenced by her actions based on the revealed truth of God’s wonder, God’s word and God’s works. And this woman was Rahab.
So this morning, we will study from the faith-life of Rahab, to see how one can shelter their faith evidenced by actions. How did Rahab shelter her faith evidenced by action?
First of all we see that the evidence of Rahab’s faith was that she hid the spies (Josh. 2:1, 4, 6). The evidence of faith will make faith courageous. We read in Hebrews 11:31 that Rahab, because she believed in the Lord, “welcomed the spies.” The spies entered the house of Rahab since she was the owner of a hotel, she was an innkeeper. And the spies entered her inn looking for information and a place to sleep.
Now Rahab, in spite of who she was, saw these spies come into her inn and she did the most curious thing. She decided to help them and protect them when they were in danger. In fact, she took courage and protected them by lying to the king’s men, who were there to take the spies in for questioning.
This courage of Rahab was a surprising act of faith. Rahab’s faith was surprising because of who she was. Faith can show up anywhere, at any time, in anyone. Faith can show up in the very last place that you might expect. And sometimes faith fails to show up in the place that you might expect it the most.
God was working in this situation. He is drawing the people of Canaan and hoping that they will turn to Him. But they were being resistant to His call.
But just at the right time, God breaks through to this Amorite woman in Jericho and she provides shelter to the Hebrew spies as they enter Jericho in preparation for an attack on the city.