Rahab being on the list in Hebrews 11 loudly proclaims that you don’t have to have a good background in order to be a Christian. Her background was so sinful that her title has followed her for 3,500 years, as it’s in the Word of God “Rahab the Prostitute”. This shows us that there is hope for the most defiled among us, and that no matter what title has been attached to your name, if you seek the Lord for mercy, He will save you.
Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 30, You may be interested to know, before I actually start reading the text; I have entitled my sermon: “The World is Not Worthy of Rahab the Prostitute.” Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome, or she had welcomed in peace, the spies.” Verse 32, “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy— wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
Now, several weeks ago, we specifically considered verse 11. Let your eyes drift back there just a second: And Sarah’s faith. And I pointed out at the time that it’s extremely difficult in the original greek to determine whether the faith spoken of is Sarah’s faith, or whether it’s Abraham’s faith. You all remember when we looked at that? And because it’s hard to discern, some have conjectured, “Well, it must obviously be Abraham’s faith because Sarah is thought to be a poor example of faith. She laughed in unbelief when she was told by the Lord that she would have a child.”
But I showed you. We spent that message and I showed you that that reasoning doesn’t fly because Abraham in another place is shown to have laughed in unbelief. And I showed you that Abraham even several times not trusting the Lord (unbelief); didn’t trust the Lord to protect he and his wife, and so he allowed his wife to be taken away by two pagan kings— something Sarah, by the way, never did.
And my point in all that was not to discredit Abraham’s faith because Abraham’s faith in the New Testament is spoken of very highly. But I believe for the very same reason, we can speak very highly of Sarah’s. Because what we see in the New Testament, What we see in this 11th chapter of Hebrews is like God doesn’t even notice the wrongs of His people. He doesn’t talk about the failures of Abraham. He doesn’t talk about the failures of Sarah.
And what I wanted to point out in all that is to show this glorious truth that whether you are Abraham with his distinct type of failures, or whether you are Sarah with her type, or whether you’re you with your type; that if you have faith, if you put your faith in the Living God because of that power for salvation in Jesus Christ, what He accomplished in His life and death, you’re made worthy. You’re made worthy.
I mean do you recognise that those of whom the world is not worthy includes everybody that lives by faith. I mean, sometimes we say, “Here’s this great cloud of witnesses, here’s this great list of the champions of the faith,” but what you need to remember here is when you go back and look at their lives, they are like us. They had difficulties, they had hard days, they had falls. And the fact is, what this is saying to us, what this author is arguing for is that anybody that has faith is worthy to be in this list, and of whom the world is not worthy.
I mean, think about it. Jephthah is here. Look, I know there’s a lot of debate about that whole thing in his vow, but whatever you want to say, my gut feel on that is, that was just a mistake. That was a bad vow. Jephthah you messed up right there. You don’t go vow something that could possibly cause you to have to kill your daughter. But Jephthah is here.
Samson is here. He kind of had a distinct problem with foreign women. David is here. You notice, nothing is said about David killing Uriah; nothing is said about Bathsheba here. Nothing at all. Noah is here. Nothing is said about him getting drunk. Nothing about Jacob’s deceptions. Moses; Moses wasn’t allowed to go into the promised land. Why? He didn’t honor the Lord duly in front of the Israelite people, but nothing here is said about that.
All these folks are commended for their faith; and their failures and sins are forgotten. They are exalted as those of whom the world was not worthy. I mean, that for us, isn’t that just a lovely truth? Glory to the soul.
But, there is one exception. Verse 31, “By faith, Rahab the prostitute”— I read and have read many times, and in the course of this study, I’ve been reading and re-reading the book of Hebrews. I have read every single word of Hebrews 11 repeatedly. There is not one single blemish attributed to any of these people at all, with one exception. This is the only negative thing said in the whole chapter.
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” Rahab the prostitute! Now think a second, Rahab has faith—By faith Rahab— Rahab has faith. Rahab is a believer. Rahab is saved. Where is Rahab right now? She’s in glory. She’s in the list. She’s forgiven!
She’s in the cloud of witnesses. She is there alongside Noah and Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and David and Samson. I mean, notice: Samson didn’t get called the womaniser, right? David is not called a murderer here, he’s not being labelled as an adulterer. None of that. Why is Rahab singled out for her sin and called the prostitute? And look, the fact is that the author of Hebrews could have easily left it off. We know that because Matthew left it off.
Do you know where Matthew mentions Rahab? In the genealogy in chapter 1. You know, a lot of times, we often think of Ruth, Who was Ruth’s mother-in-law? Naomi. Do you know Ruth’s mother-in-law was Rahab? You say What? Naomi was her mother-in-law by first marriage, Rahab was her mother-in-law by second marriage. She’s the mother of Boaz. Isn’t that amazing?
And Matthew does not believe that this label of depravity was necessary; and yet, the author of Hebrews throws it in there. And it’s not like we don’t know who Rahab is, unless that gets attached to her name; because in the verse right before she’s mentioned here, we see Jericho. In the same verse, we see the spies. It’s not like we don’t know who’s being talked about. It’s not necessary in order for us to figure out her apart from like some other Rahab.
I mean, think with me here. Every Christian in this room. Christians, think about this: You’re invited to a great ball. I mean, you know that ritzy kind of deal where people go and they eat and they dance. A ritzy kind of ball. No lost people are invited; only saved people. Maybe you can picture that in your mind. You come to this great, glorious mansion and you walk in. There is a butler who’s heralding the arrival of all the guests. And as you come, he announces you. I mean, can you imagine you come and you’re one of those Roman Christians. Paul called them more than conquerors.
They are there in Romans 16, Andronicus, he’s one of them. “Andronicus, more than a conqueror.” And he goes in and everybody sees him. I mean, you have Paul and Silas; they are called the men who turned the world upside down. Here they come, Butler announces, “Paul and Silas, here are the men that turned the world upside down. David, a man after God’s own heart. He is here. Here comes Abraham, the friend of God.” And then you walk in, “Here is John: The womaniser, adulterer and fornicator.” You’re like, ‘What gives?’ I mean, these guys have these titles and now you’re going to call me out?
I mean, that’s the feel I get when I read through this. I look at that and there’s Rahab the harlot, as some of the older translations say. I mean, if you’re that person, aren’t you saying, “Wait a second, my sins are forgiven too. How come mine are getting dragged out in the public here?” I mean, can you feel something of that here? Perhaps. I thought all of our sins were put away as far as the east is from the west; cast behind His back, cast into the sea. I mean, God remembers them no more. How come mine are getting remembered?
And brothers and sisters, you all should be reading your Bibles all the time; and not because it’s a duty. Christ said, “Man doesn’t live by bread alone.” Nobody has to twist your arm to eat. And if you are a saved person, the Spirit of God gives you an appetite for His Word. And you should be reading that Word; but i’ll tell you what, If you’re not asking questions of Scripture, you’re probably not going as deep as you could. And that’s really important; you ought to be asking questions. As you’re reading, you ought to be asking, Why? Why does it say that? You know, God uses the writers of Scripture to persuade us of things; To make us think. Have you ever read that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter. You ought to read that. You ought to take good note of that. You know what that means? That means that God wrote this book in a way that the casual reader is not going to find out what He has for them in that Word. He calls us to dig, He calls us to look, He calls us to seek, He calls us to pray.
I mean, have you ever heard David? He’s asking the Lord, “Show me.” I mean, he wants to see glorious and wonderful things from the Word; and he’s asking to be shown. You need to be asking, you need to be digging, you need to be thinking. And one of the ways to do that is asking questions, “Lord, why does it say this here? Why that?” If you’re reading along and something seems unusual; out of place; something bothers you, something doesn’t seem right, or you’re thinking, “If I would have said that, I wouldn’t have said it that way.” Well, here’s your mind over against God’s infinite wisdom; you ought to stop and think. Why would He say it that way? Because what seems perfect to me is obviously not seeming perfect to Him in the way that this should be expressed. That’s a way to get deep folks.
So, when I read this, my mind started thinking. I’m thinking about the author of Hebrews. For one, what’s his purpose? I mean, you read through this book, he’s telling people, Hold fast. He’s telling people not to drift. He’s wanting to give a strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope that is before us. That’s the idea of this book. And so, I’m recognising this: When he sets forth this list, this cloud of witnesses, it’s to encourage us to run. I mean, you see that. You go down to chapter 12 verses 1 and 2, you see it. We are being encouraged to run this race just like they ran the race. These folks are being put before us as an example, so that we would look at them and be filled with hope; be filled with courage to run the race. I know that he does not want to discourage us. He means to encourage.
So, perhaps, just perhaps, there’s something strongly encouraging behind why the author might call out Rahab this way. And I want to make some observations.
My first observation is this: Rahab is the last in the list of testimonies. Now, what I mean is this — She’s the last one that is called out this way: By faith, the name is given, and what they did is described. After this, if you look at verse 32, it’s like she’s the last, and now he’s out of time. And everybody here after this only gets honorable mention. Bang, bang, bang, bang, you get their names and then, it’s not even names anymore; bang, bang, bang, bang, you get some of the things that some of the people of God did. But there’s no longer an attachment to “By faith, and here’s what they did.” She is the last one.
And you know what? That jumped out at me because it made me think this: The author of Hebrews could have easily ran out of time before he got to her. Or he could have easily not run out of time until he got past David. But, one thing is certain. He was determined to get as far as Rahab before he ran out of time. He was determined not to run out of time until he dealt with this woman. Once he had her out of the way, he felt the liberty to wrap things up, but not before that. To me, that’s interesting. I mean, I don’t want to read too much into it, but it’s interesting. As though the author wants us to consider Rahab before he wraps this up.
The second observation: The weaker sex is definitely not equally represented here in Hebrews 11. As I’ve noted already, Sarah is the only other lady of faith mentioned in this list by name. There’s a place where some women received back their dead, but this is the only other woman called out by name, Sarah. And just think with me about Sarah. She is not called out for any of her failures. They are passed over. She’s just made out to be a champion of faith.
Think about this: ‘Sarah’ means princess. You look at the lexicons, it means princess or noblewoman. Do you know what ‘Rahab’ means? It means pride. It means arrogance. Egypt is called Rahab. Listen to Isaiah 30, “Egypt’s help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her ‘Rahab who sits still.'” Isaiah 51:9, “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; Awake, as in days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?” He’s talking about Egypt. Egypt is that proud nation. Pharaoh, “Who is the LORD that I should obey Him?”
They set themselves against the Living God and He cut them to pieces. And ‘Rahab’ is a suitable title. You see that name if you just search it in the Bible. It’s not always there attributed to this woman from Jericho. It’s often used to describe the proud and the haughty, the arrogant. It’s a derogatory name. It conjures up, not an image of a noble woman, but of a boisterous, loud, defiant kind of woman. ( Not a princess as does ‘Sarah.’ ) A stormy, tempestuous whore who got her living from selling her body to men. That’s the picture that we have here. You see two women on the opposite spectrum.
So, my observations: It feels like the author really wanted to get to her before he wrapped things up. Second observation is there’s only one of two women called out here and she’s just diametrically opposed to the other one called out.
The third thing is this: Rahab is the only non-Israelite mentioned in this entire list. Now you say, wait a second, Israel didn’t even come in till Jacob was called that. Well that’s right. But, Abraham and Isaac are definitely seen and owned, you have to be an offspring of Abraham. I mean, that’s what the New Testament is all about. That’s what the New Covenant is about. And if you go back before that, the ones listed here: the Abel, the Noah, the Enoch, I mean, these are owned as being the people of God by the Jews. They claimed them as one of their own. They are not considered to be Gentiles. They are not considered to be pagan. They’re considered to be people of God.
The only one who is of a heathen race, a heathen nation, all the way through here, is Rahab. She is the only Gentile, the absolute only one. The only one from among the heathen, a pagan.
Do you remember how Paul spoke about Gentiles when he was rebuking Peter in Galatians chapter 2 ? He said, “Peter, you and I, we’re born Jewish, Jews; not like these Gentile sinners.” That’s Galatians 2:15. That’s interesting. He’s saying to Peter, We’re not born Gentile sinners. It’s almost like, What are you saying? Are you not a sinner? Well, he readily admits that he is; because in the very next verse, he’s saying, The only way to be saved, the only way to be justified is by faith — whether you are Jew or Gentile.
But why would he call them out as Gentile sinners? Well, because in the eyes of the Jews and rightly so, the Gentiles are seen as extra bad sinners. They are seen to have a deeper and darker hue. The wickedness of the heathen nations is often called out by God as being especially notorious. You hear this, when they are ready to go into the land. Deuteronomy 18:9, “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.” By the way, she is immediately in one of the cities that makes up one of these nations.
Why in the world do you think Joshua is on his way there to destroy this city and annihilate all its inhabitants? Do you remember what God said to Abraham? He said, Abraham, I’m going to give you this land, but not now. Your offspring are going to go down to Egypt and they are going to stay there four generations, and they are not going to come back until what? The sin of the Amorites is full. Do you know what that means? That means that their depth of debauchery and depravity has finally reached a measure and a fullness where God said, “That’s it!” And I’ll guarantee you, those that don’t repent, God always comes to that place.
God would pour out His kindnesses on the lost, meant to lead them to repentance; and He will be patient, and He is patient. But His patience runs out. That was a huge patience of God that He waited four generations. But once His patience runs out and here He comes; He is sending His people there to annihilate them.
She (Rahab) is part and parcel. She’s one of these Gentile sinners. She’s being called out as a prostitute. It’s interesting to me that when the spies go into Jericho, when she is pleading for her life to be spared, she says this in Joshua 2:12: “Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”
You know, what’s interesting to me about that is, I’m assuming that most young ladies who become prostitutes would be ashamed to their parents. It was so in Israel. If you’re an Israelite and your daughter became a prostitute, she was to be put to death. It was extremely shameful. It would have cast shame over the family. But you know the picture that you have here is not so much that her family [is ashamed]. You don’t get the feel. It feels to me like her relationship with her family is pretty tight, not distant. Not just saying, “When you come, save me.” She’s saying, When you come, would you save them too?
And I’ve seen that the more depraved and dark a society is; the more parents, not only just look over and look past, but approve of the wickedness of their children. That’s the kind of thing you have. Rahab, you have to understand, Rahab is in a city that has come to God’s notice. I mean He says in Leviticus 20:23, “You shall not walk in the customs of the nations that I am driving out before you,”— which by the way, Jericho is in that midst — “they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.”
You have to understand, the city of Jericho was abominable and detestable to God. The kind of things that they did. You go back and you look at the Pentateuch, you know the kind of things they did? I mean, they did horrible things. Many things that you can find our country doing today. But wicked things. Absolutely wicked things; Bestiality, homosexuality, they burned their children, mass idolatry. It was wickedness.
So that’s what you have here. In so many ways, Rahab (this was my third observation) In so many ways, Rahab is not just diametrically opposed to the only other woman here, she is diametrically opposed to everyone else in this list. She’s not in the godly family, the godly nation, the godly lineage. She’s out of a city of abomination. I mean, she’s tagged as a prostitute. An abominable practice.
And yet, our author is not going to run out of time until he has set this woman before us. Why? Well just think, brethren. I want you to see this contrast, maybe more on a personal level. I mean, think about verse 30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” Well, who was at the head of this pack? Joshua. I mean, think about Joshua. Can you see him? The great man of faith. He and Caleb went in with the ten other spies the first time spies were sent in; not the time they were sent and they visited with Rahab. Back when they were twelve, one from every tribe; and they were sent in by Moses.
He and Caleb were the only faithful ones that came out, putting their trust in the Living God and saying, “It doesn’t matter if we look like grasshoppers, compared to the giants in the land. Let us go in.” He’s a noble man. He’s a man of faith. He is set forth that way. He’s the successor of Moses. Of all the people among Israel, he is chosen out by God. A great leader. A great man of faith. He leads these Israelites to encircle this wicked abominable city of Jericho (they detest the True God) — circling this city where Rahab is hiding out.
Think of the contrast between Joshua and Rahab. Joshua, mighty man of God, leads the armies of the most High. He’s this gallant one of faith leading the hosts of the LORD into the land of Canaan, to defeat the giants; because God was with them, and he trusted that. He’s a man, over against when you think of Rahab. Rahab is a woman. Joshua is a descendant of Abraham. Joshua is a descendant of Jacob. Joshua is an Ephraimite. He’s a descendant of the most noble, Joseph. Who is she (Rahab) a descendant of? She’s a descendant of a father and mother who seem to approve of their daughter living some defiled type of lifestyle.
You have Joshua; noble race, noble family. Rahab comes from this cursed city of Jericho, these Amorites. Joshua’s name means ‘Savior’. It’s the same name given to Jesus. Rahab’s name means proud, boisterous, arrogant. Joshua is a leader, the successor of Moses. Rahab is a prostitute. The only thing she’s ever led in is debauchery. Joshua is with the people of God. Rahab belongs to this city that is soon to know the wrath of God.
But listen. For all this disparity, for all that they don’t have in common, for all the difference, for all the dissimilarity between Rahab and Joshua, and really, all the rest of the people here in Hebrews 11 that she is not like in so many ways; at the end of the day, all of them are in the same cloud of witnesses. I hope you noticed that.
Rahab really only has one thing in common with all the rest. But it’s the one thing necessary! She has faith, and just like the rest of them, they believe in the Lord God. They believe He’s a great God, a powerful God, a God to be trusted, a God to seek shelter under. And Rahab believed the same thing. I mean, listen to Rahab, Joshua 2:1, “Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ And they went” — I mean, Jericho, it sits at the gate of Canaan. A walled city. Now, you just think about this: Forty years ago, you were all slaves. Now you’ve been nomads in the wilderness for Forty years. You don’t have horses, you don’t have chariots, you don’t have great war engines, trebuchets and these war machines that are able to cast huge stones against their walls. No indication they made ladders. They’re standing on the other side of the Jordan at flood season, flood stage.
You’re inside this walled city. Here they come. I mean, humanly speaking, bunch of nomads out there on the other side of Jordan. Really, they’re going to come across? For one, they are going to get all of them across this flood stage river, and then they are going to come up against our walls, and they are actually going to somehow breach our walls and get in here? Really?
Joshua 2:1, “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. 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.
Why would she do this? She’s risking her life. I mean, that’s a real situation. The king himself has sent his men there. They want these guys. You have them hidden. If that king finds these spies, he’s going to kill them and he’s going to kill you too. It is not going to go well with you if you get found out. She’s putting her own neck on the line. Why would she do this?
Listen to this: Joshua 2:8, “Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men,” — watch this— “I know that the LORD has given you this land.” Faith! “I know it! I know Israel has a God capable of giving this land to you. I trust you have a God like that. Whatever gods I’ve ever had here, they don’t stand up to that God. I know that.” I mean, you got to hear, that’s the first thing she is saying to them. This is why she is willing to put her neck on the line; because she knows, to fight against this God is a big mistake. She would rather be at odds with the king of Jericho than at odds with this God. That’s where her faith tells her.
“I know the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard” — and she not only has heard, she believes what she’s heard. “The LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea.” You see what she’s thinking: “they came across the Red Sea, the Jordan’s nothing. They literally walked away from Egypt, leaving the most powerful nation on this earth in ruins. We’re one little city. If their God is able to take a bunch of slaves and wreak havoc like that; against Pharaoh and his armies?” she believed.
(Joshua 2:10) “And what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” But you see, there’s a difference between fearing and melting, and actually saying, (you know, a lot of people can get to the place where they say, “Mehn, a God that sends people to hell for their sin, that makes me tremble.”) There’s a big difference between that and saying, “I think I’m going to seek shelter under His wings.” Many of them melted, many of them trembled. But she said, “It’s in my best interest not to run from this God or to fight against this God. I’m going to seek shelter beneath this God.”
“There was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD,” — You see, she is ready to trust these guys if they will swear by this God. “As I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” — She is so certain about this God. She is so certain about Him that to have two men swear by His name, that gives her confidence.
Rahab staked her life and her future on the fact that what she heard about the Lord was true. That’s what saving faith is. That is the Gospel — hearing what God provides for sinners, hearing the shelter that He promises and the rest that He promises, the protection He promises, the salvation He promises, the forgiveness of sin that He promises, the good that He promises; that if you’ll come find shelter in Him, that through His Son, you can have all things. She heard and she believed. She believed it that He was indeed the True God. A God to be feared and that the safest place in all the world, in all the universe, the safest place was under His wings; not to run, not to flee, not to hide, not to fight, not to stay with Jericho, but to surrender to Him and hope in His mercy.
And she believed that, right? She not only believed that He was a God who could put down Egypt and Og and Sihon, She believed that He was a God that extended mercy to her if she would go to Him for mercy.
Brethren, when we consider Rahab, over against Joshua and all the others of Hebrews 11, there are many differences between them. But as we look back, you think about it, we look back over three and a half thousand years, none of their differences seem to matter at all. The author of Hebrews is telling us that all that counts is faith! That’s what counts. Faith in the Living God. Rahab the prostitute loudly proclaims that you don’t have to come from good stock or a good family.
Think with me! She came from such a horrific background of sin, that her sin, the title of her depravity has followed her for 3500 years. That’s the debauched background she came from. You can have been so shockingly wicked, that people are still calling you a prostitute 3500 years later. But if you will seek shelter under the wings of the Lord God, and He invites you to come and take shelter in Him; By faith, you too will be added to the list of those to whom it is said in Hebrews 11:38 that the world is not worthy. The world is not worthy of Rahab the prostitute. What grace, when God counts an unworthy thing to be worthy because He’s made it worthy and declared it worthy because of His Son’s worthiness, like a blanket just put over the sinner. Worthy is the Lamb indeed! Worthy is the Lamb. And it’s His worthiness that makes us worthy.
I mean, really think about it. For all those differences, after centuries and centuries and centuries and centuries have passed away, it’s like none of those differences matter. There’s only one thing that matters. And that’s going to be the case when you die. That’s going to be the case when you come to stand before God. Only one thing is going to matter. One thing. That you, like Rahab (and we’re Gentiles).
You know this book of Hebrews was written to people who seem like they were headed back to Judaism. And yet, here we have something very helpful for all those that don’t come from good stock; aren’t known to be among the people of God. That this one thing matters. I mean, Rahab the prostitute is just inviting – of whom the world is not worthy. I mean, that shows us the hope that the most defiled among us, no matter how you’ve been known, no matter what title has been attached to your name, no matter how much of a black sheep you are in your family, no matter how you’re looked down by others, no matter what you’ve done; and some of you, I know, we’ve done some things; There are some in this room that have done abominable things that are just like the practices. And we live in the city of destruction – no different from them.
But if we will seek this Lord for His mercy, we’ll not be destroyed with the rest. And by the way, the rest were destroyed. Those who sought not mercy in this God were utterly destroyed. But what mercy He holds out for those who will have it. That red cord hung from her window. Who knows why it was red? But you can almost guess. Just a picture of the red blood, by which only, we have a right to find shelter with the God that we’ve so blatantly sinned against.
I mean, I don’t know if I’ve got it all right, but I ask that question, Why did the author of Hebrews leave ‘prostitute’ tag on her name when there’s not a negative thing said about anybody else there. And I did my best to maybe show you why that could be encouraging that it’s so.
Father, my desire, our desire, I pray that some broken wreckage of a man or a woman, just destroyed by sin, would see that if such a woman as this can find mercy in the Living God, she finds herself so different from other people, so many negative ways set apart, not like others; Such a person would find that this God would gladly be their God, should they flee to Him for safety, in Christ’s name we pray, Amen.