One was a man. One was a woman.
One was a prominent military leader. One was a lowly prostitute.
One was a Jew. One was a hated Amorite.
One had known the Lord for years. One had known sin for many years.
One was a great servant. One was a great sinner.
One was well-known for great victory. One was well-known for great sin.
One was on God’s first ballot for the faith hall of fame. One was on the world’s first ballot for the hall of shame.
Yet, how similar they were!
Both were saved by faith in the grace of God alone.
Both were true believers and were used mightily by God.
Both were members of God’s “faith hall of fame” in Hebrews 11.
Two opposites – but one shared faith.
Who are these two people?>
Joshua and Rahab, of course.
Hebrews 11:30-31 “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.”
What can we learn from these two? Here are a few faith lessons of practical and theological import.
1. Whether in a Christian home or something else, being raised from the dead is never boring. Therefore, every Christian has a stunning testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness.
Don’t ever forget that!
2. I pray that my kids—and grandkids, Lord willing, and all those kids/grandkids in our church— will have boring testimonies.
That is, they were taught the Gospel, God opened their hearts to believe like he did Lydia (Acts 16:14), they repented and believed in Christ alone to save them, they were baptized, grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, serve him, and continue that on for a lifetime. I mean, we really don’t want them to go head-long into sin to “make a better” testimony, do we?
3. No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done...Jesus can make you new.
Tamar, Rahab, Ruth the Moabite, Bathsheba. All in Jesus' genealogy (with a bunch of other sinners). Proof God can redeem *anything*. You see, Rahab is always known as “the prostitute” except when she is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:6). Her identification with Jesus freed her from being identified by her sin.
4. What the Lord has done for us is always more important than what we have done for the Lord (see: Luke 10:20)!
Rahab is no exception here. Even Joshua couldn’t claim any special status. Do the spiritual math. You and I can’t accurately count the number of the blessings of grace that are ours each and every day.
5. While the world has been infatuated with diversity in recent decades, the church has celebrated it since Pentecost.
We love Christ-exalting diversity of all kinds in the church, not because it's a cool social issue, but because it's a costly blood issue (Rev. 5:9). We look forward to seeing Joshua AND Rahab in heaven, amongst a multitude of others!
6. God, like the saving of Rahab so long ago, is still working miracles to bring people to salvation
I have recently heard testimonies from people who got saved after: 1) Hearing a cheesy commercial about Jesus on Christian radio; 2) Reading a conversation thread about God on Facebook 3) Singing "Highway to Hell" & realizing they were going there. These are not “normative” and aren’t blueprints for the next great outreach book or idea. However, like Rahab, we thank God for every sinner who is saved! Luke 15:10: “"I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents"
7. Our sins closed the entrance to heaven as tightly as Jericho, so that none might go out & none might come in (Joshua 6:1).
The walls of depravity around the heart of a man are much stronger and made of harder stuff than those that surrounded Jericho. But Christ has passed through. Thank God for our salvation!