Faith of our Fathers: Rahab’s Faith in Action

Joshua 2

The airline had a policy that required the first
officer to stand at the door while the passengers
exited, smile, and give them a – ‘Thanks for flying
XYZ airline’.

An airline pilot on this particular flight hammered
his plane into the runway really hard. In light of his
bad landing, he had difficulty looking the passengers
in the eye, all the time he thought that a passenger
would have a smart comment.

However, it seemed that all the passengers were
too shell shocked to say anything.
Finally, everyone had gotten off except for this
little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
‘Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?’ Why no
Ma’am,’ said the pilot, ‘What is it’, the little old
lady said, ‘Did we land or were we shot down?’

I want to thank Mark Nelson for filling in for me last
Sunday morning. I’m grateful to have someone I trust to
preach God’s word in my place when I’m not here.

This morning we are going to continue our Faith of our
Fathers series. Today we are going to be looking at the
faith of Rahab the prostitute.

As we do each week let’s begin by looking at our focal
verses from Hebrews 11:1-2, 6

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the
conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of
old gained approval.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for
he who comes to God must believe that He is and
that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Our text this morning is found in Joshua 2. I will be
reading the whole chapter. It’s 24 verses.
Before we get to that let’s look at how the author of
Hebrews describes Rahab. Hebrews 11:31 “By faith
Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those
who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the
spies in peace.”

Because of her faith, Rahab not only didn’t perish, but we
also see her name as one of only two women listed in the
Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. She is also part of the
genealogy of Christ.

At first glance, one may wonder how God could use
someone with such a reputation as a prostitute but the
truth is that God can use anyone. Everyone who calls on
the name of the Lord shall be saved. By grace we are
saved through faith, not by our works, so that we cannot
boast.

We are going to see Rahab’s faith as we study her story
this morning.

Let me take a few moments to share the context of
Joshua 2 with you. Joshua has just taken over for Moses
in leading the nation of Israel. Joshua, along with Caleb
were among the 12 spies who went to scout out the land
of Canaan. They were the only ones who trusted that
God would keep His promise. The others doubted
because the people appeared too big. They lacked faith.

Now Joshua is the one sending the spies. This time
though, he only sends two spies to scout out the city of
Jericho. Jericho is a very important city.
It is located 5 miles west of the Jordan river, but it
controlled the access routes from the lower valley of
Jordan to upper Judea. If Israel is able to conquer Jericho
they would have a stronghold and be in great position to
subdue their enemies.

Now, let’s take a look at Joshua 2:1-24

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s get some of the
negatives out of the way.
We already talked about the fact that Rahab was a
prostitute. Not a profession that honors God by any
stretch of the imagination.
She also lied to the king’s men and acted as a traitor to
her own country.

Remember this truth about God.
He doesn’t save us based on our careers.
He doesn’t save us based on our works.
Remember our focus verse for this whole series.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction
of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained
approval.

Faith is credited to them as righteousness.
It’s the same as God requires of us today. Faith to
believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Faith to believe that
God raised Him from the dead. Faith to confess Him as
your Lord and savior.

Rahab had that faith.

Let’s take a look at Rahab’s Faith in Action

She Hides the spies – she takes them up to the roof
and hides them in the stalks of flax. It’s a dishonorable
act against the king, but an honorable one for the Lord’s
servants.

She Lies to the king’s men – she told them she didn’t
know where the spies were from. For a prostitute it made
sense that she might not ask where they were from. But
she clearly knew where they were from and why they
were there. She also sent the men on a wild good chase.

She would later let them down and direct them away
from the search party.

She Professes her Faith in God

The one with a dishonorable profession makes an honest
profession of her faith in Christ.
I’d like to read vv.9-11 again
She has heard how God dried up the Red Sea and
allowed them to walk across on dry land.
She heard how God granted them success in
defeating the two kings of the Amorites in Sihon and Og.
She believes that He is the God of heaven and earth.
The Egyptians saw these things, but didn’t believe.
Rahab saw them and trusted in God.
She saw His power and might and trusted Him to save
her from destruction and death.

She Discloses the diminished morale of the Jericho
people.
Morale plays a large part in battle. Fear is contagious.
Remember when Gideon was looking through the large
group of soldiers, he told anyone who was scared to go
ahead and go home.

The people of Jericho were afraid.
I like the way the NASB read in v.9 “all the inhabitants of
the land have melted away before you. And in v.11 “our
hearts melted an no courage remained in any man any
longer because of you;”

She Negotiates with the spies – she has spared their
lives and she asks for them to return the favor when God
gives the city to them. She uses the word kindness. It’s
the Hebrew word hesed, which can also be translated as
lovingkindness. The idea is a reciprocal relationship of
caring. You take care of me and I’ll return the favor.

Spies give her 3 Requirements for Safety

1.Scarlet Cord in the window – it is a visual sign so
that when the soldiers come to destroy the city they
will keep the people in this room safe. It reminds me
of the painting of the blood on the doorposts during
the Passover.

2.Stay Inside – if anyone from her house goes outside
they will surely die. And if any of the Israelites go
inside her house their blood will be on the spies. Her
whole family was to come into her house when the
battle began and they would be spared from death
because of her deal with the spies.

3.Secret Keeping – don’t tell anyone about the
agreement and that she was aware of their identity.
If she opened her mouth her safety was no longer
guaranteed.

She Releases the spies – her house was built into the
wall of the city. Since the gate had been shut after the
king’s men had inquired of their whereabouts, the only
way was out the window. Remember earlier she told the
soldiers to go one way, now she sends the spies the
other direction and tells them to wait three days until the
soldiers return empty handed. It was a calculated move
which worked and proved her faith in God.

Faith is proven by obedience.
God used Rahab and the spies to accomplish His will.
Rahab showed her faith through these actions which
brought glory to God rather than herself or man.

What are the actions of faith that we ought to be doing?

APPLICATION

The good news is that
faith is NOT based on our profession
It’s NOT based on our past.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction
of things not seen.

Faith is believing that God is who He says He is.
It’s trusting that when He says He has a plan for us, we
believe that He does. He is the great I AM.
He is the beginning and the end.
He created the heavens and earth and everything on it
He created us in His image. We are His likeness.

Faith is believing that God is going to send His Son back
to reign on earth for 1000 years. When God says
something it happens. When Rahab was speaking to the
spies she told them she knows the Lord has given them
the land because the terror of them had fallen on them.
She knew it because God said it.

I’m going to turn over to the 2nd chapter of James to
help us with our application for this morning.

James 2:18-26

Faith is more than just a feeling.
Faith requires action.
What will you do to live out your faith this week?
How can you make faith in action a lifestyle?

If God wasn’t concerned with us living out our faith, He
would just zap us to heaven immediately when we
trusted Him in faith for salvation. We would be taken
dramatically to heaven to be with Him forever.

But He does care about us being here on earth.
We are His ambassadors.
He has a job for us.
And He has equipped us for it by sending the Holy Spirit
to dwell in us at the moment of our salvation.

If you are winding what God wants you to do to put your
faith into action, ask the Holy Spirit. He’s right there
inside of you, ready to guide and lead you where He
wants you to go. He will also equip you to say what He
wants you to say.

The question is, will you obey?
Are you brave enough to put your faith into action?!