Summary: On Mother’s Day we need to learn about the faith of a woman we find in the the lineage of Jesus.
THE RAHAB IN US
May 10, 2009
Have you ever looked into your family tree? It can be a lot of fun if you look deep into your family history and origins. Most likely you’ll discover there are some pretty strange and odd characters in your family’s background. Maybe that explains why . . . well never mind?
Have you taken a hard look at Jesus’ family tree?
When we look at His family tree, we see kings and heroes of the faith. We see people of great faith and great accomplishments. We also find there are a few on the list who we may think were unsavory characters and did not belong on the family tree of the Savior. It’s very interesting to note that 3 women were specifically named -- all of whom were unlikely candidates for membership on Jesus’ family tree. One was Ruth, who was from Moab, a nonIsraelite idol worshiper; another was Tamar, who masqueraded as a prostitute, and tricked her former father-in-law into fathering her children; the third was Rahab, also a prostitute, a Canaanite resident of Jericho who didn’t know the God of Israel.
God chose those whom we may not refer to as the best people to be part of the Messianic line. In fact, God has a habit of picking unlikely people, obviously flawed people, to further His kingdom. It seems that God loves to turn things upside down as He chooses the unexpected to lead His people. God did it with Jesus, and He continues to do it with you and I.
Since God used flawed people in the Messianic line, that means He can use us to do great things in His kingdom. Like it or not, we are ALL flawed! The good news - - is that who we are or what we have done should never prevent us from experiencing the presence of God and experiencing a great faith relationship with God so that we can demonstrate our relationship with God to others.
Today, as is my custom on Mother’s Day, I want to look at a woman from the Bible we need to know about and what it means for us. So, let’s look at Rahab. Who was she and why is she listed in the genealogy of Jesus and in the Hall of fame of faith in Hebrews 11?
Let’s begin with a quick look at the setting. We first meet Rahab as the people of Israel are about to cross the Jordan river and enter Canaan, or Israel. The book of Joshua records the entrance into the promised land by the Israelites.
In a sense it’s D-DAY and, like any good commander, before the invasion begins Joshua wanted to gather information about the enemy.
So Joshua secretly sent two spies to look over the land of Jericho. Jericho was the focus of this recon mission because it was a formidable fortress city guarding the pass leading west into the nation. Jericho is that big red square on the map. You can see it is along the western border, just north of the Dead Sea and next to the Jordan River, and south of the Sea of Galilee.
Joshua wanted the spies to bring him information about Jericho’s walls and gates, its population, the size of its army, and more.
After the spies snuck into Jericho they encountered an unexpected and unlikely ally in Rahab. Maybe they decided to enter her home since the presence of strangers in this kind of house wouldn’t arouse undue suspicion. Also her profession may mean she was knowledgeable of public affairs. Another reason to choose her house was that it offered a method of escape since it was located on the city wall . . . it’s windows faced outward, or freedom.
The spies were detected and the king immediately sent soldiers to Rahab’s house expecting Rahab to do her patriotic duty and turn the spies in, however, she committed the capitol offense of treason! She hid the men and sent the guards on a wild goose chase. Rahab sensed there was something unusual about these two men. . . something different from the other men who frequented her home. Maybe these spies were the first to come through her door without sinful intent.
After the soldiers left, Rahab asked the spies to spare her life and the lives of her family when the city was destroyed. And the spies agreed, then she helped them escape using a rope from a window on the wall and gave them instructions so they could avoid capture.
Now what can Rahab’s life thousands of years ago teach us about faith in our day and age? I want to focus on two things. First of all, Rahab’s life shows us...