Hope, Purpose and Opportunity

Joshua 1-4, Psalm 143, Luke 14

Rahab, lived in Jericho.  The news reports were filled with stories of the Israelites conquests. They even explained a wild tale of the Jordan sea parting and the people walking across on dry land. Then, there were reports of the Israelites destroying people. Not just regular people, they were defeating giants.  They were “as mighty as oaks and as tall as cedars!” according to Amos. How could it be?  The Israelites were puny!  The city Sihon had recently been sacked and the latest reports indicated that Og was utterly destroyed. How was it possible? “God is on their side,” was the only possible explanation. With Og gone, Jericho was the next likely target. Every resident feared the inevitable.

Rahab confirmed the danger as she answered the door to three strangers.  She knew instantly that trouble was imminent. The men standing outside were not locals, they were Israelite and they were coming for Jericho. She was trapped. As a prostitute, Rahab was despised and scorned. Nobody would save her.  Not even God would help her. He was on their side, not hers.

When the men asked for safe harbor, she contemplated the great risk in protecting them. Treason is punishable by death. Even so, she knew that Jericho was doomed. The Israelites will quickly and easily devastate the city. Nothing can stop them. God is on their side. Rahab was quick to spot the difference.

What is your story of God?  If you feel beaten down, there is good news.  Notice how she turned it around.  Through the Israelites, she sees that those with God do not live in fear and oppression, but have purposeful lives filled with opportunities. She confesses to the men, “the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. “ (Joshua 2:11). It’s that simple.

What happened to Rahab? Was her life changed? Was God on her side? Matthew 1:5 tells us that she gave birth to a boy named Boaz. Boaz son fathered Obed, who fathered Jesse, who sired King David. David, of course, is the predecessor to the King of King’s, Jesus.  Obviously, God honored Rahab’s confession.  He changed her from a slave of the world, facing certain death, and replaced oppression with life. Not just any life, but life worthy of a King’s lineage. Royalty. God was on her side!

There is no other force, no other power, no other name that can compare with the power of God.  Is God on your side?