Rahab's Faith

 Rahab’s Faith


 “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).

In almost every capital city in Europe there are triumphant arches and statues, upon which they have recorded the heroic deeds of the country’s generals, its emperors, or its kings. 

On one of the arches you will find a long list of the battles of Napoleon, and on another the victories of England’s Lord Nelson are pictured. 

It seems, therefore, that it would be right for faith to have an arch raised to its honor, upon which its valiant deeds could be recorded. 

The apostle Paul undertook the task of raising a type memorial to the faithful in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. 

There he recites the victories of the faithful. 

It begins with one triumph of faith, and then proceeds to others. 

In one place we have faith winning over death; Enoch never entered the gates of death, but reached heaven by a highway that no one else has ever traveled. 

In another place, we find Noah wrestling with time. 

God warned him of a flood that was one hundred and twenty years away, and yet, in faith, he believed God even though such a thing was beyond all rational expectations. 

And here we can also find faith overcoming old age-Abraham had a son in his old age. 

And then we find faith succeeding over natural affection, as we see Abraham climbing to the top of a hill and raising his knife to kill his favorite son at the command of God. 

Then we have faith winning over the appeal of wealth, “By faith Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” 

We have faith dividing seas, and bringing down strong walls. 

And then, because perhaps the greatest victory is recorded last, we have faith having a contest with sin and coming off more than a conqueror. 

“Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” 

This woman Rahab was no mere hostess, she was a prostitute. 

Anyone who reads her story would have to admit that there is no way she could deny her sin.

The triumph of faith over sin may be the greatest victory of all, especially where it had to fight against lust. 

It was faith that delivered Rahab the harlot from the detestable vice of prostitution. 

Faith saved and rescued her and gave her a pure heart and transformed her into a beauty of holiness. 

And now her name is recorded among the faithful; a woman full of sin, yet saved by faith.

In this woman Rahab, we have a noteworthy victory of faith over sin. 

This woman’s faith was SAVING FAITH, SINGULAR FAITH, STABLE FAITH, SELF-DENYING FAITH, and SANCTIFYING FAITH. 

I want to say something about each one of the divisions of her faith.

In the first place, this woman’s faith was SAVING FAITH. 

All the other people we mentioned were undeniably saved by faith, but I don’t find that they were at any time rescued from death by their faith; while this woman was delivered from the destruction of Jericho through her faith. 

And her salvation did not just come by delivering her from the swords of the Israelites; it was also that her soul was redeemed from hell. 

What a mighty thing faith is when it saves a soul from going down into the pit of hell. 

The appeal of sin is so great that only the atonement of Christ can snatch a soul off the pathway to hell. 

However, faith is the instrument that God uses to accomplish the saving of a soul. 

The sinner is rescued from the river of sin by a faith that reaches out and grabs hold of God. 

What a great thing it is to save a soul! 

You can’t know how great it is unless you have been a savior yourself; that is unless you have been a hero to someone. 

I have known some heroes. 

I knew a man by the name of Christianson, who saved the lives of three women by swimming out into the ocean three times to bring each to safety. 

He knew what it felt like to be a savior to another person. 

Then there was the heroic man who went into a burning house, climbed a creaking staircase, and even though he was almost suffocated by the smoke, he snatched a baby from its bed and a woman from a window and carried them both to safety. 

He can tell you what a great thing it is to save a fellow human being.  

We can save a life, if we are brave enough, but we will never know what a great thing it is to save a soul. 

Only the Lord Jesus Christ can tell you what that’s like, because He is the only one who has ever been the Savior of sinners. 

And remember, you can only know how great a thing faith is if you know the infinite value of a saved soul. 

“Now by faith the harlot Rahab was delivered.” 

The evidence of her salvation was that she hid the spies, and helped them to escape, and then she hung that scarlet cord out the window, and all of this placed her life in great danger. 

But we can take comfort in this: The same faith that saved Rahab has saved you and me. 

Is there a woman here who is lost and guilty of sin? 

Listen to this! 

Rahab was saved and you can be too. 

You may even be detestable to yourself and you may feel uncomfortable at this moment and in this gathering of Christians, but I would say to you, “You are welcome.” 

You have a sacred right to God’s mercy. 

Believe in Jesus Christ, and you, like Rahab, will not parish with those who reject Him, but you will be saved.

And now, here is something for the men. 

Sometimes men will say, “Some of the worse sinners are members of the church.  I know that in the past that they were thieves, burglars, murders and liars.  Christianity is a sanctuary for sinful men.” 

Well, that is true, but I know this, that it is a hospital too, because it heals their sins, and afterwards, they are not what they once were before they received the gospel with faith. 

Even the greatest sinner, when he becomes a Christian cannot continue in his sins. 

The chief of sinners is as welcome to Christ as the very best saints. 

The fountain filled with blood was opened for men of every color, the robe of Christ’s righteousness is also for the poor, and at Calvary he brought comfort for all who are sick with sin. 

May God give you the faith of Rahab, so that you can stand with the saints in glory and sing unending hallelujahs to God and to the Lamb.

But note this, Rahab’s faith was not only saving faith, it was A SINGULAR FAITH.

The city of Jericho was about to be attacked and within its walls were people of all types of character and all classes-rich and poor. 

They knew that if the city was successfully attacked that they would all be killed. 

But it is strange to say that not a one of them repented of their sins or asked for mercy, except for this one woman who had been a prostitute. 

Rahab, and Rahab alone, was delivered; one solitary woman among the multitudes. 

Now have you ever thought that it was a hard thing to have singular faith? 

I have. 

In 1998, my company transferred me from Kansas City to Iowa. 

On my first day, a man met me at the door and said, “You are going to be the only person in the plant, who is not Catholic. 

Word had somehow come to this plant of 200 men and women that I was a Christian and a protestant.  

It wasn’t that some of the employees were not Christians: I believe they were. 

But I stood alone in those things I believed in as a protestant. 

In that respect I had singular faith. 

It’s the easiest thing in the world to believe as everyone else believes, but it is difficult to believe a thing alone, when no one else thinks as you think. 

Now this was the type of faith that Rahab had; singular faith. 

There wasn’t anyone who felt as she did. 

She stood alone. 

It is a noble thing to stand alone for Christ. 

I am sure that there are some here who could talk about how they were alone when they stood up for Christ. 

There are some today who suffer great loss because they stand alone. 

A magazine by the name of “Voice of the Martyrs” tells their stories. 

They are humiliated, mistreated; they are fired from their jobs, refused food, throne in prison, and murdered. 

But despite all this they stand firm in their faith. 

I would call them “great” men and women. 

But where is their greatness? 

It is this; they stood as firm in the storm as they did in the calm-that they were as content to serve God alone as they were when they were with fifty. 

Christians must swim against the stream.

Dead fish float down the stream, but the living fish forces itself against the current. 

Now, worldly religious men will go just as every body else goes. 

That is nothing. 

The thing is to stand alone like Elijah when he said, “I only am left and they seek my life.” 

The thing is to believe personally in an issue as firmly as if a thousand witnesses lined up on your side. 

A man can never be said to be strong-minded unless he is willing to be singular. 

Now Rahab’s faith, even though she was a sinner, was great in this respect; that she stood alone, one faithful woman among thousands of the faithless.

And why shouldn’t God promise the same faith to you? 

Here in this Nursing Home there may be some who are not religious. 

They may tempt you to sin, but if you have God’s Spirit within, you will do the right things. 

You may have family members who like to tease you about your faith; but don’t be afraid of them-go to them and dare them to come to Devotions and learn about the Savior who loved them and died for them. 

See if you can do it, because if you’re afraid of them, you may come to regret that you ignored their need for Christ, and that will be your sin. 

Keep in mind, the chief of sinners can make the greatest saints; the worst men in the devil’s army, after they come to Christ, make the greatest soldiers for Jesus. 

Some of the greatest workers for Christ have been men and women who were once great sinners. 

So go on and don’t be afraid to stand alone for Christ and He will give you that high and singular faith.

Now, Rahab’s faith was not only saving faith and singular faith; it was also AN UNWAVERING FAITH which stood firm in the midst of danger.

For many of us, it is easy to pray for something that is likely to happen anyway. 

But we find it hard to pray for something which is unlikely to happen. 

For example, after having been told by a doctor that my father was going to die from cancer, my prayers went from praying for his recovery to asking God to remove the pain and give him comfort. 

My faith in God’s healing power wavered, because by human standards it was unlikely that he could recover. 

There are many who have this type of faith: they believe just as far as the probabilities go along with them. 

When the promises of God and the probabilities are in conflict, they go with the probability. 

They say, “It is most likely going to happen, so I believe it.” 

But that is not faith; that’s living by sight. 

True faith exclaims, “It’s very unlikely, but I believe it.” 

Faith allows a person to see through the clouds, not with the eyes, but with faith, and to say, “I trust Him, even though I can only see Him with the eye of faith.” 

The faith of Rahab was the right sort of faith, because it was firm and lasting.

 Now, I want to talk to Rahab just like I suppose that old Unbelief would talk to her. 

Why Rahab, can’t you see how absurd this whole thing is? 

The people of Israel are on the other side of the Jordan River, and there are no bridges: how can they get over? 

They will have to go far to the north to cross and we will be safe for a long time.  

And they will probably take other cities before coming to Jericho. 

Besides the Canaanites are mighty and the Israelites are only a bunch of disorganized slaves. 

They will soon be cut to pieces, and that will be all of them, therefore don’t hide the spies. 

But Rahab would answer, “I don’t care about the Jordan, my faith reaches across the Jordan.” 

Eventually, the Israelites marched across the Jordan on dry ground and her faith got stronger. 

Now she says to her neighbors, “Won’t you believe me now?  Won’t you ask for mercy now?” 

“No,” they say; “the walls of Jericho are strong; and they are weak.” 

And then the next day the army of Israel is at the gates, but what do they do? 

They just blow some rams horns. 

Her neighbors say, “Why, Rahab, do you mean to say that you still believe?  These people only march around the city without saying a word, except for a few priests blowing rams horns.  It’s ridiculous.  Is it some new type of warfare where men can take a city by blowing rams horns?” 

That was the first day. 

Probably, Rahab thought that tomorrow they will bring scaling-ladders and come over the walls; but that didn’t happen. 

Instead, they came again with ram’s horns. 

And that’s what happened right up to the seventh day; and this woman kept the scarlet cord in the window all the time. 

And she kept her father and mother, brothers and sisters with her inside her house, and would not let them go out. 

Then on the seventh day, the Israelites gave a great shout and the walls of the city fell flat on the ground. 

The only safe place to be that day was in her house and next to the section of the wall where her house was built. 

Rahab’s house stood alone upon the wall, surrounded by a total wreck. 

She and her family were saved. 

Would you have thought that such a strong faith could grow in such a sinful heart? 

It is only because Christ grows great faith where ever He wants; He can make great faith spring up in the most unlikely hearts. 

The greatest sinner may become a person of great faith. 

If you are a lost sinner, take heart, because if you repent, you will not be the least in the family of God. 

No, your name may be written beside the mightiest Christians, and you may stand as a reminder to others of the power of faith.

Rahab’s faith was also A SELF-DENYING FAITH. 

She was willing to risk her life for the sake of the spies. 

She knew that if they were found in her house that she would be put to death. 

It’s a good thing to be able to deny ourselves. 

I have heard some say, “I love Him so much that I could give Him all that I have.” 

To that I answer, “Would you really, because you are not doing it, you are not giving Him your all?” 

This woman said, “If I must die for these men, I will.  Even though I may be called a traitor to my country, I will take in these spies, because I know it is God’s will.” 

I believe that as Christians, we should check our faith to see if it has self-denial in it. 

Faith and self-denial are born together and must live together like Siamese twins. 

But this woman, even though she was a sinner, was willing to deny herself. 

She brought her life to God; just like that other woman, who was also a sinner, brought the alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on the head of Christ.

Another point is that this woman’s faith was A SYNPATHISING FAITH.

She didn’t desire salvation for her self only; she wanted mercy for her family too. 

I think that a man or woman who doesn’t want salvation for his or her family can’t give much evidence of being a child of God. 

If your faith is real, you will want others to have what you have. 

This woman had such a great faith, that her whole family was saved from destruction. 

You may have children and grand children who reject Christ. 

Pray for them. 

Some of you, I would bet may owe much to a mother who prayed for you and took you to church and talked to you about the Savior who loves you and died for you. 

Can you ever thank her enough? 

I remember the time that I sat at the kitchen table with my father. 

I showed him in the bible how a person is saved. 

I have never cried any harder than I did on that day, and he cried too. 

We loved each other and he came to love Jesus, but he died a short time later. 

I know that we will be together some day, because he is in heaven. 

If someone in your family is lost, don’t give up; keep on telling them about Jesus. 

You love them so much; don’t leave this world as long as there is a chance for them to come to Christ.

One more point and then we are done: Rahab’s faith was A SANCTIFYING FAITH.

Did Rahab continue to be a prostitute after she was saved? 

No, she did not. 

I don’t believe she was a prostitute by the time that the spies went to her house, even though that name stuck with her, like bad names often do. 

But I am sure she was not afterwards, because Salmon the prince of Judah married her, and her name is listed among the ancestors of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

I believe she became a woman noted for holiness and that she lived in fear of God. 

That faith that saves a soul is real faith, and real faith sanctifies a man. 

It makes them say, “Lord you have forgiven me my sins; I will not sin any more.” 

You cannot have faith and live in sin. 

The faith that lives in sin is a dead faith. 

Rahab was a sanctified woman. 

I pray that everyone here is sanctified. 

The world has tried all manner of processes to reform men and women, but the only thing that will ever reform them is faith in the preached gospel. 

By the preaching of God’s word, even though it seems foolish to some, prostitutes are reformed, thieves are made honest, and the very worst of people are brought to the Savior. 

Your sins will be forgiven and forgotten, and God will care for you until the end, if you will believe in Christ. 

Amen.

 

Any comments or questions?

 There are 5 websites by this author:

http://harmonyofthegospels.yolasite.com (Life of Christ)

http://teachingsermonsforpastorsandlaymen.yolasite.com (sermons)

http://theepistlesofpaul.yolasite.com (Titus and Jude)

http://paulsepistletotheromans.yolasite.com (Romans)

http://theperiodofthejudges.yolasite.com (Judges)

Please review them and use them as the Lord leads you.

May God bless His precious word!!

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