Obey God, Care For One Another – The Story Of Rahab
By Steph Nickel
Do we obey God? Do we care for one another? Stephanie reminds us of the importance of these actions by examining the story of Rahab.
Joshua Obeys God
Joshua 2:1-7 (ESV) reads like this: “
And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly . . . as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land . . .” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, ‘Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.’ Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.’ But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, ‘True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.’ But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.”
Joshua became the leader of God’s people after Moses disobeyed God and was barred from leading the people into the Chosen Land.
Joshua Sends Out Spies
Before he set off with the people into the land, he sent spies to check it out. And there they found a courageous, faithful woman. The ESV translates the Hebrew word as “prostitute.” I know some have speculated that the words innkeeper and prostitute are virtually interchangeable because they often went hand in hand at that time. Regardless, we have much to learn from Rahab.
Even though the Hebrew God was not the god of her people, she recognized His greatness and power because of the stories she had heard. She was willing to defy her culture’s deities and authorities in order to honour Him.
She hid the two spies and sent the authorities away. If she was found out, she would have been at great personal risk. She may even have been killed. However, she chose to fear God rather than the men who came searching for the Hebrew spies.
And because of this, when God’s people entered the land, she and her family were spared.
Learn From Rahab
What lessons can we take away from this story?
God is to be respected and obeyed over and above any human authority. Though we are to obey the laws of the land, if they instruct us to do what is contrary to God’s Word, we must be strong and seek to obey God in all things—even if it defies our local authorities.
When the powers that be command us to disobey God’s Word, we must be strong and courageous—as Joshua was, as Rahab was, as countless others have been and still are to this day.
We can trust the Lord completely. Although things may not always turn out as we desire, it is always the right thing to do to walk in obedience to God.
Care For God’s People
We must care for His people. There are many “one anothers” in the Bible, directives on how we should interact with fellow believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
For example . . .
Romans 12:10, which says, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Romans 12:6 says, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
Romans 14:13 says, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
Romans 15:7 says, “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
And, of course, Jesus’ words in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Live To Obey God
What wonderful verses to memorize and seek to implement in our day-to-day lives!
It isn’t easy to live in obedience to God’s Word. Our sinful human nature gets in the way; differing worldviews get in the way; the requirements of our job may even get in the way—as may the laws of the land.
Will we be strong and courageous? Will we be discerning and wise? Will we teach our children in word and deed?
It will likely become increasingly difficult to do so, but we can learn from Rahab’s example and the example of many other biblical and modern day individuals who faithfully walk with the Lord no matter the cost.
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Images courtesy of:
Joshua Crossing The River Jordan – Benjamin West
Rahab and the Two Spies – James Tissot
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