When God Tells the Story.
When God tells the story of setting aside a special nation, preparing the way for His Son in the Old Testament, He doesn’t hide the truth; the details are displayed openly for all to read and see.
The Family Tree.
God includes the LIAR, the COWARDS, the CHEATERS, the MESS-UPS, and the street-walker. Character flaws are never a deterrent to God’s greater plan.
*[See Matthew 1:5 for Rahab’s inclusion]
Living In Ancient Cities…
Often cities of ancient times are surrounded by thick, solid walls for protection against invading armies. And as Christians, we sometimes build walls around our own spiritual lives for the same reasons. We don’t want to get hurt or criticized by the outside world. If we stay huddled together, never venturing outside the walls, except for well planned evangelism raids to the surrounding countryside; then bringing the assembled captives back behind closed gates in celebration of our own efforts. “Oh Lord, it’s so hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.”
God’s Church was never intended to be a walled in community of believers; living inside a wall while peering out of a self-righteous window at the lost sinners; eagerly waiting for the next well planned raid into the outside world by our well-meaning church leaders.
Living In A Wall.
In ancient times, the heavy expense plus the consuming time to build solid walls for protection, led to an alternative city wall design we call a CASEMATE.
A casemate consisted of two thinner walls; parallel walls with an empty space between them. It was faster and cheaper to build, and afforded the inhabitants extra living space.
In times of war, the space could be quickly filled with dirt and stones creating a thicker, solid defensive wall.
We too, have a tendency to use our church building as the “inner wall,” and our homes as the “outer wall.” And in between?
A lot of dirt and stones in between to separate us from criticism, hypocrisy and self-condemnation.
The Conquest of Jericho (Text: Joshua 2:1-24):
The reading in Joshua 2 suggest that a woman, by the name of RAHAB, was known as a prostitute and occupied her home on the outside wall.
“…for her [Rahab’s] house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall” (Joshua 2:15 b. ESV).
The house of Rahab in the Old Testament is PICTURE
The familiar story in Joshua 2 brings to my mind a picture of a FULL CHURCH. Can you imagine the great transformation that took place in-house of two spies, who brought her into a personal relationship with the God of Israel.
Her inn of iniquity became a house of prayer and worship and when the walls of Jericho fell, only her house remained on the wall; everyone within the house experienced salvation and her house was full!
How did this happen? Could this happen to us in our own churches? Are the principles laid down in this Old Testament Book be applied today, so we too, could have a full house at the coming of the Lord?
A Genuine Born Again Experience –
The Blood of Christ…
“Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall bring your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household into your house.”
All of the children of Israel had been told of the courage and faith of Rahab. So in their daily march around the city (Joshua Chapter 6), must have taken note of the scarlet thread on the outside wall.
There is POWER IN THE BLOOD!
There was enough power in this scarlet cord that two grown men hold on to its safety as they escaped from a sure death.
There was enough power in this scarlet thread to keep the walls of Jericho from falling on this house.
Rahab the harlot had a genuine born again experience. No longer did she trust in the idolatrous gods of Jericho. She had placed her new-found faith and trust in the God of Israel.
Is the church of today preaching, relying on, trusting in the POWER of the Blood of Jesus, or are the leaders of the congregation trusting in man devised programs and false doctrine?
A Life Lived In Holiness!
The day that Rahab TRUSTED the God of Israel would be her last day of harlotry.
The red rope [cord, thread]…
The red cord that might have stood for the house of sin, now, became a symbol of the CROSS. Rehab’s everyday, ongoing business became God’s business. Right in the midst of living in a wall, she had become a new creation in Christ Jesus, Saint Rehab.
Could churches today…hang a red rope outside the building, symbolizing the power that can happen by simply people grabbing hold? How would the lost know of God’s saving grace by a simple, uncomplicated, red thread?
THERE’S POWER IN THE BLOOD!
A Passion for Souls!
Rehab’s heart passion was that of her family and friends. One by one she compelled them to enter in.
It’s not enough that my church preach with the right doctrine. That alone will not bring souls into the kingdom.
It’s not enough that church members live lives of holiness. That will not fill up the church seats on Sunday.
The people of God’s Church must have a PASSION to win the lost! The fields are white unto the harvest. Where are the reapers?
A Plan of Hope!
The king of Jericho had no plan. The doomed people within the city hung their heads over the wall while they looked sadly at their coming fate. Their hearts were trembling from fear of the coming judgment.
Only Rahab had a plan!
Only Rahab had been given the promise of SALVATION. Her house alone would be the ARK of safety.
As a Church, we have been commissioned by Christ Jesus to SHARE the good news of SALVATION with the lost. We have a message of hope. We, the church, know (or should know) the truth of Christ.
RAHAB’S HOUSE IN THE WALL
Rahab’s house is a perfect example of a perfect church.
When we, the Church, become as convinced of coming judgment, and as compassionate as Rahab was of the lost members of her family, we too will have a full church.
I’m disheartened, disappointed in hearing people in the body of Christ say, “Oh, I just love a smaller church! It’s so much more friendly than a large church.” Really? More friendly to who?
Can the Old Testament Church RENEW a challenge within our church walls to become the Church of God’s plan?
Remember again the cry of the Father:
So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full’ (Luke 14:23, N.L.T.).
Bible History Daily – Rahab the Harlot Robin Ngd – 9/23/2013; The Jericho Scenario – The Open Scroll; The Sermon Notebook – Tearing Down the Walls; Bible Archaeology, Travel with Luke Chandler.
Bible Translations used:
Amplified Bible, English Standard Version, New Living Translation.
Photo Pin; Google Images