Change the World – Rahab
Have you ever felt so dirty and icky that you can’t do anything? Like when you’re sweating really bad…you know you stink, so you don’t want to get too close to anyone. You are soaking wet, so you don’t want to sit on the couch or get on your bed. You just feel “eh,” so you don’t want to do anything but clean off. Or, if your hands are dirty. When your hands are dirty, it really hinders almost anything you do. You don’t want to touch anything or do anything until your hands are clean.
Do you ever feel that way in your life? You feel like you’re too dirty…you’re too stained…you’re too broken to ever be close to God…to ever be used by God…to ever be whole and clean and well and good.
Tonight we’re going to look at a lady who felt like this…who Was like this…and we’re going to see where we fit in this amazing and beautiful picture of grace
1. No one is too dirty to come to God
As a father came home from his work he saw his little daughter who had been playing in the mud. He said to her, “Honey, you’re pretty dirty.” In her childish way she replied, “Yes, I know daddy, but I’m prettier clean.”
When we think of God as our Father, we realize the love He has for His children. I don’t care how dirty my kids are, I will love them and draw them near…now I love them enough to be willing to hose them down to get all the dirt off…but I love them just as much with the dirt. It’s the same with God. Jesus taught this beautifully in the parable of the prodigal son. The son was filthy as a pig, and the father went running towards him to embrace him.
We see this so clearly in this story of Rahab.
This affects how we relate to God. Rahab was a prostitute. This isn’t an occupation you just stumble upon. This woman has some DEEP issues and stains and pain and wounds. Rahab was a gentile. She was not a part of God’s chosen people. She was a part of people who were enemies of God.
Rahab the gentile prostitute…was spared and became an Israelite (6:25). She shouldn’t have been spared and she should have been killed, both because her people were enemies of God’s people, and because of her sexual sin (Leviticus 20). We see the character of God revealed in the story of Rahab. Just like when God revealed it to Moses.
Exodus 34:5-8 – 5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.
God is just in destroying His enemies, but He is also merciful and gracious. Rahab deserved God’s justice…so why would God spare this woman and give her a future? – Because He is merciful and gracious. No one is too dirty to come to God. There is no pit too deep where the grace of God is not deeper. No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
Why was Rahab saved? – God’s grace. That’s the only reason we’re saved. God is under no obligation to be gracious. I want you to think about this…God hasn’t even offered salvation for the angels who have fallen.
2 Peter 2:4 – For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment
God would be perfectly just in not offering any of us salvation, just like He is with the angels. So, why has he offered us salvation? Purely by His grace.
How was Rahab saved? – Her faith
Hebrews 11:30-31 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
She heard of God’s deliverance and trusted in God (Joshua 2:10-11)
This affects how we relate to other people.
Knowing this…there’s no one we wouldn’t go to and no one we could view as too far gone. Also, why do we expect people to act like Christians before they’re Christians?Why do we try to change people before they are changed? It’s the gospel…the good news of grace that people need…and that good news of grace is what changes cold, sinful, dirty hearts and THEN makes them clean!
2. No one is too dirty to be used by God
Rahab helped the Israelites obtain victory (James 2:24-26)
Do you want to be used by God? Have faith in God. Your belief in God must come before you can be used by God. Rahab saved her family…and she bore a family…Her lineage led to the Messiah…to Jesus…the Savior of the World.
Matthew 1:5 – and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab…
We can see it foreshadowed in the scarlet cord.
Joshua 2:18-19 – 18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household. 19 Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head.
Pointed to the Passover…Points to Jesus.
Rahab stands as a beacon of hope to the broken, hurting, bruised, fallen men and women everywhere who look in the mirror and feel, “There is no hope for me.” There IS hope for you. It’s in God’s grace. And it’s free.
Ephesians 2:1-8 – 1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
When we see the story of Rahab, we see the story of the gospel and how it can change our world and the entire world.