Summary: A mother’s day sermon using the NT references to Rahab as an example
Rahab: A Godly Woman and Mother
Steve Simala Grant, May 11/12, 2002
Since it is Mother’s day, I thought I’d share a couple cartoons from my favorite impish cartoon character, Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes):
TEN SIGNS OF A FRUSTRATED MOTHER
1. Your children know how to read HTML code but can’t operate a vacuum cleaner.
2. Your children tell you that you said "yes" and you don’t even remember the question.
3. You go to the grocery store and find yourself having a good time.
4. Your husband asks how your day went and you rate it on a scale of 1-10 repeats of "stop that!" or "no!"
5. You can’t remember the last time you didn’t have to share your drink.
6. You mistakenly tell the kids it’s "sanity" time when you meant to say "bed" time.
7. The laundry seems to have taken on an evil nature and you begin to feel that it’s out to get you.
8. You dread hearing the phone ring because it’s a sure sign there’s about to be trouble amongst the children.
9. It’s finally your turn on the computer and "Touched by an Angel" is just coming on.
10. You go to sleep with "I’m bored" or "I’m hungry" still ringing in your ears.
TEN THINGS A MOM DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR
1. I swallowed a goldfish.
2. Your lipstick works better than crayons.
3. Does grape juice leave a stain???
4. The principal called...
5. But DAD says that word all the time.
6. What’s it cost to fix a window???
7. Has anyone seen my earthworms???
8. I painted your shoes pretty, huh Mommy?
9. The dog doesn’t like dressing up in your clothes.
10. I’m moving out. (Well, maybe some days.)
Last week we began a new chapter in our history as a church, with a new pastor and in pursuit of a new vision for where God would have us go. We’ve talked about God calling us as a church to become a hospital – a place where the Holy Spirit is bringing people into healthy, whole relationships with God and with each other. We talked about the need for us to be a greenhouse, focusing on Jesus as we grow and become fruitful and equipped to impact our world for the Kingdom of God. And we talked about the need for us to be a festival – a place where we are glorifying the Father and celebrating all that God is and does.
We had a good time last week of celebrating the past things that God has done in our midst, and then confessing and experiencing God’s forgiveness for some areas in our past that were sinful. I’ve been praying about where to go next in terms of a sermon series, and have felt God hinting that we spend a little time in the book of Joshua. The metaphor of Moses/Joshua and taking hold of the promised land has held meaning for us, and so we are going to spend some time in the Old Testament Book of Joshua over the next little while, looking at what it takes for us to take possession of the things God has promised us. There are some great stories of faith in this book, great examples of obedience and disobedience, of God working in amazing ways to accomplish the goals of His Kingdom. Joshua records the story of the Israelite nation emerging from the desert and taking possession of the promised land, and one of the things I hope to accomplish in this series is for us to concentrate on lessons we can learn from the experiences of the Israelites in our pursuit of the things God has in store for us, both personally and as a church family.
Since it is Mother’s day weekend, and since Gail preached on chapter one a few weeks back, I want to start today in chapter 2 and look at the story we find there. It is the story of Rahab, a great woman of faith, a woman who obeyed God when it was difficult and in the face of her entire culture, a woman who holds a very prominent place in the history of the Jewish people. And actually, the way I want to look at the story is from the New Testament perspective – we’ll look at the Joshua account in detail in one of the weeks to come.
The basic story of Rahab in Joshua 2 goes like this: Joshua is preparing to obey God and lead the people into the promised land. Knowing full well that they would face military opposition, he sends some spies into the land to scout it out. They arrive at the city of Jericho, and go to the house of a prostitute named Rahab. Somehow the King of Jericho hears about these spies and sends soldiers to arrest them at Rahab’s house, but she hides them and lies to the soldiers, sending them out on a wild goose chase. She then makes an agreement with the spies to spare her and her family when the Israelites come and take the city, and she helps them escape and return to Joshua with their report.