This Sunday is the 2nd week of Advent – a time of waiting in expectation. Waiting can be difficult. We continue our series on the women mentioned in Matthews genealogy by reflecting on the story of Rahab (Joshua 2, 5:13-6:27, Matthew 1:5, Hebrew 11:30-31, and James 2:25).
Rahab is best known in the Bible for her hiding of the Israelite spies who came to Jericho on a recognizance mission. At great personal risk (her life), Rahab lies to the King about her hiding the spies. She deliberately uses deception to protect the spies.
Rahab is mentioned in Hebrews 11 and in James 2 as one who exercised faith. Hebrews says it was her faith that saved her and her family. James says, “Rahab the prostitute was considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a safe direction.” In preparation for Sunday’s message, read Joshua chapter 2.
Where is there evidence of Rahab’s faith? Where does she speak a profession of faith? What does she say? How is her faith put into action? Is it OK to lie in order to do what you think is right? After all, “do not lie” is one of the 10 commandments. Hmmm… that’s something to think about.
Another question to ponder: The spies are let down to safety outside the city wall by a scarlet thread. When the walls of Jericho fall down, Rahab and her family are rescued by recognition of the scarlet thread hanging over the wall where they were waiting to be rescued. In a way, this scarlet thread is filled with symbolism. As we look at the bloodline of Jesus recorded by Matthew there is a scarlet cord running through it from beginning to end as God weaves his plan of salvation through a messy path of redemption. Much grace in these stories alongside much bloodshed. Matthews genealogy ends with Jesus. How is Jesus the fulfillment of this ‘scarlet cord’ of redemption? Dig deep on this one.
Shalom to you – God’s grace and peace fill you,