God Builds People of Faith

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

There are times when we need to learn how to face our enemies and deal with them. Today, we will look at Rahab.

God is the One who desires to do the work in each of us and builds us up. He wants us to grow to a higher standard for the sake of His kingdom. It’s not about where you are, but where you are going.

Rahab is most often known as a prostitute and is not Jewish, but she also happens to be Jesus Christ’s great-grandmother.

Matthew 1:4-6

4 Aram fathered Amminadab,

Amminadab fathered Nahshon,

Nahshon fathered Salmon,

5 Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab,

Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth,

Obed fathered Jesse,

6 and Jesse fathered King David.

 

This higher standard also applies to Rahab, because she saw God differently. She stepped out in faith and supplied for her need as she exercised it. Interestingly, her name meant “boldly disrespectful or prideful.” Her name stood for one thing, but her faith made her distinctive from those around her.

 

Hebrews 11:1-2, 31

1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 2 For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.

31 By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.

 

James 2:22-25

22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route?

 

She is an example of one’s faith in action.

Rahab recognized the God of the Israelites was no ordinary god. He is powerful. She saw that God could defeat the armies across the Jordan River.

Isaiah 44:24, 46:6-11

24 This is what the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says:

I am Yahweh, who made everything;

who stretched out the heavens by Myself;

who alone spread out the earth.

 

6 Those who pour out their bags of gold

and weigh out silver on scales—

they hire a goldsmith and he makes it into a god.

Then they kneel and bow down to it.

7 They lift it to their shoulder and bear it along;

they set it in its place, and there it stands;

it does not budge from its place.

They cry out to it but it doesn’t answer;

it saves no one from his trouble.

8 “Remember this and be brave;

take it to heart, you transgressors!

9 Remember what happened long ago,

for I am God, and there is no other;

I am God, and no one is like Me.

10 I declare the end from the beginning,

and from long ago what is not yet done,

saying: My plan will take place,

and I will do all My will.

11 I call a bird of prey from the east,

a man for My purpose from a far country.

Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about.

I have planned it; I will also do it.

 

She saw what God did and responded to Him.

Joshua 2:1-7

1 Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two men as spies from the Acacia Grove, saying, “Go and scout the land, especially Jericho.” So they left, and they came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab, and stayed there.

2 The king of Jericho was told, “Look, some of the Israelite men have come here tonight to investigate the land.” 3 Then the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab and said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, for they came to investigate the entire land.”

4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. So she said, “Yes, the men did come to me, but I didn’t know where they were from. 5 At nightfall, when the gate was about to close, the men went out, and I don’t know where they were going. Chase after them quickly, and you can catch up with them!” 6 But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them among the stalks of flax that she had arranged on the roof. 7 The men pursued them along the road to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as they left to pursue them, the gate was shut.

 

Rahab was fearful of her life and the life of her family. She recognized that God was able to defeat the enemy and she was determined to keep the men who came under her roof as a secret. Yes, she lied about the presence of the men to those who were looking for them (and there is no justification for lying), but Rahab was in a predicament that only God could address with her. She did what was necessary to protect herself and her family.

Rahab tried to negotiate with the spies, even from a bad position.

Joshua 2:8-11

8 Before the men fell asleep, she went up on the roof 9 and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings you completely destroyed across the Jordan. 11 When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below.

 

Rahab was insightful in her discussion. She knew that God was mighty and capable of destruction. The other people did not change their way of thinking, but she did.

Joshua 2:12-14

12 Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my family, because I showed kindness to you. Give me a sure sign 13 that you will spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all who belong to them, and save us from death.”

14 The men answered her, “We will give our lives for yours. If you don’t report our mission, we will show kindness and faithfulness to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

 

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord

is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and discipline.

 

Romans 10:17

So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

 

It’s not what Rahab had seen of God but what she had heard about Him. From that, she believed in Him. She confessed that God was the One true God on heaven and earth.

Even when we ask God for help, God will challenge us to follow His instructions and be obedient to Him in your step of faith.

Joshua 2:15-19

15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city. 16 “Go to the hill country so that the men pursuing you won’t find you,” she said to them. “Hide yourselves there for three days until they return; afterward, go on your way.”

17 The men said to her, “We will be free from this oath you made us swear, 18 unless, when we enter the land, you tie this scarlet cord to the window through which you let us down. Bring your father, mother, brothers, and all your father’s family into your house. 19 If anyone goes out the doors of your house, his blood will be on his own head, and we will be innocent. But if anyone with you in the house should be harmed, his blood will be on our heads.

 

1.) She had to follow the instructions of the men (from God), which means she needed to be obedient.

2.) She had to get her entire family under her roof in order for them to be spared.

3.) She had to keep the invasion a secret; otherwise the guarantee for safety would have been broken.

 

Joshua 2:15

Then she let them down by a rope through the window, since she lived in a house that was built into the wall of the city.

 

Note tha Rahab’s house was on the outer wall of Jericho. While the walls came down, her house was preserved. Rahab had to see that God kept His Word. She trusted God and saw that He could destroy everything around her but kept her and her family.

 

Joshua 6:24-25

24 They burned up the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 However, Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s household, and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy on Jericho, and she lives in Israel to this day.

 

Rahab started out as a prostitute, but look where she wound up because of her faith! It was credited to her for righteousness. It’s not where you start from, but it is all about where you finish in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and inspirational speaker with experience as a business owner and corporate management for over 25 years. I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also been a member of the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am presently a Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron and moderate over numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. My degree is in Business and Organizational Communication from The University of Akron, and I am working on my M.A. in Christian Studies with Crown College (MN). My hometown is Cleveland (the center of the universe) and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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