Summary: How is your faith? Do you think that your past will stop you serving the Lord?
Rahab – 5th May 2008 am
Rahab was a lost pagan woman who lived in the city of Jericho. Yet she became one of the most honoured women in the Bible. She is mentioned in Hebrews 11 and in the book of James. In Hebrews 11 she stands as an example of faith; in James, she is exemplified as an illustration of works. Putting the two together, we see in Rahab the picture of what we should all have – a belief that behaves.
The Bible doesn’t have a whole lot to say about the life of this woman. It seems that the only account we have of her is found in Joshua chapter 2. Initially, it seems that Rahab isn’t exactly heroine material. She is first introduced as a harlot – not someone you would expect to be praised in the scriptures!
There once was a rather rough, uncultured man who for some reason fell in love with a beautiful vase in a shop window. Eventually he bought the vase and put it on the mantelpiece in his room. There it became a kind of judgment on its surroundings. He had to clean up the room to make it worthy of the vase. The curtains looked dingy beside it. The old chair with the stuffing coming out of the seat would not do. The wallpaper needed redoing. Gradually the whole room was transformed. When you put Christ on the mantel of your heart, your whole life is transformed.
It is this kind of transformation we witness here in the second chapter of the book of Joshua. As the Israelites were about to enter Canaan and claim their promised land, the first city they would have to face was the great walled city of Jericho. If they could take this city, they could easily split the country in two and then move from there to conquer the north and the south.
I. Rahab – The Doomed Sinner (Joshua 2:1)
Rahab is first introduced to us as a member of a disgusting degenerate race of people – the Canaanites. Their religion was foul and vileness of every kind was elevated to an act of worship. Even her name sums up the day in which she lived – proud. However, her days were numbered; The Hebrews were on their way home and God’s divine judgement was on the way.
Rahab lived in a day and age just like ours. We are living in a world that is ready for divine judgement. So called “alternate lifestyles” are now given the nod of approval, it is almost against the law to even say anything bad about these lifestyles. The Jews are already going back to the Promised Land again – Judgement is on the way.
Verse 15 tells us that Rahab lived upon the town wall. Most people would have thought Rahab occupied a very strong position on that wall. In Joshua’s day, Jericho was surrounded by two walls, both thirty feet high. The outer wall was six feet thick, and the inner wall was twelve feet thick. Between the two walls was a space of twelve to fifteen feet. This space was covered over and houses were built bridging this gap. Rahab’s house was placed on high with the massive walls of Jericho a sure foundation. This was just a false sense of security; those walls would be the first thing to fall when judgement came.
There are many people living in Jericho today. They think that they are secure despite their sinful life. They live on the man made walls of religion, righteousness and respectability.
Jordan – death?
II. Rahab – The Delivered Saint (Joshua 2:8-11)
God sent two spies into Jericho. God always has two spies in the human soul: one is conscience the other is memory. Conscience is there to rebuke us for our wrongdoing; memory is there to remind us of our wrongdoing. Between the two of them we stand fully exposed before the eye of God.
Rahab confesses her fear to the two spies when she receives them into her house. She realises that it is God she will have to deal with and answer to.
1. She could not save herself
There was no hiding place for her. She knew that her position on the wall was only as good as the wall, and the wall, as strong as it seemed, would not stand the test of the coming judgement.
2. Jericho was “straitly shut up” Joshua 6:1
Those in power wanted to make sure that everyone in Jericho remained in Jericho. There was to be no contact with the enemy. The king of Jericho, who is a picture of Satan, wanted to hold onto his own to the very end.