Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Of Jericho and Rahab - Hebrews 11 part 12

"By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,
after they had been encircled for seven days.
By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish
along with those who were disobedient,
after she had welcomed the spies in peace."
(vs 30-31)

"Joshua fought the battle of Jericho" - more correctly God fought the battle of Jericho, through a seemingly ridiculous method and with a miraculous outcome. Once again, Israel's faith is held forth as an example for us.

It would definitely take some faith to wage war in this way. "Walk around the walls of this city for seven days without uttering a word. At the end of your march you are to blow some trumpets and shout and the walls of this great and mighty city will tumble down before you and Jericho is yours!!" "Yeah - right!" Faith - only faith could follow those marching orders!

Faith is what it would take - faith is what God granted - and by active, obedient faith "the walls came tumbling down."

Henry summarizes thus: "Here was another great trial of their faith. The method prescribed seems very improbable to answer such a great end. But this was the way God commanded them to take, and He loves to do great things by small and contemptible means, that His own arm may be made bare.

"There was powerfull success to these prescribed means. The walls of Jericho fell before them. God can in His own time cause all powerful opposition that is made to His interest fall down, and the grace of faith is mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds. When He has something great to do for them, He raises up great and strong faith in them."

Does that not encourage you as you look at the insurmountable walls and obstacles that you are facing? Walk in that which God has commanded of you in His word! March in obedience to the drum of the Scriptures and trust Him with the results.

Attached to this account of Jericho we find the harlot Rahab. Rahab the prostitute makes it into the hall of faith. Oh, how glorious!! What a picture of grace. "Christ had saved the chief of sinners and where sin has abounded, grace has superabounded!" (Henry)

So what did Rahab do by faith? Again I will turn to Mr. Henry:

"By faith she received the spies in peace. She not only bade them welcome, but she concealed them from their enemies, and she made a noble confession of her faith. True faith will show itself in good works, especially towards the people of God. Faith will venture all hazards in the cause of God and His people. A true believer is desirous, not only to be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God.

"By faith she gained much. She escaped perishing with those that believed not. It was an utter destruction that befell that city; man and beast were cut off. Only Rahab was spared. Joshua gave a strict charge that she should be spared, and none but she and hers. Singular faith, when the generality are not only unbelievers, but against believers, will be rewarded with singular favors."

Take comfort Christian. That which lies in your past can be forgiven - Rahab's harlotry didn't keep her out of the hall of faith. That which you face alone can be overcome through faith in Christ - Rahab ALONE stood for Jehovah in the midst of a land of perdition.

May God grant us the faith to believe to the forgiving of our sins and to the conquering of our situations!

By faith,

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