Nov 8, 2008

Devotional - Rahab, the Harlot, Rescued, by Faith

Rahab of JerichoBy faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. (Heb_11:31)

God delivered the fortress of Jericho into the hands of His people, as the walls fell down, by faith. "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days" (Heb_11:30). This evil city of abominations was then destroyed, as the holy Lord God had justly required. "You shall utterly destroy them . . . lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods" (Deu_20:17-18). Yet, the family of Rahab, the harlot, was rescued, by faith. "By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe."

In preparation for entering the land, Joshua had sent out two spies, who were eventually received by Rahab. "Now Joshua. . . sent out two men . . . to spy secretly, saying, 'Go, view the land, especially Jericho.' So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there" (Jos_2:1). The king of Jericho searched for the men and could not find them, for Rahab had concealed them. "She had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax" (Jos_2:6). Why would this woman have risked her life to protect these two strangers? She and her family had heard of the reality of the God of Israel. "We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites . . . whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted . . . for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath" (Jos_2:10-11). This heathen family now wanted to turn from their idolatrous ways and identify by faith with the true and living Lord God and with His people. "Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall" (Jos_2:15).

By her confession of faith, confirmed by her actions of faith, Rahab and her family were rescued from the judgment that her unbelieving city experienced. "And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father's household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day" (Jos_6:25). She became a part of the nation Israel, even appearing in the line of Jesus, the Messiah! "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ . . . Abraham begot Isaac . . . Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab" (Mat_1:1-2, 5). What astounding blessings come to those who believe. By faith, Rahab went from judgment to deliverance, from idols to God, from shame to honor!

Lord God of all who believe, I am humbled and encouraged by Rahab's testimony. It is humbling to see how much more revelation I have — yet, at times, I wrestle with fears and doubts. However, it is encouraging to see the radical changes that You bring whenever we trust in You!

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