csibiblestudy


Rahab and a Changed Life (Joshua 2, 6, Ruth 4, Matthew 1)
July 29, 2015, 6:29 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: , , , , , ,

The book of Joshua rahab and a changed life, july 29

One of the great messages of the Bible is that God pursues people who are perfect. In fact, God works through the lives of people who do bad things. Before having a relationship with God, Abraham had worshiped false gods. Moses, prior to being used of God, had murdered a person. David committed adultery by having a baby with another man’s wife. David then set up that man’s death by ordering him to fight in a war, and then having the other troops withdraw, leaving Uriah as an easy target for the enemy. Paul, prior to being transformed and following God, persecuted Christians and evidently ordered the death of many of them, as the example of Stephen in Acts 7. Mary Magdalene had been possessed by seven demons, according to Luke 8. So it comes as no surprise that God did something amazing in the life of Rahab, a harlot. Today, we don’t use the word harlot but our common term is prostitute. It is sad that a person sees there only hope in selling themselves to others, but there are people who see this as there only option to survive. We don’t know why Rahab was a prostitute, but we know that her sin broke God’s heart, not just because she was breaking the commandment not to commit adultery, but because she had such little love for herself. What do we know about Rahab? She loved her family. Reading verse 13 of Joshua 2 reveals that she helped the two spies because of an agreement she made with them concerning her “father, mother, brothers, sisters, and all they have, and deliver them from death”. Her actions may reveal that for some unknown reason, the survival of her family depended on her. She shows that she makes things happen for her and her family. Second, she is willing to make a change. She was open to helping the spies. In reading the story, she knew a lot about the Israelites. She talked about how God had supernaturally worked on their behalf in really amazing ways. She mentioned their deliverance form Egypt, passage through the Red Sea, and many victories over superior enemies. Then she revealed her belief about God. The phrase “for the Lord your God, he is the God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” reveals her belief that the real sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all was the Supreme God of the Jews. Her actions of helping the Jewish spies reveals that she truly believed this because her actions revealed her true beliefs. Rahab believed that God would give the Israelites the city of Jericho, so her actions in this event were based on her new faith in the God of all. Perhaps the most powerful part of the story is that God wants to save everyone. From before the foundation of the earth, God’s plan included Rahab. God revealed Himself to her and then was able to plug her into His plan. More on the extent of the plan later.
When we are first introduced to Rahab, we see her in the city of Jericho. The two spies of the Jews come into the city to check it out. They wanted to get details about the city as well as find out what the citizens were talking about. Evidently a great place to stay would be at Rahab’s. Visitors in the city would be less suspicious if they stayed with Rahab and the conversations of many would be heard in her house. Maybe her home, which was built into the wall, had an upper and lower part. The upper part was the families living quarters. Perhaps the bottom section was a tavern or roadhouse, full of visitors and full of wickedness. All visitors were welcomed here so it was not surprising that the king expected the two spies to be at Rahab’s. When the word of the spies’ arrival soon spread throughout Jericho, the king (most likely mayor) of Jericho sent word to Rahab to hand over the spies. And you know what she does? She lies! She tells a story that is full of lies! She LIES! As Christians, we struggle with her actions because we believe that she is now a follower of God. Her words, spoken about God a little later, didn’t turn her into a believer of God. They just revealed it. So how can we accept her as a believer? Trusting God doesn’t make us perfect, it just puts us on the road to eventually becoming outwardly what God transforms us inwardly to be. God begins to transform us inwardly so that our reactions become more consistent to His will. How long Rahab had been a believer in God is unknown and she needed to be taught the Will of God as revealed in the Word of God. (Which at the time was a small part of the Old Testament.) She makes a deal with the spies and tells them how to escape capture. When the Jews come back to the city to conquer them, Rahab is told to tie a red (scarlet) rope from her home’s window on the wall and let it hang down. This part of the wall would be spared and her family would be saved. We now skip over to Joshua 6 for the next part of the story. Joshua gives instructions about what the troops will do to conquer the city of Jericho. In verse 17 of Joshua 6, Joshua reminds all about sparing Rahab and her family. In verse 22, Joshua tells the two spies to go to Rahab’s and bring her and her family out before the city was destroyed. She survived the fall of Jericho but what happened to Rahab? If we continue to read the book of Joshua, we won’t find the answer but we now have the entire Bible. Can we look elsewhere? Maybe the best place to look is in the New Testament book of Matthew. In Matthew 1, we read a genealogy of Jesus, the King of the Jews. Starting with the father of the Jewish race, Abraham, we read of a patriarchal system in which one father begats a son who assumes the position of leadership after the dad steps down or dies. This genealogy is unique because women are mentioned. Because we are switching from a testament that is translated from Hebrew to a testament translated from Greek, the spelling of names will be different. Most of the Bible involves reading from the original languages and translating into the best English word possible. But names are “transliterated” which means we turn a Hebrew or Greek word into an English word by changing letters from Hebrew or Greek to English. So the Rahab we get from transliterating Hebrew into English is the same as the Rachab we get from transliterating Greek into English. So we read Rachab in Matthew 1, verse 5. We find that she marries a Jewish man named Salmon and has a son named Booz (or Boaz), who married Ruth. So Rahab is the mother of Boaz, the grandmother of Obed, the great-grandmother of Jesse, and the great-great-grandmother of David the King. She is also in the lineage of Jesus, the King of the Jews, the Son of God. What a transformation from prostitute to blessed member of the Messiah heritage. That is only something that God can do! God does have a plan and God will do what is needed to pursue us. Not everyone believes the Gospel and therefore reject God, although He has come after them. But Rahab did and she was forever changed.

Questions about Rahab
1. Who are the other 3 women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:1-17?

2. Who are included in the genealogy found in Ruth 4?
3. In Joshua 6, Joshua ends the chapter with a curse placed upon Jericho. Read verses 26 and 27 in the chapter to see what it is?

4. The time between Joshua 6 and I Kings 16 is about 600 to 700 years, with I Kings 16 taking place that many years after the curse placed upon Jericho. Read I Kings 16:34 and tell what happened.

5. What is the only reasonable explanation for a prophecy coming true exactly as predicted 600 to 700 years before? What does that prove about the Word of God?

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