Thursday, August 31, 2017

It is the present, not the past, that determines your future.

Read Joshua 2.

Joshua knew the value of reconnaissance.  He had been a spy for Israel in the book of Numbers.  Back then, Moses sent 12 spies, one from each tribe.  Only two, Joshua and Caleb, came back with a faith-filled report.  So, this time Joshua sent only two.  Their assignment was to gather intelligence on the city of Jericho.  When the nation crossed the Jordan River headed west, Jericho would be the first major city in its path.

The spies came to the house of Rahab.  She was able to tell them all they needed to know about the city and how God had already struck fear in the people.  The people of Jericho knew about the Red Sea miracle and the power of Israel's God.  While everyone else lived in dread, Rahab placed her faith in the LORD.  That made all the difference.  Her faith changed her life, her legacy, and her destiny.

1. Rahab in the Past tense.
She was a Canaanite.  These were the current inhabitants of the Promised Land.  God's order was to root them out so Israel could possess what was rightfully theirs.  The Canaanites were pagans.  They worshipped various sorts of made up deities, often fashioning them with wood or metal.  She was a prostitute.  Her reputation for immorality and loss of character would seem to have her on an opposite path from God.

2. Rahab in the Future tense.
In Matthew 1, we read the family tree of Jesus, the Messiah.  Several women are particularly noted in that passage.  In verse 6 is the name of Rahab.  After the fall of Jericho, she and her family lived with the nation of Israel.    She married a Jewish man who was in the very lineage of the Messiah.  In Hebrews 11:31, when examples of great faith in the LORD were listed, Rahab is given as a prime example.  In James 2:24-26, Rahab is again shown to be a person who did not just express belief in God, but proved it by her actions.

3. Rahab in the Present tense.
There are four spiritual responses by Rahab in Joshua 2 that are true of everyone who put their faith in God and experience an eternal change of life.
     A. She heard about God.
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17)
     B. She believed what she heard about God.
"'...what must I do to be saved?'  And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'"  (Acts 16:30)
"Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
     C. She obeyed God as proof of her sincerity.

Jesus said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples." (John 8:31)

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