THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 4-12-15

LESSON TITLE: “SARAH AND RAHAB.”

WELCOME

WE ARE TRULY EXCITED TO HAVE YOU WITH US TODAY AS WE TOGETHER BREAK THE LIVING WORD OF GOD. WE ARE CERTAINLY GLAD THAT YOU HAVE CHOSEN THIS DAY, TO GIVE THIS TIME TO OUR CREATOR - SO THAT TOGETHER WE MAY WORSHIP AND PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!

AS WE COME TOGETHER THIS DAY, IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER THAT WE WILL EACH PARTICIPATE AND DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME ACCEPTABLE BEFORE GOD; AS A COLLECTIVE OFFERING OF THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, AND WHO ARE WILLING TO SUBMIT THEIR OWN SACRIFICES BEFORE HIS THRONE.

SO, AT THIS TIME, AS WE TURN OUR FULL ATTENTION TO THE REASON WE HAVE COME TOGETHER, LET’S APPROACH OUR FATHER’S THRONE IN PRAYER:

PRAYER: DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND FOR THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE - THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO KNOW YOU THROUGH YOUR WORD, THE BIBLE, AND TO KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE US TO DO IN ORDER TO BE THOSE WHO ARE CALLED YOUR CHILDREN. AND FATHER, HELP US THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY TO LIVE AS THOSE WHO DO THOSE THINGS ACCORDING TO YOUR TRUTH. THEREFORE, AS WE WORSHIP THIS DAY, MAY WE DO ALL IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH AS YOU HAVE COMMANDED. AND FATHER, WHEN THIS LIFE IS OVER, GIVE US THAT REWARD OF THE MANSION PREPARED FOR THE FAITHFUL THAT AWAITS ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FOUND FAITHFUL - AND THEREFORE RECIPIENTS OF YOUR GRACE, LOVE, AND MERCY. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

JUST WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP FOR JESUS? WOW, THAT’S A TOUGH ONE ISN’T IT? WE ALL KNOW THAT WE ARE TO SACRIFICE FOR GOD AND GIVE HIM THE BEST OF WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER. BUT SOMETIMES THAT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE. OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING, HELPS US TO FOCUS ON STANDING STRONG FOR GOD THROUGH THE MANY STORMS OF LIFE. SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN AND PARTICIPATE WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD!”(X-X-X-X)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF BEING LIED TO OR MISLEAD IN THIS LIFE? IT SEEMS LIKE THAT MORE AND MORE IN OUR DAY THAT PEOPLE TEND TO EXAGGERATE AND BEND THE TRUTH, RATHER THAN JUST TELLING THINGS LIKE THEY ARE. SO WHAT DOES GOD THINK ABOUT ALL OF THIS?

WELL, GO WITH ME TO THE WORDS OF JESUS FOUND IN MATTHEW 5:37. THERE WE READ, “BUT LET YOUR 'YES' BE 'YES,' AND YOUR 'NO,' 'NO.' FOR WHATEVER IS MORE THAN THESE IS FROM THE EVIL ONE.” JESUS SAID WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE TAKEN AT OUR WORD AND IF WE CAN NOT BE, THEN WE ARE REALLY NOT OF HIM! NO DOUBT JAMES HAD THE SAME TEACHING IN MIND WHEN HE SAID, “BUT ABOVE ALL, MY BRETHREN, DO NOT SWEAR, EITHER BY HEAVEN OR BY EARTH OR WITH ANY OTHER OATH. BUT LET YOUR ‘YES,’ BE ‘YES,’ AND YOUR ‘NO,’ ‘NO,’ LEST YOU FALL INTO JUDGMENT,” CHAPTER 5, VERSE 12. HERE THE SAME IDEA IS CONFIRMED, AS THOSE WHO FOLLOW GOD WE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS COMPLETELY TRUSTWORTHY, AND IF WE ARE NOT THIS VERSE SAYS WE WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDINGLY.

NOW THINK FOR A MOMENT AS TO WHY WE SHOULD BE TRUSTWORTHY? AREN’T WE SUPPOSE TO STRIVE IN THIS LIFE TO BE LIKE GOD? IS GOD TRUSTWORTHY, CAN HIS WORDS BE COUNTED ON? CERTAINLY THEY CAN! NOTICE WHAT PAUL SAID TO TITUS IN TITUS 1:2, THERE PAUL SPEAKS OF HIS, “HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE WHICH GOD, WHO CANNOT LIE, PROMISED BEFORE TIME BEGAN,” DID YOU CATCH THAT, GOD WHO DOES NOT LIE! THIS IS NOT SOMETHING NEW IN THE SCRIPTURES, EVEN AS FAR BACK AS THE PENTATEUCH, MOSES PENNED SOME SIMILAR WORDS. IN NUMBERS 23:19, WE READ, “GOD IS NOT A MAN, THAT HE SHOULD LIE, NOR A SON OF MAN, THAT HE SHOULD REPENT. HAS HE SAID, AND WILL HE NOT DO? OR HAS HE SPOKEN, AND WILL HE NOT MAKE IT GOOD?”

THANKS BE TO GOD THAT HE IS TRUSTWORTHY AND DEPENDABLE. EVEN THOUGH THE WORLD SEEMS TO PRESENT JUST THE OPPOSITE. MAY EACH OF US AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, SHOW OURSELVES TO BE OF THE KING, BY BEING ABLE TO BE COUNTED ON AND TRUSTED IN ALL THAT WE DO AND SAY. CAN YOU BE DEPENDED ON BY GOD? IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. OUR TOPIC OF STUDY WILL AGAIN FOCUS ON OUR SERIES, “SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES.” OUR SPECIFIC LESSON OF THE MORNING WILL DEAL WITH THE LIVES OF, “SARAH & RAHAB.” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US FOR THIS STUDY FROM GOD’S WORD, AND I WILL BE LEADING OUR THOUGHTS AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR NEXT SONG OF THE MORNING. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “WHEN WE ALL GET TO HEAVEN.”(X-X-X-X)

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO THANKFUL THAT YOU'VE CONTINUED WITH US THIS MORNING, AS WE NOW GO TO GOD'S WORD AND LOOK AT ANOTHER LESSON IN OUR SERIES FROM HEBREWS CHAPTER 11. AS MOST OF YOU KNOW WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT A SERIES IN CONNECTION TO THOSE OF GREAT FAITH - THE GREAT CLOUD OF WITNESSES THAT ARE REFERRED TO THERE IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 12 THAT REALLY ARE EMPHASIZED TO US IN THAT CHAPTER BEFORE, CHAPTER 11. AS SO WE HAVE LOOKED AT MEN FROM THE EARLIEST OF TIME. SUCH AS EVEN THE SONS OF ADAM. WE LOOKED AT ABEL AND WE ALSO LOOKED AT KANE IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE CONTRAST BETWEEN ONE OF FAITH AND THE CONTRAST BETWEEN ONE WHO REJECTED THE WILL OF GOD. AND THEN WE'VE LOOKED AT GREAT MEN LIKE ENOCH. AND WE'VE LOOKED AT GREAT MEN LIKE NOAH. WE'VE GOT INTO THE PATRIARCHS AND LOOKED AT ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. AND AS WELL, EVEN LAST WEEK, WE WERE ABLE TO CONSIDER TOGETHER MEN LIKE MOSES.

AND AS WE DISCUSS ALL OF THESE GREAT HEROES OF FAITH. ONE THING THAT WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET IS DESPITE THE FACT THAT UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THROUGHOUT THE OLD LAW - AS WELL AS THE OLD WRITINGS, WE FIND THAT THE STORIES OF MEN AND THEIR LIVES CERTAINLY SEEM TO BE MENTIONED MUCH MORE THAN WOMEN. BUT THERE WERE MANY GREAT WOMEN OF FAITH FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF TIME - THOSE WHO LOVED GOD, THOSE WHO SERVED GOD, THOSE WHO WERE GOOD MOTHERS AND GOOD WIVES, THOSE WHO WOULD HELP TO BRING THEIR CHILDREN UP IN THE NURTURE AND THE ADMONITION OF THE LORD. AND THEREFORE, WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO THIS MORNING IS TO LOOK SPECIFICALLY AT TWO WOMEN WHO ARE MENTIONED IN THIS CHAPTER - HEBREWS 11 - AND CONSIDER THEM TOGETHER. THAT WE MIGHT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF, NOT ONLY MEN AND THEIR FAITH FOR GOD - THEIR COMMITMENT - THEIR SERVICE, BUT THE FACT THAT WOMEN OF GOD WERE ALSO IMPORTANT. PERTINENT. AND EVEN REQUIRED TO REALLY ACCOMPLISH THE TASK THAT GOD WANTED ACCORDING TO HIS PERFECT WILL. AND SO THE TWO THAT WE SEE THERE EARLIER IN THE TEXT IS SARAH AND THE ONE LATER IN THE TEXT IS RAHAB.

SO WE'LL BEGAN WITH SARAH, ALTHOUGH WE DID BRIEFLY MENTION HER WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT THE STORY OF ABRAHAM - AS WELL WHEN WE TALKED ABOUT THE FACT THAT ISAAC WAS RAISED AS A FAITHFUL MAN - WE LOOKED AT THE STORY OF SARAH JUST A LITTLE BIT. BUT LET'S CONSIDER SARAH FOR A MOMENT. WHAT DOES IT TELL US ABOUT SARAH HERE IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 AND VERSE 11? IT SAYS, “BY FAITH, SARAH HERSELF, RECEIVED STRENGTH TO CONCEIVE SEED, AND SHE BORE A CHILD WHEN SHE WAS PAST THE AGE BECAUSE SHE JUDGED HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAD PROMISED.” WE'LL, YOU AND I KNOW THERE IS ALOT TO THAT STORY. ALOT OF THINGS THAT ARE SPOKEN TO US IN THAT STORY. AND ONE SIGNIFICANT MARKER THAT MIGHT HELP YOU TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE STORY OF SARAH, IS THAT NUMBER 11 THERE. IT'S IN HERE - HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 AND VERSE 11 - THAT WE HAVE SARAH FIRST MENTIONED.

WELL, IF WE WERE TO GO BACK INTO THE BOOK OF GENESIS AND WE WERE TO LOOK AT CHAPTER 11 IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS, THAT IS THE FIRST PLACE AT THE END OF THAT CHAPTER THAT WE SEE SARAH IDENTIFIED AS SARAI - WHEN SHE WAS REFERRED TO AS THE WIFE OF ABRAM. AND OF COURSE ABRAHAM WAS CALLED ABRAM BEFORE ABRAHAM - GOD CHANGED HIS NAME AS HE BECAME THE FATHER OF THE NATIONS, AND ALSO SARAI WAS CHANGED TO SARAH AS SHE BECAME ALSO THE MOTHER OF GREAT NATIONS. BUT IF YOU'LL NOTICE THERE IN CHAPTER 11, IT MENTIONS IN VERSE 29 - THAT IS GENESIS AGAIN - ABRAHAM AND NAHOR TOOK WIVES. THE NAME OF ABRAM'S WIFE WAS SARAI AND HIS THIS WIFE AND FAMILY THAT EVENTUALLY HE TAKES TO THE PLAN THAT GOD WOULD HAVE HIM FULFILL. AND WE ALSO KNOW THAT IN VERSE 30 OF THAT SAME CHAPTER - HEBREWS 11 - THAT SHE IS MENTIONED AS, EVEN AT THAT TIME, BEING BARREN - THAT SHE WAS UNABLE TO HAVE CHILDREN. VERY COMMON IN THOSE DAYS - AS SOON AS YOU ARE MARRIED, YOU COULD IMAGINE, NINE MONTHS OR SO LATER THERE WAS A CHILD THAT CAME. AND THE REASON WAS - AS ONE OF THE MAIN PURPOSES OF MARRIAGE WAS TO PROCREATE, TO HAVE CHILDREN. AND SO IT WAS VERY ODD IF A WOMAN WENT PAST THE 9 TO 10 MONTHS TO A YEAR OR EVEN YEARS WITHOUT HAVING CHILDREN. AND THAT WAS THE CASE WITH SARAH.

NOW, AS WE CONTINUE ON THOUGH AND WE CONSIDER WHAT WAS SAID ABOUT SARAH SHE HAD A CHILD AND SHE CONSIDERED GOD FAITHFUL TO BE ABLE TO GIVE OR PRODUCE THAT CHILD. AND ALTHOUGH SHE DID CONSIDER GOD TO BE ONE WHO HAD POWER, AND CERTAINLY FROM HER HUSBAND AS WELL, HAD LEARNED MANY THINGS CONCERNING THE CREATOR HIMSELF. WE DO KNOW THAT EARLIER IN THE STORY OF THE CHILD OF PROMISE - THAT IS THE PROMISE THAT ABRAHAM WOULD HAVE A SON, A LEGITIMATE SON AND THAT SARAH WOULD BEAR THAT CHILD - WE REMEMBER THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL THINGS AS EARLY AS CHAPTER 17 AND THEN ALSO INTO CHAPTER 18 ABOUT THAT STORY THAT ARE QUITE SIGNIFICANT. WE KNOW THAT AT TIMES ABRAM EVEN SAID WELL, HOW ABOUT BY MY SON ISHMAEL? AND YOU MIGHT RECALL THAT SARAH HAD ACTUALLY TAKEN HER HANDMAID, HAGAR, AND GIVEN HER TO ABRAHAM TO HAVE A CHILD THROUGH HER. AND WE REMEMBER THE GREAT PROBLEMS THAT IT CREATED.

GOD EVENTUALLY THERE IN CHAPTER 18 REITERATES TO THEM AS HE COMES AND VISITS WITH THEM, THE LORD HIMSELF, THAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE A CHILD. AND YOU REMEMBER THERE AS THEY ARE LEARNING OF THIS GREAT TRUTH, ALSO SHOWING GREAT HOSPITALITY TO THE LORD AND THESE MESSENGERS OR ANGELS WITH HIM, NOTICE THE REACTION OF SARAH - IT SAYS THERE IN VERSE 11 OF, AGAIN GENESIS 18, “NOW ABRAM AND SARAH WERE OLD, WELL ADVANCED IN AGE,” AND SARAH WAS PAST THE AGE OF CHILD BEARING. AND THEREFORE, WHEN SARAH HEARD IT, VERSE 12 SAYS, THAT SHE LAUGHED WITHIN HERSELF. AND THEN IT EVEN LATER IN THE TEXT, SHE IS ADDRESSED AND DENIES IN VERSE 15 THAT SHE DID LAUGH WHEN THE LORD ASKED HER ABOUT WHY SHE LAUGHED. YOU SEE, SHE WAS CHALLENGED TO THINK ABOUT HER FAITH. THIS IS GOD SPEAKING. THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD - GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS. AS HE IS GIVING YOU LIFE, HE IS SAYING HE WILL GIVE YOU A CHILD EVEN AT THIS OLD AGE. AND THE TEXT CONFIRMS FOR US THAT SARAH WAS 90 YEARS OLD WHEN SHE HAD ISAAC AND ALSO ABRAM OR ABRAHAM WAS 100 YEARS OLD. SO THEY WERE WELL UP IN YEARS.

NOW WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THEN THAT FAITH THAT SHE HAD, NO DOUBT IT WAS CULMINATED AND FULLY BROUGHT TO FRUITION WHEN SHE FINALLY DOES HAVE THE CHILD. WE CAN AGAIN GO OVER SEVERAL CHAPTERS TO CHAPTER 21. AND IT'S THERE THAT ISAAC IS BORN AFTER THE LORD HAD VISITED HER AND SHE CONCEIVES AND HAS THE CHILD. NOTICED THE THINGS THAT ARE SAID CONCERNING ISAAC - THE FIRST THING THAT'S SIGNIFICANT IS HIS NAME. THERE IN CHAPTER 21 AND VERSE THREE, GOD TOLD THEM TO CALL HIM ISAAC. AND SO THEY DID. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE DEFINITION OF ISAAC BASICALLY WAS IN THEIR LANGUAGE? IT MEANT LAUGHTER - SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE, NOT ONLY HAD SARAH LAUGHED, BUT ALSO WITHIN HIMSELF ABRAHAM HAD LAUGHED TO AN EXTENT. BECAUSE HE WAS ALSO WONDERING, HOW CAN I AT THIS OLD AGE? OR HOW CAN SHE AT THIS OLD AGE BEAR A CHILD? FOR SHE WAS WAY PAST THE AGE OF BEARING CHILDREN AND HE CERTAINLY FELT HE WAS WAY PAST THE AGE OF BEING A FATHER TO A NEW INFANT. AND SO BOTH OF THEM HAD LAUGHED. AND SO THE NAME OF THE CHILD IS LAUGHTER OR JOY.

BUT THEN I WANT YOU TO NOTICE HOW THAT THAT IDEA PERHAPS MIGHT BE PLAYING ON THE CONCEPT OF MAYBE THEIR FIRST REACTION TO HAVING CHILDREN, EVEN AT THE AGE OF VERY OLD GRANDPARENTS NOT YET HAVING CHILDREN IN THAT SENSE. WELL, NOTIC HOW THAT TURNED TO JOY IN SARAH - THE ONE OF FAITH. WE NOTICE THERE THAT IN VERSE 6 OF GENESIS 21, IT SAYS, “AND SARAH SAID, ‘GOD HAS MADE ME LAUGH AND ALL WHO HEAR LAUGH WITH ME.’” YOU KNOW, YOU THINK OF THE JOY SOMETIMES THAT WE HAVE ON EARTH BUT IMAGINE THE DAY SHE HAD AND BORE ISAAC AND WAS ALIVE AND HEALTHY AND THE CHILD WAS HEALTHY. PEOPLE WERE WONDERING: HOW COULD THIS BE? AND THEN IMAGINE ALSO THE FACT THAT GOD HAD BLESSED HER IN SUCH A WAY. AND THE SMILE THAT IT WOULD HAVE PUT ON HER FACE. AND EVEN THE LAUGHTER AND THE JOY IN HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO SAY: HOW CAN YOU BE A MOTHER AT SUCH AN OLD AGE?

BUT THEN THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE SHE ALSO SAYS IN VERSE 7. “SHE ALSO SAID, ‘WHO WOULD HAVE SAID TO ABRAHAM, THAT SARAH,’” - YOUR OLD, OLD WIFE WOULD NOT ONLY HAVE A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS, “NURSE CHILDREN? FOR I HAVE BORNE HIM A SON IN HIS OLD AGE.” NOT ONLY HER OLD AGE, BUT HIS OLD AGE. AND SO NOW, NOT ONLY WAS SARAH ABLE TO PHYSICALLY DELIVER THE CHILD, WHICH WAS REALLY A FEAT MEDICALLY BEYOND REALLY WHAT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD TODAY. IMAGINE TODAY SOMEONE IN THEIR OLD AGE, 80 OR 90, HAVING A CHILD. AND THEN IT BEING, NOT ONLY HEALTHY, BUT THERE NOT BEING COMPLICATIONS WITH THE WOMAN OR THE CHILD OR THAT IT NOT EVEN KILL AN OLDER WOMAN TO HAVE A CHILD. BUT THEN SHE WAS EVEN ABLE TO NURSE OR TO BREAST-FEED THE CHILD. WOW! GOD IS POWERFUL. GOD CAN DO ANYTHING. AND THAT KINDA REALLY BRINGS TO HOME WHAT WE'RE THINKING ABOUT BACK IN HEBREWS CHAPTER 11 AND VERSE 11 WHEN IT SAYS, AND SARAH, SHE HAD FAITH. THAT THE ONE WHO WAS FAITHFUL HAD TOLD HER SHE WOULD HAVE A CHILD, AND SHE BELIEVED IT. SHE MAY HAVE THOUGHT HOW CAN IT BE? BUT SHE BELIEVED IT....AND ULTIMATELY WHAT IS THE RESULT? WE KNOW THAT SHE WAS ONE WHO THEN WAS BLESSED BY GOD TO BE A COMPLETE MOTHER. AND THEREFORE, TO HAVE PROVEN HERSELF WORTHY BEFORE GOD.

BACK IN OUR MAIN TEXT AGAIN - HEBREWS 11 - I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WITH ME NOW THE SECOND, AND PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING CHARACTERS AS WELL - RAHAB. RAHAB AS IS REFERRED TO HERE ALSO AS THE HARLOT. THERE IN VERSE 31 THE TEXT SAYS, “BY FAITH, THE HARLOT RAHAB DID NOT PERISH WITH THOSE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE WHEN SHE HAD RECEIVED THE SPIES WITH PEACE.” WELL, WE HAVE TO GO BACK OBVIOUSLY TO THE OLD TESTAMENT - TO THE BOOK OF JOSHUA - AND IT WAS THERE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CONQUEST THAT GOD COMMISSIONED JOSHUA TO BE THE LEADER OF THE PEOPLE. AND WHEN THEY HAD FIRST COME THERE TO THE JORDAN RIVER AND THEY WERE READY TO CROSS OVER, THE CITY THAT THEY'RE ABOUT TO EMBARK UPON CONQUERING IS THE CITY OF JERICHO. A FORMIDABLE CITY WITH GREAT WALLS IN THAT DAY. AND WE KNOW A LOT ABOUT THE STORY OF JERICHO AND THE TIMES THEY MARCHED AROUND THE CITY AND EVENTUALLY THE GREAT WALLS FELL.

BUT REALLY THE STORY OF RAHAB STARTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THAT. AS FIRST OF ALL, THERE ARE SOME SPIES THAT ARE SENT IN - IN VERSE 1 OF JOSHUA CHAPTER 2 - AND THEY ARE SENT IN TO SPY OUT SECRETLY THE LAND THERE OF JERICHO, THE CITY ITSELF, TO FIND PERHAPS HER STRENGTHS AND HER WEAKNESSES. AND THERE EVEN IN THAT VERSE, 1 OF CHAPTER 2, THE BIBLE SAYS, “SO THEY WENT, AND CAME TO THE HOUSE OF A HARLOT NAMED RAHAB, AND THEY LODGED THERE.” THEY WENT TO A PLACE PERHAPS WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE A LOT OF DRIFTERS AND PEOPLE COMING FROM THE CITY OF ALL TYPES OF BACKGROUNDS AND ALL TYPES OF MAYBE CULTURES. AND THIS WAS A PLACE OF HARLOTRY. A PLACE WHERE IT MIGHT BE A LITTLE EASIER TO HIDE OR ESCAPE IN CONNECTION TO SUCH THINGS BECAUSE THERE WOULD'VE PROBABLY BEEN MANY, MANY HARLOTS. BUT THEY WENT TO THE HOUSE OF RAHAB AND WHAT DID SHE DO? SHE HIDES THEM AND SPARES THEM. SHE SAVES THEM, EVEN THOUGH THE LEADERS COME TO HER AND ASK: WHERE ARE THOSE SPIES? PERHAPS SOMEONE HAD SEEN THEM WITH HER. SHE DOES NOT GIVE THEM UP. AND HE SAYS: WELL, THEY MAY HAVE BEEN HERE BUT THEY'RE NO LONGER HERE. AND SHE HIDES THEM AND SHE SPARES THEIR LIFE. AND EVENTUALLY EVEN LETS THEM DOWN OUT OF THE WALL TO ESCAPE WITH THEIR LIFE - WHEN REALLY THEY WERE BEING SOUGHT OUT TO BE KILLED. YOU SEE, PEOPLE KNEW THE SPIES WERE THERE - THEY WERE JUST SEEKING TO FIND THEM.

BUT THE BEST PART OF THE STORY OF RAHAB IS FOUND THERE IN THE HEART OF IT WHEN SHE BEGINS TO ASK THOSE SPIES - WILL THEY DO HER A FAVOR AND THE FACT THAT SHE WILL DO THEM A FAVOR AND SAVE THEM. I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT IT BEGINS TO SAY THERE IN VERSE 9 AS THEY ARE ON THE ROOF. SHE SPEAKS WITH THEM. SHE SAYS, “I KNOW THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU THE LAND, THAT THE TERROR OF YOU HAS FALLEN ON US, AND THAT ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THE LANDS ARE FAINT-HEARTED BECAUSE OF YOU. FOR WE HAVE HEARD HOW THE LORD DRIED UP THE WATER OF THE RED SEA FOR YOU WHEN YOU CAME OUT OF EGYPT, AND WHAT YOU DID TO THE KINGS OF THE AMORITES WHO WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE JORDAN, SIHON AND OG.” YOU SEE, SHE'S RECOUNTING THE STORY AS THEY CAME OUT OF EGYPT AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THE EGYPTIANS AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THE KINGDOM OF THE AMORITES, SIHON AND OG, WHICH WERE ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER. AND SHE SAYS AGAIN - WHEN WE HEARD THESE THINGS OUR HEARTS MELTED.

BUT NOW HEAR WHAT SHE SAYS IN VERSE 11, “NEITHER DID WE REMAIN WITH ANY MORE COURAGE IN ANY OF US BECAUSE OF YOU, FOR THE LORD, YOUR GOD, HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE AND ON EARTH BENEATH.” DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE BEGINS TO SAY HERE? YOUR GOD IS GOD. SHE DOESN'T TALK ABOUT OTHER GODS. SOME SUGGESTED THAT HER NAME - RAHAB - WAS EVEN TAKEN FROM PERHAPS THE EGYPTIAN SUN GOD OR RAY, THAT GOD, AND SO - EVEN IF YOU THINK ABOUT THAT - SHE MOST LIKELY IS, AS ALL OF JERICHO, WAS A PAGAN. BUT WHAT DOES SHE SAY AFTER SHE SEES THE SIGN? THE ONE OR THE POWER OF THE GOD OF ISRAEL - YOUR GOD IS GOD. NOT JUST OF THE HEAVENS BUT YOUR GOD IS THE GOD OF EARTH. AND THEN SHE GOES ON EVEN FURTHER TO SAY: AND HE WILL DESTROY US. SHE KNOWS IT. NOT A DOUBT IN HER MIND. AND SO SHE ASKED THAT GOD WOULD SPARE HER. DOES GOD SPARE HER FOR HER FAITH? YES - AND NOT ONLY DOES HE SPARE HER FOR HER FAITH

BUT IN HEBREWS AND ALSO IN JAMES 2:25 HE KEEPS TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT FAITH OF RAHAB. EVEN A HARLOT WHO PEOPLE MIGHT SAY - WHO WOULD EVER BE WORTHY? WHAT KIND OF PROSTITUTE WOULD EVER BE WORTHY TO SERVE GOD OR TO BE NOTICED BY GOD? RAHAB WAS. AND IN FACT, SHE WAS SO NOTICED BY GOD – GUESS WHO THE MOTHER OF BOAZ WAS IN THE BOOK OF RUTH? AND GUESS WHO WAS FOUND IN THE GENEALOGIES LEADING UP TO JESUS IN MATTHEW CHAPTER 1? IT SAYS THERE THAT SALMON, THE FATHER OF BOAZ, HAD BOAZ BY RUTH, OR RATHER BY RAHAB THE HARLOT. DO YOU THINK GOD CAN CHANGE THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF PEOPLE? DO YOU THINK FAITH CAN BE BROUGHT ABOUT IN ANYONE? EVEN THOSE WHOM WE MIGHT THINK WOULD BE THE FARTHEST FROM GOD - THAT THEY MIGHT BE THE CLOSEST FROM AND CHOSEN BY GOD TO SERVE? WHY NOT. BE ONE OF FAITH TODAY AND WHY NOT LEARN FROM THESE GREAT EXAMPLES OF WOMEN WHO PUT GOD FIRST.

CLOSING COMMENTS

LET ME THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND BLESSING TO US ALL. WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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ISN’T IT EXCITING TO SEE SUCH WOMEN OF FAITH THROUGHOUT GOD WORD. MAY WE BE CHALLENGED TO LEARN FROM THE WILLINGNESS TO SERVE GOD AND PUT HIM FIRST IN ALL THINGS. ARE YOU GIVING GOD YOUR BEST TODAY?