She Shouldn't Be Here: Rahab

She Shouldn't Be Here: Tamar  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:41
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The Lineage of The Christ

The lineage of the Christ is both the plan of God and the fruit of a promise made to Abraham long ago. When Abraham showed great faith in the promise of God, God then kept his end of the bargain and blessed the whole world through his lineage. And throughout his linage many times the grace of God has been abundant on a people who lacked godly character. It was never about race, it was never about status, and it was most definitely not about the righteousness of man. But the Grace of God saw fit for many to play a part in bringing the Christ into the world. God’s kindness, God’s unmerited favor, God’s giving of love when we were undeserving is what we celebrate during this time of year. Matthew is the only Gospel which is inclusive of women in the lineage. I don’t believe it to be a chauvinistic offense on the account of the other writers but I believe it is a message of Grace and inclusivity. Matthew understood that the culture of his day did not value women but even more so his culture did not always value foreigners and sinners. All of these women fit into that boat yet God was able to use them. Please turn your Bibles with me to Matthew chapter 1.
Matthew 1:1–6 NRSV
1 An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, 4 and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah,
Matthew 1:17 NRSV
17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Rahab was the mother of a well known bachelor named Boaz who would later marry Ruth. But in the context of our text today it is many years before Boaz has been born. The people of God have been set free from Egpyt, Moses has since died, and now they begin on their conquest to inherit the promised land. But there remains some work to do. God has tasked them with going to war and eradicating everything in opposition to Him. (Joshua 11:20) That means all nations who refuse to worship Yahweh, idols, temples built to false gods, and culture pointing towards fals gods must be destroyed. The people of God are tasked with destroying a town called Jericho. Joshua sends two spies to scout the land that they God will give them. And here we meet Rahab in Joshua 2
Rahab had three strikes against her.
She was not a keeper of God’s law
She was a Canaanite (Not a part of the family of God)
She lived in the wall
It does not matter how you slice it! She was a prime candidate to be in the lineage of THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED ONE, THE SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE WORLD! Yet God was able to use her.

A Sinner Is a Sinner?

Some folks would argue that they themselves or others who are sinners cannot be changed. Rahab’s story doesn’t start off well. Our introduction of Rahab is in Josh 2:1-7
Joshua 2:1–7 NRSV
1 Then Joshua son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and spent the night there. 2 The king of Jericho was told, “Some Israelites have come here tonight to search out the land.” 3 Then the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come only to search out the whole land.” 4 But the woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they came from. 5 And when it was time to close the gate at dark, the men went out. Where the men went I do not know. Pursue them quickly, for you can overtake them.” 6 She had, however, brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax that she had laid out on the roof. 7 So the men pursued them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. As soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
When we look at the first 7 verses of this chapter we may then be prompted to say Rahab is a hero! Even James 2 25 says
James 2:25 NRSV
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road?
The works of your past do not condemn you when they are replaced by the works of God.

Family Ties

Who you come from matters in our culture today and in the culture of the time of the Bible. Today if you are a child of Bill Gates you will more than likely never be without money or lack access to higher education. Also on the flip side if you are the child of a person in poverty you will have survival skills that simply cannot be taught and an appreciation for simple things. Being in the family of a Canaanite person meant that you would have been very familiar with the gods Baal and Asheroth. Which meant that you were engaged in what Israel was seeking to eradicate! But she heard news of God and obeyed! And that is promising in that you can start off in a bad place and still end up where God is!
Joshua 11:20 NRSV
20 For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts so that they would come against Israel in battle, in order that they might be utterly destroyed, and might receive no mercy, but be exterminated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
God’s family V The Adversary’s
Joshua 2:8–11 NRSV
8 Before they went to sleep, she came up to them on the roof 9 and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites that were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 As soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no courage left in any of us because of you. The Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below.
Some folks will see this and only see that her fear and dread is prompted by the destruction of Good on the disobedient. But upon a closer look we see...
V9- “I know that the Lord has given you the land...”
Yahweh loves His people
Yahweh provides ALL THINGS
He fights for the people
He gives them land
He wants to be WITH them!
Baal only provided thunder, lightning, and rain for his people who were dependent on it for crops.
All her people had heard, feared, and dreaded. Yet she obeyed.
“The Lord your God is indeed God in heaven above and on earth below.”
She used language that up until this point we only know the Israelites used. “God in heaven above and on earth below”.
When she heard word of God, she believed, and she obeyed.
In that moment of faith and action she ceased to be a Canaanite and became an Israelite.
Who you were is not who you have to be! The Grace of God can change you!

Rahab Lived In The Wall

Rahab had changed yet where she lived was set to be destroyed. We all know the story of the battle of Jericho quite well! The people of God wouldn’t have to do much fighting in this scenario God was going to destroy the stronghold of the city, the thing which protected the evil people within. But Rahab and her family LIVED within or on top of this very same wall! How would it be possible for them to continue on in their present environment?
Joshua 2:15 NRSV
15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the outer side of the city wall and she resided within the wall itself.
Joshua 6:15–17 NRSV
15 On the seventh day they rose early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live because she hid the messengers we sent.
Joshua 6:22–25 NRSV
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring the woman out of it and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought Rahab out, along with her father, her mother, her brothers, and all who belonged to her—they brought all her kindred out—and set them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned down the city, and everything in it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, Joshua spared. Her family has lived in Israel ever since. For she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Even though your situation may be dyer, even though your environment may be destructive, even though chaos may exist all around you...
God’s grace can and will make use of you where you are!

She Shouldn’t Be Here

She shouldn’t be here and neither should you. But the grace of God saw fit that Rahab the prostitute is part of the lineage of Jesus Christ, our savior.
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