June 19, 2010

Examining The Scripture XXXIII: Prostitute to Paragon-By Faith

The harlot of Jericho in Joshua 2 exercised saving faith in the one true God. In doing so she becomes a shining example of faith in the Bible. Rahab is in the genealogy of Christ as are a long list of other believers. She put her faith in God before the spies arrived and trusted that the God of the Israelites would spare her.

She Had Courageous Faith: She was not like the other people in the city which makes her like believers and what they are called to do, to be separate from the world, to be dedicated to God, to be holy. She had a background as a sinner (prostitute) and had turned her life to God. She risked her life for what she knew was right to help other believers in the one true God.

She Had Confident Faith: Rahab showed that she had confident faith when she said, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you…” in one sentence she affirmed what 10 spies denied 40 years before and affirmed what God said He would do for the nation of Israel and Joshua.

She Had Concerned Faith: She had a concern for more than just herself. She had a faith that made her concerned for the welfare of others. If there are two major obedience that come to the surface even when Jesus was questioned they are to love God with all you heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Rahab did this for others. She cared enough for complete strangers that she risked her lives for them by taking them in and hiding them. they reciprocated by sparing her and her family

She Had Covenant Faith: Before the spies had left she made them swear (through covenant) to deal kindly with her and her family in Joshua 2:12-14. She had also upheld what was required by God to be in a relationship with Him also (Wiersbe 23-28). A sign of this covenant when the men entered the city would be the scarlet cord.

Because of Rahab's impressive faith she is mention no less than three times in New Testament. The references to Rahab are: Matt.1:5 is the genealogy of Jesus Christ and Rahab’s place in it, Hebrews 11:31 is a direct reference to her outstanding faith, James 2:25 is part of James discourse on works being a manifestation of faith just as Rahab’s was a manifestation of hers. Please remember this is an example of holding a woman in high regard in a time and a culture that normally looked at woman more as possessions that companions and compliments in marriage. That truly shows the counterculture nature of the Bible in the New Testament and the minds of Matthew, James and the author of Hebrews. They viewed woman not only as equals but in the case of Rahab, a paragon of the faith.

Wiersbe, Warren. "A Convert In Canaan." Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry (Bible Knowledge). Acambaro: Victor, 2003. 23-28. Print.

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