Sermons

Summary: The story of Rahab and how she asked for help in return for helping.

Rahab

Joshua 2

1. A bright future means that we must deal with our past. v.1

2 Peter 3:7; Matthew 3:12; Hebrews 11:31; Colossians 2:13-14; Matthew 11:28-30

2. A bright future means that we grab hold of our responsibilities. v.6 ?

Proverbs 31: 13, 15

3. A bright future means protecting those we love. vv.12-13

4. A bright future means depending on the provision of Jesus. v.21

Two ministerial students from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, were doing summer evangelistic work in a rural area near Montgomery. One hot day they stopped their car in front of a farmhouse and proceeded up the path through a gauntlet of screaming children and barking dogs. When they knocked on the screen door, the woman of the house stopped her scrubbing over a tub and washboard, brushed back her hair, wiped perspiration from her brow, and asked them what they wanted.? "We would like to tell you how to obtain eternal life," one student answered. ? The tired homemaker hesitated for a moment and then replied, "Thank you, but I don't believe I could stand it.

Turn with me to Joshua 2? Happy Mother’s Day! On Mother’s Day, we hardly have to turn the lights on because all the mothers have this glow about them! Some get breakfast in bed. Some get to go to their favorite restaurant for lunch. Others get flowers and candy and sweet Mother’s Day cards. A couple of my favorites…(Mothers day card 1, 2, & 3) But every mother here knows deep in their soul how difficult being a mother is and sometimes they feel so inadequate for the job. Some of the mothers here today have already launched their kids and are praying that eventually they land on their feet. Some mothers here are in the midst of the battle of raising kids and are praying for the strength to persevere and the patience not to eat them.

This fits in perfectly with our series we’re in right now, Fail Forward, because every mom, no matter how good they are, has times when they blow it and feel like a failure. And in this series we are looking at some Bible characters who failed, but failed forward.? It’s amazing how the Bible does not try to hide or gloss over the huge character flaws of the people on its pages. We’ve looked at 4 characters so far: Simon Peter, Samson, David, and the Apostle Paul. Each of them had huge failures in their lives, yet, God used each of them to demonstrate His amazing grace and awesome power.? And this morning we’re going to examine the life of Rahab, the harlot. I know, I know, it does seem odd to preach on a prostitute on Mother’s Day. When I told Sue that’s who we were going to study today, she said, “You sure you want to do that? Highlight a prostitute on Mother’s Day?” But why not? Like the others we’ve studied, and like many of us here this morning, the story of Rahab is a story of redemption and hope.

So let’s dig into her story:?

Moses died; Joshua leader?

Poised to cross the Jordan and take the Promised Land?

Jericho: fortress; archeology

Joshua sends 2 spies into the city?

King of Jericho is informed that 2 men have entered the city and were seen at Rahab’s. He sends messengers to apprehend them but Rahab tells them they’d already left and headed back across the river.? But in reality she hid them on her roof amongst the stalks of flax that she kept up there. Ancient Near East houses did not have pitched roofs like ours; they were flat so that the residents could store things on top.? After the soldiers leave to go chasing after the guys, Rahab climbs up on the roof and strikes a deal with the two men: “I have helped you, now you help me. When your people come and lay siege to the city, don’t harm me and my family.”? The guys agree on one condition: “when we attack, tie a scarlet cord to your window so our soldiers will know it’s you.”? Then, because her house was a part of the wall that surrounded Jericho, she let them down thru that window and they escaped and got back to Joshua and told him all that had happened.? So what can we glean from this story about Rahab?

1. A bright future means that we must deal with our past. v.1

“Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.” Joshua 2:1

Now this is a very interesting situation. Some scholars believe that her life of prostitution was a former life. They point to the fact that she had stalks of flax on her roof, from which fine clothing was made. This could indicate that she had transitioned to a respectable business woman. Others point to the fact that the king trusted her word, she said the spies had left and that was that.? But it also could be that the 2 spies were directed to go to Rahab’s place because as a prostitute, she would entertain a lot of travelers and it would not seem unusual that 2 unknown men entered her house.? It kinda doesn’t make any difference. She had a past. Each of us here has a past, right? We all fall incredibly short of the standard. Have you dealt with your past?? Guilt and shame are awful, awful task-masters. When we don’t deal properly with our past, guilt and shame eat away at our peace, our joy, our hope. We begin patterns of self-destruction: research indicates that guilt and shame can prompt us to over eat, over drink, over medicate, even become more accident prone. We can carry rage or bitterness and even become abusive.? How did Rahab deal with her past? Look at vv.8-11 “Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you.,c 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.” Joshua 2:8-11

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