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Hebrews 11 describes a hall of fame for people throughout the Bible that had extraordinary faith in God.
This is the 7th devotional of a series I've entitled "Walking in Faith" that will take a deep dive look into each of the people who earned a place in the hall of fame described in Hebrews 11. We'll look at the lives of each of these people, what earned them a spot in the Hebrews 11 hall of fame, and what that means for us thousands of years later. (Listen to Last Week's Devotional Here) - Walking in Faith Series - Moses - From Luxury to Purpose – SimplyHealthyHome (shopsimplyhealthyhome.com)
This week's account is about a woman named Rahab whose faith led her to save two Israel spies, which in turn would save her and her family from annihilation.
Who Was Rahab?
Full passage on Rahab found in Joshua 2
Before learning about who Rahab was, it's important to remember the events leading up to her mention in the Bible. Before Rahab, God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham's descendants (Genesis 12:1-7).
“Now the LORD said to Abram, Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, 'To your descendants I will give this land.' So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.” (Genesis 12:1-7).
God also promised to Moses that He would deliver the nation of Israel out of bondage and lead to them a land flowing with milk and honey.
“I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:17)
Rahab's act of faith was critical to the fulfillment of these two promises. Her faith and act of obedience to God made a way for the overthrow of Jericho, which was a city in the land of Canaan, the Land of Promise.
Rahab assisted in the overthrow of Jericho when she saved the 2 spies who lodged at her home. When the king of Jericho heard that 2 spies entered into the land, and asked Rahab to deliver them up, she hid them on the roof of her house and told the king's men to search elsewhere for them.
When the king's men left, the Israelite spies climbed down Rahab's window using a scarlet cord, which they instructed she hang outside of her window as a sign for when they return. She obeyed the instruction of the spies and hung a scarlet cord from her window, which symbolizes the blood of Jesus saving us from our sin and calamity.
Below are a few additional quick facts about Rahab -
- Rahab was an innkeeper. (Joshua 2:1)
- Rahab was a prostitute. (Hebrews 11:31)
- Rahab loved her family. (Joshua 2:12-13)
- Rahab married Salmon, and through this marriage she would become part of the lineage leading up to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:5)
What Earned Rahab a Spot in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame?
Below is the description of Rahab's faith found in Hebrews 11 -
"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace." Hebrews 11:30-31 NKJV
Rahab had faith that God would overthrow the land of Jericho and that He was the God of heaven and earth.
“I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” Joshua 2:9-11 ESV
Rahab chose to turn away from the life she knew to pursue a life aligned with the will of God.
What Does This Mean for Us?
Below are a few key takeaways from the story of Rahab's faith that I believe also apply to us -
1. Our past does not define our future.
- The enemy often tries to convince us that our past mistakes are too great to forget. Satan tries to keep us bogged down with the memory of our past, in order to prevent us from living out the hope and promise of our future. Satan knows God has a plan for us. He knows that God has called us to great and mighty deeds. And because of this, Satan tries to keep us from fulfilling our purpose by attempting to distract and distort our thoughts. But Rahab's story is a perfect example of how God can use anyone, despite the mistakes they have made. Rahab could have stayed fixed on the errors and uncleanness of her past. She could have gave up on any hope for a better future. But, Rahab chose to not believe the lie that her mistakes were too many or too great. Rather she chose to believe in the power of God and in His plan for her life.
- Our mistakes are never too many or too great. God can use us to help, to prosper, to encourage, and to inspire the world. He can use us in such a mighty way, despite the mistakes we've made.
2. Our faith holds present and future implications.
- Rahab didn't know when she saved the two spies and assisted with the overthrow of Jericho that she would be aiding in the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham and Moses. She didn't know that her future would forever change, and she would become a wife and mother, and direct relative to the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.
- The impact of our faith is not always evident. In fact, Hebrews tells us that the great hero's of faith, which are listed in Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame, did not see the promises of their faith fulfilled. But yet, their faith helped shape and bless the world that we live in today, thousands of years later! Hebrews 11:13-16
3. The purpose of our faith is not to fulfill our own plan, but rather to fulfill the plan of God.
- Rahab's act of faith spared her and her family during the seize of Jericho. But her faith meant much more than this. Her faith was just a speck on the grand scale of God's master plan. Her faith helped to usher in the fulfillment of century long promises and give birth to a hope that would impact mankind for eternity.
- The purpose of our faith is not to better ourselves or achieve something for ourselves, it is a pure act of belief in the existence of God, submission to His will, and obedience to His plan. Our faith is not meant to fulfill our plans, but rather enables us to be used by God in the fulfillment of His wonderful, beautiful, and universe sized plans.
Hope You Have a Blessed Week, and Don't Forget to Stay Tuned In for Next Week's Devotional!
Your Sister in Christ, Julia
Love the story of rahab