Daily Thought for: 11th March

RAHAB: TRUE, SAVING FAITH

Joshua 2; 6. 22-25

Rahab is a prime example of justification through faith

Judgment is imminent; doomed to destruction, as all in Jericho, Rahab is a picture of mankind; the wrath and judgment of God hang over her, Rom. 3. 23, 10; 2. 5. 

She is guilty of a shameful, vile sin, a sin characteristic of Gentile nations; then, in the apostolic period, and in the last days, Eph. 4. 17-19. Twice in the New Testament she is referred to in connection with her sin. Scripture does not glamorize, belittle, nor cover up such sin with euphemisms; to do so is to minimize the grace of God, which plucks her as a brand from the burning. 

She clearly has nothing to commend her to God. If she is to be saved, it can only be by grace. She has no moral character, nor good works and cannot claim Jewish ancestry. James, looking for examples of true faith, selects Abraham and Rahab; they contrast as male/female; Jew/Gentile; ‘noble/ignoble’—but both are justified on the same basis. If good works apply in any way, Rahab would be a most inappropriate example. The works with which James is concerned are those which are evidence of saving faith, Jas. 2. 18b, 25-26. Here is a poor sinner who clings to God in faith; her only hope being the mercy of God

Wherein lay her faith, Heb. 11. 31? As Abraham put submission to God’s will before family considerations, so Rahab before national ones. The Lord Jesus claimed absolute priority, Matt. 10. 37, and taught that God and His things are to come first. ‘Rahab’s conduct manifested a reverential fear of God, belief in His word, affection for His people and a disposition to forsake and suffer anything in His cause’ (SCOTT). Like Ruth, she breaks her former associations, identifying herself with God’s people. As regards her ‘treachery’, it is a case of submit to God or resist Him, side with Him or with those rebelling against Him. God decreed judgment on her people. We are a friend of God or of the world, Jas. 4. 4. The spies’ arrival is providential, facilitating her escape. All her people would endorse Joshua 2 verses 9-11a, but the confession of verse 11b is hers. Her ‘work’ of helping the spies showed true faith

 

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