Summary: Joshua 2:1-21
WOMEN OF WONDER - Rahab: The Scarlet Cord of Salvation (Mother’s Day)
May 12, 2019
Joshua 2:1-21 (p. 147)
One of the most amazing books I’ve ever read is Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel…and the first chapter starts this way…
On a blustery October night in a church outside Minneapolis, several hundred believers had gathered for a three-day seminar. I began with a one-hour presentation on the gospel of grace and the reality of salvation. Using Scripture, story, symbolism, and personal experience, I focused on the total sufficiency of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. The service ended with a song and a prayer. Leaving the church by a side door, the pastor turned to his associate and fumed.
“Humph, that airhead didn’t say one thing about what we have to do to earn our salvation!”
Something is radically wrong.
The bending of the mind by the powers of this world has twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper. The Christian community resembles a Wall Street exchange of works where-in the elite are honored and the ordinary ignored. Love is stifled, freedom shackled, and self-righteousness fastened. The institutional church has become a wounder of the healers rather than a healer of the wounded.
Put bluntly: the American Church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works - but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in the house of fear and not in the house of love.
Why have we stopped presenting God as the shepherd who searches for lost sheep…and more like an authoritative school master who rewards good little boys and girls with gold stars?
Even though we read: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called…you weren’t wise…you weren’t influential…you weren’t of noble birth…but God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise…He chose the weak things of this world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are. So that, no one may boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus.”
(1 Cor. 1:26-30)
He called…He chose…He pursued…It is because of Him…
Our story this morning begins with these words…
Then Joshua, son of Nun, secretly sent two spies from Shittim, “Go look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” (Joshua 2:1)
I. WHAT KIND OF GOD CHOOSES A PROSTITUTE’S HOUSE?
I’ll tell you what kind of God does! The same God who chose to use Tamar’s incestuous relationship with her father in law Judah in the lineage of His Son. The same God who chooses the lowly, the broken, the outcast, to be the preplanned recipients of His grace.
Rahab’s not just a prostitute…Rahab is not an Israelite…She, like Tamar and Ruth, are outsiders…They aren’t part of the people of God…They are Canaanites…Idol worshipping, lost people who don’t even know about Jehovah God, except for rumors they’ve heard about Him.
Some say the spies went to Rahab’s house because men going to a prostitute’s house, especially strangers, wouldn’t seem unusual, they wouldn’t stand out.
But I believe they went to Rahab’s house because a providential God was already at work there.
The spies sent by Joshua are to look over the whole land…“but especially Jericho.”
It’s a God-incident that they enter Rahab’s house, not a coincidence!
The same is true for me and you…God is pursuing us…He sends messengers into our house…into our lives…and maybe we’ve heard about Him…but now we’ve got an opportunity to choose Him…even if its dangerous to do so…
It was for Rahab…Listen:
JOSHUA 2:2-11 (p. 147)
The king of Jericho finds out about the two Israelite spies…He knows they’re at Rahab’s house…He demands she produce them…she has a choice…save her own hide…or risk it all. That’s what faith is.
Faith is a response to God when He enters your life…And Rahab wasn’t being saved because of her race. She was being saved because of grace.
John 6:44 is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible…it says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.”
Jesus plainly says, “The catalyst for our salvation is God the Father…he’s the pursuer…He’s the one who woos us…whether we are a prostitute, a pothead, a Pharisee, a tax collector, a fisherman, or rebel.
Rahab sends the King’s men on a wild goose chase…and after the gates are locked (not great news if you’re a spy) she comes up on the roof of her house, the spies crawl out from under the silk flax, and she says….I know the Lord has given this land to you…a great fear has fallen on all of us here in Canaan because we’ve heard of how you conquered Og and Sihon…our hearts melted…our courage failed…BECAUSE THE LORD YOUR GOD IS GOD!!!