Dear Visionary Leader:
We read in Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not when she had received the spies with peace.” Here we have the story of the transformation of a harlot whose name was Rahab.
Here’s what the Gospel did for this woman. The transforming power of the life of faith! Nature forms us, sin deforms us, the world conforms us, education informs us, but faith transforms us.
I want you to notice the situation Rahab found herself in. She was a pagan living in spiritual darkness. She was a harlot living in spiritual degradation. She was a Canaanite destined for sure destruction and yet this woman found grace through faith and was transformed.
She was a prostitute to begin with but what a transformation as we’re going to see. This woman called Rahab was so transformed that she married a prince of Israel. She was so changed that she became the great-great grandmother of King David. She was so changed and so transformed that she became a part of the bloodline of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
When you read the genealogy of Jesus, you’re going to read, a part of the bloodline of the Lord Jesus Christ was this Canaanite woman who went from the house of shame to the hall of fame. How wonderful it was! She went from a child of hell to a citizen of heaven-from a shady lady to a shiny star-transformed by the grace of God. How did it happen?
Her story is found in Joshua, chapter two. The Israelites have just come into Canaan to take the land that flowed with milk and honey, the Promised Land. Yet, between them and the Promised Land was the city of Jericho.
Message Continues In Visionary Coaching
We talked about that story in the previous chapter – -how the walls fell down by the faith of Joshua and the people. Now God had said He wanted the city destroyed. Joshua, who was God’s general and commander-in-chief, selected two men and these two men who were God’s representatives, went into the city of Jericho. While inside the city, they met Rahab. Through their witness she was transformed, and she was converted. There are several faith qualities that I want us to notice that took place in the life of this woman Rahab.
We Need To Be Convicted By The Spirit
First, I want you to notice that she was convicted by the Spirit. In Joshua 2:8-11, we will find something very amazing. Here the spies come to this woman-she has her house upon the walls of Jericho. They come to her and they engage her in a conversation. You cannot believe what this pagan woman is saying to them. She put them upon the roof to hide them there and the Bible says, before they laid down to go to sleep, she came unto them upon the roof and she said unto the men:
“I know that the Lord hath given you the land and that your terror has fallen upon us and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you for we have heard how the Lord dried up the waters of the Red Sea for you when you came up out of Egypt and what you did to the kings of the Amorites that were on the other side Jordan, Dihon and Og who ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things our hearts did melt. Neither did there remain any more courage in any man. Now, notice especially the tenor and the tone of the last part of verse 11-because of you for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and in earth beneath.”
Can you imagine a Canaanite talking that way? Can you imagine a sinful, fallen, depraved woman making such a glorious, marvelous statement of faith? Who had been speaking to her? The Holy Spirit of God had been speaking to Rahab. It is remarkable that she has such conviction.
How does the Holy Spirit operate? The Holy Spirit searched the city of Jericho and saw a woman with a predisposition towards spiritual things. The Holy Spirit saw a heart open to the things of God and brought her under deep conviction. The same Holy Spirit still works in the same way today.
The Holy Spirit searches throughout cities today to find people who are open to spiritual things today. He also has a way to bring a person or a group of people to those who are already open to receiving the Gospel. Think of the great city of Jericho. Think of all of the people in that city. Do you think it was by chance that they happened to go the house of Rahab? Do you think that just happened? It was the providence of God! These men were in the stream of the Spirit and like a guided missile, God brought them right to the heart and home of the woman that He had been preparing. She was already under deep conviction.
There are numerous examples of this divine providence in Scripture. Some of these are the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8), Philp being led to Samaria (Acts 8), Peter going to Cornelius (Acts 10), Jesus going to the woman at the well (John 4) and Barnabas going to Saul (Acts 9). The Holy Spirit is constantly working on the hearts of people and leading God’s people to those who want to know Christ.
Maybe God has an assignment for you. I believe if we get right with God, stay right with God, walk in the Spirit, we’ll have to backslide to keep from winning souls. God and His Holy Spirit on the one hand, will be preparing a lost person. On the other hand, He wants to use us and guide us to the right person. Don’t tell me it was by chance that these men in all of the city of Jericho went to that one house where a woman was already under deep conviction.
What brought her under the conviction of the Holy Spirit? She had heard what God was doing for His people. We have a twofold responsibility in this matter of soul winning. We are to be witnesses be a part of the evidence! She had already heard what God was doing for His people. She said, “I know what God has done.” In verse 10 we read, “For we have heard how the Lord raised-dried up the waters of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. And what ye did to the 2 kings of the Amorites that were on the other side of Jordan-Sihon and Og-whom ye utterly destroyed.”
What God is doing our lives, in our churches and in our ministries, ought to bring our towns, cities and world under conviction. Did you know that? They ought to look at us and say there’s something different, there’s something supernatural about the way they’re living and their God is alive. In order to bring conviction, the Holy Spirit of God uses His own people, their lives, and their victories, to bring conviction to the unsaved.
Rahab had seen the exploits of the people of God. She had seen God do something so marvelous, so wonderful, so inexplicable that it brought her under conviction. I believe the reason more people are not saved is not because they are so hard-hearted. If we want to know why more people are not being saved, just look around in your church. It is us and our friends. We are the ones. When we begin to live victorious and begin to walk in the stream of the Spirit, God the Holy Spirit is going to bring that unsaved man and that soul winner together. He’s going to be working both sides of the fence.
We Need To Be Convinced By The Scripture
Secondly, I want you to notice not only was Rahab convicted by the Spirit, but she was convinced by Scripture.
In Joshua 2:12 we read, “There’s no God like your God for He’s God in heaven above and in earth beneath. Now therefore I pray you swear unto me by the Lord since I have shown you kindness, that ye will also show kindness unto my father’s house and give me a true token. And that you will save alive my father and my mother and my brethren and my sisters and all that they have and will deliver our lives from death.”
The sentence of death and judgment was upon them as it is upon every man outside of Christ. The men answered her, “Our life for yours”. Now here we already see a pre-figuring of the cross. “We’ll lay down our life for you, lady, if you’ll enter into a covenant with us.”
We continue reading: “Our life for yours if you utter not our business and it shall be when our Lord has given us the land, we will deal kindly and truly with you. And she let them down with a cord from her window for her house was upon the wall and she dwelt upon the wall. She said to them, “Get you to the mountain, lest your pursuers meet you and hide yourselves there three days until the pursuers be returned and afterward may you go your way. And the men said unto her, “We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by and thou shalt bring thy father and thy mother and thy brethren and all thy father’s household home unto thee. And it shall be that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head. And we will be guiltless. And whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be upon our head if any hand be upon him. And if thou utter this our business, then we will quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear. And now notice verse 21– And she said, “According unto your words so be it.”
She was convicted by the Spirit. She was convinced by the Word. What she received here was the Word of God. This was not the word of men. It was the Word of God. In James 2:25, the Bible calls these men messengers. They were more than spies. They were spokesmen of Almighty God. They had heard the Word of God and what they were doing was giving the Word of God to this particular lady. Why did Rahab have faith? Because she said, “So, be it according to the Word.” Do you want to know what real faith is? Do you know what biblical faith is? It is not believing you can. It’s not confidence per say. It is not positive thinking. It is not wishing upon a star. It is not believing makes it so. Real faith is taking God at His Word.
You can’t have faith until God gives you a word. Faith is your response to the Word of God. How important’ it is that you listen to the voice of God? How important it is that you be attuned to the Word of God? How important it is that you get alone with God and spend a quiet time with God and go into the Word of God and saturate your soul with the Bible for faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God? You will never, never, never have faith until you begin to listen to God. You don’t just decide what you want and say, believing will make it so. You cannot believe it until it is so. He hath said that we may boldly say. You might as well try to ice skate on water as to have faith without first of all a word from God. Now you might get that word from the Bible, from the Spirit, as it’s mediated from someone else, but always God will speak.
We Need To Be Converted By The Savior
Thirdly, she is converted by the blood. In Joshua 2:21, we read, “According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away and they departed, and she bound the scarlet line in the window–and she bound the scarlet line in the window. Now when these men escaped her house when the enemies came, she said, Here, sirs, I’ll let you out and you go hide up there in the mountains three days.”
She let them down by a scarlet line. Please do not believe that this was just happenstance, that this was a scarlet line. Don’t tell me that it was just by happenstance that they said to her “you bind this crimson red line in your window and when we see that scarlet line in the window, we’ll pass over this house and no judgment will come to this house.”
What does this remind you of? Don’t you remember there in Exodus 12 where God had told those people to take the blood of a lamb, a perfect lamb, a lamb without spot, a lamb without blemish, and to put the blood of that lamb upon the door posts of their house. And then God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Now why do you think these spies told her to put a scarlet rope in the window? It was a symbol, or as she said, “A token”, a sign that she was coming into the covenant of those who had been redeemed by the blood.
Of course, the Lord Jesus Christ had not yet died. And all of these Old Testament symbols and types and figures were merely shadows that pointed toward the blood redemption of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But there’s been that scarlet line that runs all the way through the Bible. There in the Garden of Eden when God made coats of skin for Adam and Eve. He had to shed the blood of an innocent animal to do that. When Abel offered his lamb and God had respect toward Abel’s lamb, rather than to Cain’s vegetables, there again you see the shed blood. When you see Abraham offering Isaac there on Mt. Moriah, there is a ram caught in the thicket with a crown of thorns on his head as it were. The ram becomes a substitute; there you see the blood. When you see Noah coming out of the ark and offering a sacrifice, there you see the blood. When you see thousands of smoking altars there in the tabernacle and the Jewish temple, as the blood was shed, you see God saying over and over and over again, “Without the shedding of blood, is no remission.” We are guilty before God. We’re sinners. All have sinned, Rahab had sinned, but so have you sinned. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
The important factor is not that she escaped death because eventually she died. The most important thing for you or me is not to live two or three years longer. The most important thing for us is that we live for eternity.
You see the most important thing is not the sparing of your physical life. The most important thing is the cleansing of your soul.
Rahab had far more happen to her than just simply that she escaped the sword… Because James tells us in James 2, that Rahab was justified. She was made right in the sight of God, a filthy harlot made whiter than the driven snow.
“Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Jesus Christ worked a miracle in the heart of this woman. She became as pure as any woman who ever lived. That’s what the Savior can do. She was transformed. She became the great-great grandmother of King David of Israel. She became in the bloodline of the Lord Jesus. Listed in the genealogy of our Savior, listed in God’s Hall of Fame, spoken of by James as an example of those who are justified. Oh, what a wonderful salvation we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And it’s not the amount of sin that condemns us, it is the fact of sin. One sin unforgiven is enough to send us to hell. The bible says that whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, the same is guilty of all. Many people say, I don’t need to be saved; I’ll just live a good life. You can’t live a good life until you get saved, not really a good life. And let me tell you something. The worse form of badness is human goodness when that human goodness becomes a substitute for the new birth. I want you to hear that.
Do you know what Jesus said concerning the harlots and dishonest tax collectors in His day? Jesus said to the religious crowds, “the harlots and the publicans will go into heaven before you do.” He said they are going to get there before you do. Why? Because they were so self-righteous. They never saw their need of salvation. They were boasting of their human goodness. At least, Rahab knew that she needed the Lord.
The greatest tragedy and transaction are found John 1:11, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” The greatest transaction is this, “but as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in Him.” The greatest tragedy is when people refuse. The greatest transaction is when people receive Him. The greatest transformation is when they become a Child of God.
There is nobody who is too bad to be saved. If Rahab could be saved, anyone can be saved. There is no one without Christ that is so good that he or she doesn’t need to be saved. Whosoever will may come. If we are saved, it will be because we have been convicted by the Spirit, convinced by the Word and converted by the Blood.
Until The Last Person Has Heard,
Global Church Network
Cochair / Global Networking