Wednesday, July 21, 2010

WEDNESDAY'S WOMAN

Joshua 2:1-21 brings me to Wednesday's Woman. She was a Canaanite woman. She was an innkeeper along with a prostitute. Know who she is yet? She is listed along with Moses, David, Samson, and Samuel as examples of faith and good deeds.(Heb 11:31 "It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies." She is also mentioned in the lineage of Jesus.(Matthew 1:5 "Salmon was the father of Boaz(whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed(whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse." Rahab also came to faith in believing in God after following the god of Baal. (2:11 "No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. for the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.")
Who knew a scarlet rope could mean so much? Here Rahab is living life in the inn. She is seeing what is happening in Jericho. This is a fearful time and Rahab knows this. She has been living her life worshipping the false gods of Baal and Asherah(the mother earth goddess). She is not exactly living in faith. One night here come two men, spies from Israelite camp in Acacia Grove.(Joshua 2:1) They were sent to scout the land on the other side of the Jordan River and Jericho. What a better place for them to hide where no one would expect them to be, an inn. Not just any inn, but the inn of Rahab.

I love putting these pictures together in my mind. Seeing Rahab in the night and here are two men. Men was something she expected at the inn, but these men were different.I am sure she heard their accent was different than hers. They were men of God, and without a doubt God sent them exactly where they needed to be. They end up here with Rahab and she begins to question as to why they are here. These men to do not hide anything from her. They are honest and through that she sees the God they worship.

I can even see fear in her as someone finds out and the king of Jericho sends someone to her house looking for them. They want her to bring the men out, but she tells them that the men indeed were there, but left. She even points them in a direction for them to follow. What Rahab didn't say was she had hid them on her roof. Which was a perfect place for them to look out throughout the land. Why would Rahab do this? She wasn't a woman of faith. Why would see risk her life? I think she was intrigued and she must have seen something special in these men.

In verse 8 we see that before the men go to sleep that night, Rahab speaks of the Lord. She says, "I know the Lord has given you this land, she told them. We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror." Rahab also asks the men to spare her and her family. And they do. They give her their guarantee of protection. They share with her if she follows their directions they will be safe, but if not, it will not be their fault. The men share with Rahab to hang the scarlet rope off the side of the building. As they climb down to escape, leave it there. She needed to bring her family inside the house. If she did these things her whole family would be protected. She not only accepted their offer, but she was willing to help. She was willing to serve and give to these men.

This story leads Joshua and the Israelites to cross the River Jordan into safety. The river bed dried up so they could cross as they carried the Ark of the Covenant. This story continues and we see Joshua become a great leader. But what I find amazing is, Rahab played a big part in this. It was Rahab that made is possible. Without her help could this have happened? God used Rahab in a big way. Did she know this at the time? Probably not. Usually it is not until later after we have served that we see the blessings of our service. Rahabs life was just beginning here. She became the wife of Salmon and the mother of Boaz, which married Ruth! Rahab was Ruth's mother in law. Rahab was not an Israelite, she was a Canaanite. This is important in this story. She was adopted into the family of Israel. Rahab showed strength and courage here. She was not only concerned with herself, but wanted her family to be safe. In this small story, just in these few scriptures we see mighty things happening and Rahab was part of God's plan.

God can use anyone for His glory. God can change anyone. God can move through us to reach others. Can you imagine Rahab's family when she tells them this story as they enter her house? Just maybe her family comes to faith, seeing God before them as He protects them. In our smallness God can do great and mighty things. All He needs are willing vessels and Rahab was one of those vessels that freely gave.

There is much to Rahab. She was a woman with a past. She was a woman living in sin, but she was so much more. She was a woman willing to give, risk, and serve. I think all she needed was a chance. She just needed an opportunity, and God gave her that. This one scarlet rope stood for faith. A new faith that Rahab now held.

Listen to Romans 8:15-17 "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him Abba Father. For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His sufferings."

Galatians 4:5 "God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children."

Ephesians 1:5 "God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

Just as Rahab was adopted into the Israelite family, we too were adopted by God into His family. No matter our past. No matter our name or where we came from, when we accept God through faith we are His. We belong to His family. We can see this clearly through Rahab. This is why she is today's Wednesday Woman.

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