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In the book of Joshua, we are introduced to one of the most thought-provoking and astonishing heroines of the Old Testament. Rahab, the prostitute of the Canaanite city of Jericho, ultimately is no...
My favourite subject! In summary the story of Rahab was meant to demonstrate the gospel. How Jesus was going to come and die for us and anybody who accepts the invitation to repent will be saved. Imagine a whole city of so many people and the worst of the citizens becomes the conduit of the good news. God does not care about your past. It is up to us to accept the invitation. Rahab did and she and her relatives who came under her roof were saved. Another issue, Rahab had to believe that hanging a red piece of cloth was going to save her. The colour of the flag is of particular significance - it represented the blood of Jesus that was going to be shed for all. It was not going to be limited to a few select, but ALL who believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Joshua and his team planted a church in Jericho and they had to nurture it and ensure its survival in the face of coming distruction. This tells me that God wanted each and every soul in Jericho to live - only if they could come into Rahab the prostitute's house! It is the same with humanity today. God's intention is to save everyone. There are about 6 billion people on the world today, God wants to save them all. However God just needs Joshuas yo help Him to this. Those Joshuas are you and me.
What we learn from Rahab is choosing God is a great and honorable blessing. Yes she lied, but she did so to advance the work of God. The men of Jericho would have used the information Rahab had to murder the spies of God; they did not deserve to know the truth because of their evil intentions. Rahab believed and therefore chose God. God honored her for her faith and trust in Him and rewarded her for it. In the process He also forgave her for it. How else could the Lord of the Universe be one of her decendents in His humanity! There is no sin that God will not forgive when we have a heart set on and devoted to HIM. That is what we should learn from Rahab she was ingenious in what she did in advancing the work of God even though she did it in a way that God definitely did not approve of,; but God on the other hand is in the FORGIVING business and thus prefvers to forgive rather than destroy. He gave Jericho their chance they did not have the mind set of Rahab which lead to divine judgement against them. They are a direct contrast to Rahab a sinner who chose God and wa blessed. Jericho was sinful and chose to fight God and were destroyed.
How was Rahab rewarded for exercising faith? Her preservation during Jericho’s destruction surely was a blessing from Jehovah. Later, she married Salmon (Salma), the son of the wilderness chieftain Nahshon of the tribe of Judah. As parents of the godly Boaz, Salmon and Rahab formed a link in the line of descent that led to King David of Israel. (1 Chronicles 2:3-15; Ruth 4:20-22) More significantly, the former prostitute Rahab is one of only four women named in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:5, 6) What a blessing from Jehovah! Though not an Israelite and once a prostitute, Rahab is an outstanding example of a woman who proved by her works that she had full faith in Jehovah. (Hebrews 11:30, 31) Like others, some of whom have abandoned a life of prostitution, she will receive yet another reward—a resurrection from the dead to life on a paradise earth. (Luke 23:43) Because of her faith backed by works, Rahab gained the approval of our loving and forgiving heavenly Father. (Psalm 130:3, 4) And surely her fine example provides encouragement for all lovers of righteousness to look to Jehovah God for life everlasting.
As a a Christian I really enjoy this story as it is a reminder of just how powerful our Lords forgiveness actually is. For some the words 'harlot/prostitute' are a problem and the re-translation of it to make it seem less notorious is taking away from Gods forgiveness. We should rejoice that He saves all, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Painting certain professions as possibly being incapable of salvation through attempts to be linguistically proficient is unwise and will invoke Gods judgment, particularly when He has bled and died for this person. What a beautiful reassuring truth, there's nothing we can do to make Him love us less. Safe in the arms of Jesus, even here on earth.
I'm going to vote Michael's up. I would add: This is very revealing the word and the Holy Spirit. We're told by John in I John 4:6, "We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us..." Spirit of truth and spirit of error. Enoch walked with God (Gen 5:24 - hear His voice and obey). Noah was perfect in his generation (Gen 6:8-9 heard voice of the Lord and by grace and faith built the perfect ark), Abram - Gen 17:1-27 - hear voice of the Lord left Ur (Babylon or Chaldea) was circumcised in heart and walked blameless with God after name changed to Abraham - Saved by grace through faith (Romans 2:25-4:25). What do we learn. 1) The Holy Spirit, grace and faith and I am saved by the righteous acts that I perform that I be not naked (Revelation 19:7-9) They all have living faith like Michael said, faith must produce works - check out Rahab and Abraham in James 2. 2) We learn that their is no difference between, Jew, Christian and Gentile (Romans 10:12) so don't get puffed up in knowledge because it's about love. Paul warned us Christians in Romans 11:16-21 about cutting off unfruitful branches (John 15:1-2). 2) When Israel was so rebellious God was able to go to Gentile King Nebuchadnezzar and he became God's servant through the power of grace and faith (Jeremiah 25:9, 27:6, 43:10). It would be good to read about King Nebuchadnezzar and how God humbled him and the reward he receives for his faithful fruit of the Spirit work (Daniel 4:28-37). 3) While Israel was judged for being a bad shepherd of God's sheep (Jeremiah 23:1-2) another Gentile king got instructions from God i.e. Holy Spirit through grace and faith (OT and NT the same - no one saved by law Gal 3:10-11) to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem as the leader of sheep (Ezra 1:1-4) and he was commended as one of God's anointed Isaiah 45:1 and God's good shepherd's (Isaiah 44:28). What do we learn from Rahab. We should learn that God calls whomever he wishes and they come from every tribe, tongue, people and nation. He searches for Abram's who will obey his voice right there in their Babylonian mess and grow up from milk (carnal baby) to a fully mature son full of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-26) and fulfilling their predestined good works (Eph 2:8-10). Could there be Abrams of our time who do not have a Bible, like Abram but worship God in spirit and truth in their heart. God is omnipotent and omnipresent. Do we really believe that and understand that? Especially omnipresent (Ephesians 4:6) Oh, change all to everyone, because in the Greek all should translated as a personal pronoun.
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