The Greatest Gift
Reading Selection for December 11th
“A Scarlet Lifeline of Hope”
Joshua 2:1,18 (NLT) – “1Then Joshua secretly sent out two spies from the Israelite camp at Acacia Grove. He instructed them, ‘Scout out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, especially around Jericho.’ So the two men set out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night. …18‘When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house.’”
I love the story of Rahab, for several reasons. While Scripture tells us that Joshua sent the spies to scout things out before the Israelites came in and conquered Jericho, I think God had other motivations for sending them. I realize I am going out on a limb here, but I think God sent those two spies so that Rahab the prostitute and all of her family would be saved from the total destruction that was coming their way.
God looked down and saw a woman in a hopeless situation and right in the middle of her circumstances He showed up to rescue her. He had already announced His coming to her:
Joshua 2: 9 – 11 (NLT) – [Rahab told the spies] 9 “’I know the Lord has given you this land,’ she told them. ‘We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. 10 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed. 11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.’”
She heard Him declare who He was through His mighty acts and she believed. She simply believed and it gave her the courage to ask for mercy. With those simple acts of faith a prostitute and her family were saved. And a prostitute married into the family of Judah and became part of the genealogy of the still coming King, Jesus.
Many teachers and Bible scholars work hard to explain that either Rahab wasn’t really a prostitute or the Rahab listed in Jesus’ genealogy is not the same one as the prostitute in Joshua. The idea of a prostitute, a dirty, unholy woman being in the lineage of Christ seems incomprehensible to some.
Why do we have to make things fit into our clean, nice, neat boxes marked “Christian” for us to believe they are God? Life is hard. People are messy. Relationships often don’t make sense. We are broken, some of us are just better at hiding it than others.
We are all the liar, cheater, and prostitute who needs Jesus. Not only do we need Him, He wants us. He desires relationship with us. In fact, He’s died for it.
Do you hear Love calling your name and declaring Himself for you? Announcing His coming for your heart, right this very minute? Love is coming, believe it!