Sermon for the service of Sunday October 15, 2017 by Pastor Steve Hopkins.
“Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,” (Matthew 1:5, NIV)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for… By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” (Hebrews 11:1-2 & 30–31, NIV)
- Rahab – at a glance…
- A Canaanite (and a woman): “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations… Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,” (Deuteronomy 7:1–3, NIV)
- And a troubled past: “They shall not marry a prostitute or a woman who has been defiled; neither shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband. For they are holy to their God,” (Leviticus 21:7, NRSV)
- But, her story matters: “Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” (Joshua 2:1, NIV)
- What is her hope and assurance? (Joshua 2) “This is because the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now, I have been loyal to you. So pledge to me by the Lord that you in turn will deal loyally with my family. Give me a sign of good faith. Spare the lives of my father, mother, brothers, and sisters, along with everything they own. Rescue us from death.” (Joshua 2:11–13, CEB)
- And the result? (Joshua 6) “Joshua spoke to the two men who had scouted out the land. “Go to the prostitute’s house. Bring out the woman from there, along with everyone related to her, exactly as you pledged to her.” So the young men who had been spies went and brought Rahab out, along with her father, her mother, her brothers, and everyone related to her. They brought her whole clan out and let them stay outside Israel’s camp. They burned the city and everything in it. But they put the silver and gold, along with the bronze and iron equipment, into the treasury of the Lord’s house. Joshua let Rahab the prostitute live, her family, and everyone related to her. So her family still lives among Israel today, because she hid the spies whom Joshua had sent to scout out Jericho.” (Joshua 6:22–25, CEB)
- Which brings us back…
- “Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works? The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn’t her action in hiding God’s spies and helping them escape—that seamless unity of believing and doing—what counted with God? The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.” (James 2:24–26, The Message)
Δ? Do I view my faith as primarily active or passive?
- Work by faith, labor by love, endure by hope. “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3, NIV)
- “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NKJV)