Most people love a good spy story; whether it’s James Bond or Jason Bourne or Mission Impossible, those stories are always intriguing and interesting. There is a great, inspiring spy story in the Bible, captured in Joshua 2.
After 40 years, the Israelites were ready to make their way into the promised land. But they would have to capture the huge Cannanite city of Jericho first. Joshua, Moses’ successor, decided to send in some spies to see what they were up against. The two spies made their way into the heavily fortified, walled city to the home of Rehab, where they stayed. Though Rahab was a Gentile, she had heard about the God of the Israelites and welcomed the spies.
The king of Jericho heard that the spies were there and wanted them captured. But Rahab hid the men and when they were able to escape, she told their pursuers they had gone in the opposite direction. (Joshua 2:1-6)
Guest speaker, Dan Roseman, shared some excellent vital life lessons from Rahab’s story at Watermark this past Sunday.
1. Rahab risked her life to save her life. (Joshua 2:8-11)
Rahab was willing to take a huge risk that would ultimately save her life, when the Israelites invaded. Are you a risk-taker? Some are and some aren’t; but if you are a committed Christ-follower, there is some always risk involved. Choosing to align yourself with Jesus is risky in this world, and it’s getting harder every day. There is a cost to following Jesus because you are aligning yourself with a value system that is different from culture. The challenge is to be different and attractive at the same time.
Rahab made a huge decision in her life; the same kind of decision you make when you choose to follow Christ. She decided to change her allegiance… to choose to follow the God of the Israelites instead of all the many pagan gods of the Cannanites. Why? She had heard about what the Lord did for the Israelites and she wanted to follow Him. (Joshua 2:8-11). She made a powerful profession of faith: 11 …for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Joshua 2:11b
2. Rahab removed her family. (Joshua 2:12-16)
Rahab asked the spies to make sure her family was spared when they invaded the city. They agreed to spare them, but Rahab would have to gather them in her home and mark their location with a special rope hanging from the window.
Now Rahab’s job will be to convince her family that they too should choose to follow the God of the Israelites. She becomes an evangelist to her own family to save them. Does that sound familiar? As Christ-Followers, our primary desire is to make sure our own family is saved too!
Rahab doesn’t get any more press in the Old Testament after Joshua 6. But remarkably, she shows up again in the first book of the New Testament in the genealogy of Jesus. Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse. Matthew 1:5
This is remarkable because Matthew was a Jewish writer writing to a Jewish audience, so why would he include a Gentile, prostitute, woman in Jesus’ genealogy? Because she was part of His lineage and clearly, her choice to follow the God of the Israelites had changed the trajectory of her entire family, for generations!
Our choices can potentially change the trajectory of our own families as well, for generations. A 2017 study conducted by the Lifeway Research asked: What parenting practices were common in the families where young adults remained in the faith? They found that four practices are vitally important:
Bible Reading… taking time to read God’s Word together from an early age.
Prayer and Service… modeling prayer and serving in simple, but impactful ways.
Singing Christian songs… singing simple faith songs can create life-long memories.
Culture, not Programs… building a faith culture matters more than programs.
Like Rahab, your choices and influence can help assure that your family is committed to following Christ.
3. Rahab reaped the rewards. (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25)
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? James 2:25
Not only is Rahab considered righteous, she was righteous. She could have easily been forgotten, but she is a hero of our faith. Rahab proves that God can and will use anyone to make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ.
Will you choose take some simple faith steps to be used by God? Will you lead your family to a deep commitment to Christ? Don’t leave them in Jericho. There is still time… build a culture of faith in your family.
For much more, click here to listen to Heroes - Part 4 - Rahab.