Faithlife Sermons

Rahab--When a Checkered Past Meets God's Grace

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What are somethings you see about Rahab?
Rahab: She is a prostitute (5 out of 8 times she is mentioned in Scripture she is called a “harlot/prostitute”; has a house —probably an inn; lives in Jericho so most likely an Amonite (2:1)
Vs 3 Received orders from the king
Rahab hid the spies (protected them)
Rahab told a lie (to protect them)
Rahab told the spies Jericho’s position toward the Israelites—they were afraid. (8-10)
Rahab determined in her heart who God is.
She heard of God’s mighty hand—the Red Sea, the two Amorite kings,
Vs 12 She loved her family and looked to protect them—thoughtful of others
Vs 21—she did not want to take a chance of missing out on salvation
Rahab remembered; Rahab and her family saved.
Example of the orchestra—music made with trash
They have actually gone on a world tour, national television programs (Favio Chavez-environmental tech/Don Cola Gomez-a trash worker and carpenter.
If Heaven has an orchestra what do you think it could look like?
Peter-denied the very One who saved him; Paul-religious thug; Who is on the harp? David-King David-Womanizing David-Conniving David-Murderous David-Repentant David-Rahab
Joshua 2:1 NLT
1 Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night.
If you are honest, how do you see yourself today? As a piece of garbage? Unusable or forgotten?
or do you see yourself God’s instrument, redeemed and valuable?
OR maybe a mixture of both?
Who would guess that a pan could be made into a violin? or a cello out of a barrel?
Who would think music could come out of something so messed up, discarded, and rotten?
YET — God does this everyday — He tunes our off-pitch hearts to match His song.
SO - if the thought comes to you that God can’t use you— that is a lie

Trial In the Wilderness

The Promised Land was actually the third stop on their journey.
First stop was Egypt—God lead them there during the famine
Then there was the 40 year “time out “ in the wilderness
Liberated from bondage of Egypt but you wouldn’t know it when you read
Exodus 15:24 NLT
24 Then the people complained and turned against Moses. “What are we going to drink?” they demanded.
Just 3 days into their freedom
Grumbled over food/ water
They learned about God’s provisions
**God has resources that we know nothing about!
**God has solutions outside of our reality.
Israel saw scorched/dry earth
God saw Heaven’s breadbasket
Israel saw dry land
God saw a covey of quail behind every bush
They saw problems/God saw provision
What do you see?
oyster—irritation—emits solution that soothes irritation—a pearl is produced
Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land to bring back a report—10 saw the glass half empty and all the negatives
2—saw the glass half full and all the possibilities —with God
The 10 threw the entire body of people/nation into a frenzy
Numbers 14:1–2 NLT
1 Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained.
Acts 7:36 NLT
36 And by means of many wonders and miraculous signs, he led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness for forty years.
Acts 7:39 NLT
39 “But our ancestors refused to listen to Moses. They rejected him and wanted to return to Egypt.
Who made it into the Promised Land?
Who did not make it into the Promised Land?
So those 2 spies and those who were under 20 got enter the promised land
It is this group who is now at the brink of the Jordan River.

II. First Steps of Faith

Joshua is the leader—God knew all along that it would be Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Joshua waited until GOD told him to move
**Everyone knows how to pastor—even if they’ve never pastored.
Many probably knew just what Joshua should do and how he should do it and when, etc.
Joshua 1:10–11 NLT
10 Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel, 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
The first obstacle was the Jordan River—they had to get across. It was at its flood stage
Here were their instructions:
Joshua 3:2–3 NLT
2 Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, 3 giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them.
What were the priests carrying?
What did the Ark of the Covenant represent?
When God said “Follow the Ark He was saying “Follow Me
The people did—small steps—priests dipped their toes in —but they did it
First obstacle is overcome
Next obstacle is Jericho

III. Provision Through a Prostitute

Jericho was indwelled by Canaanites
The people of Jericho had no regard for human life—they buried babies alive—no regard for human life or any respect for God
Joshua sent two spies to scout out Jericho, and they meet Rahab
Joshua 2:1–2 NLT
1 Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, “Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.” So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night. 2 But someone told the king of Jericho, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land.”
The king could see the Hebrews’s camp—he along with Jericho were anticipating the coming of Israel—they were scared.
Rahab hid the spies
Rahab lied about the spies
** Lying is never ok!! We cannot use Rahab as an example here for Godly conduct.
But the verses to focus on are
Joshua 2:9–11 NLT
9 “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. 10 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. 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.
God found Rahab!
He saw a tender heart in a hard city and reached out to her.
Do you think God would have saved the entire city?
He would have but no one else reached out/or made the request
May Rahab felt she had nothing to lose because she was at the bottom of the pit

IV. Part of the Family

Maybe you can relate to Rahab—maybe you haven’t sold you body but you’ve sold your
Allegiance, affection, attention, talents—you’ve SOLD OUT—we all have!
May feel that the Promised Land is for everyone else—but not us
God has a place for the Rahabs of the world.
Rahab was a resident of Jericho— a city destined for destruction —but because of her faith God intervened and saved her and her family
More to her story:
Rahab married Salmon=Boaz
Boaz married a Moabitess Ruth=Obed
Obed =Jesse
From David descended Joseph Mary’s husband Read Matthew 1:1-16 for the account
Real sense Rahab became a part of God’s family tree that day when salvation came to her house
Through her line came Jesus.
It would be enough for God to cleanse us of our sins but He does more.
He gives us His name
Galatians 4:6 NLT
6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
God has adopted us—like Rahab
God’s plan was to collapse the walls of Jericho
Hebrews 11:31 NLT
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.
Her profession of faith mattered more than her profession as a prostitute.
James 2:25 NLT
25 Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road.
Jesus said there are many room in His Father’s hours
John 14:2 NLT
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
Why would He say that?
He knew all to well the words “There is no room for you here” He heard it from the womb
Joshua 6:20–25 ESV
20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. 22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
We don’t drop scarlet cords from windows but we do trust the crimson thread of Jesus’ blood.
We don’t prepare for the coming of the Hebrews but we do prepare/anticipate the second coming of Christ.
We will understand what the people of Asuncion, Paraguay are discovering.
Our mess will become music and God will have a Heaven full of rescued Rahabs.
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