I have heard …

In a Bible study last week we were dealing with Rahab and the spies that Joshua sent to Jericho. The story of Joshua 2 is well known. Joshua sends out the spies and they go to stay with the prostitute Rahab. The king’s men learn about the strangers in her house and demand that she gives them up. She lies to the king by saying that the men has already left the city. In the mean-time, however, she hid them in her house. After the king’s men have left, she goes up to the spies. Here she confesses her faith in the God of Israel. She bases her confession on what she heard regarding the miracles God worked on behalf of the Israelites. She makes reference to the crossing of the Red Sea and the defeat of the kings of Sihon and Og. Once she has confessed her belief in the Israelite God, she makes a deal with the spies. In return for their safety, she asks that she and her family be saved when Israel takes Jericho. The spies agree to it, provided she keeps the scarlet rope hanging from the window and she and her family stays in the house. The spies return and tell Joshua about the fear gripping the Canaanites. After the crossing of the Jordan, the Israelites miraculously take Jericho, and spare the life of Rahab and her family. Rahab ends up marrying into the Israelite nation (Salmon) and is the great-great grandmother of Kind David and one of the ancestors of Jesus outlined in Matthew 1. She is referred to in Hebrews 11 as one of the faith hero’s and James also commends her faith combined with action in chapter 2 of his epistle.

When studying the story of Rahab, we always focus on her faith. This is true. She was certainly a lady of great faith. It is clear that the citizens of Jericho were terrified of the Israelites and saw them as a great threat. There is ancient evidence that tells us that treason of the kind that Rahab committed was punishable by death, and the king would certainly not have hesitated to execute the punishment should she have been caught out. Her faith was indeed remarkable. She went to great risk on the basis of what she believed the God of Israel was capable of doing. The lesson from this seems simple: God is all powerful, and it is worth taking a risk in faith.

When we came to the application of this lesson, however, it felt a little empty. Surely there must be more I thought.

This is when it struck me – there is something very important that we miss: have you ever thought of how Rahab heard about what God has done for the Israelites? It is very simple. Someone must have told her!

We live our Christian lives experiencing miracle after miracle. God’s provision at just the right time … a breakthrough when we need it most … an answered prayer just as we have given up hope … seeing God’s hand working miraculously in the life of a colleague … you fill in your own story. But we never tell about it. We may share it with a friend at church, or even a colleague from elsewhere – as long as they are also Christians. We would not want to share these things with unbelievers lest they think we are losing our marbles!

My challenge for this week is to tell the story – tell the whole world. How will they know about the all-powerful, living, loving God that we know unless we tell them?

In Romans 10:17 Paul says that “faith comes from hearing the message” and in Revelation 12:11 John says that the enemy was overcome “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” Tell the world that we are serving a living God who makes a difference in people’s lives – it made all the difference in Rahab’s life. Whose life will you touch this week?

Go to our Facebook page and tell your story. We are giving away three copies of David Pawson’s “Unlocking the Bible” for those who are prepared to share their story.

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