Protect One Another

One Another   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” This text is all about protection!
One of my favorite hip hop groups of all time is the Wu Tang Clan, the The RZA, the GZA, ODB, Inspectah Deck Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and of course Method Man. They have a song called Protect Ya Neck in other words meaning:
1. Keep your head down. Keep you eyes, ears, and mind open/sharp.
2. Respect/Re-examine your vulnerability and that of other people.
3. You're not as tough as you think you are. (We all need protection)
4. Ask yourself "Is (this) conflict really worth the risk of death/significant damage? Is there a better/safer/more humane way to solve this problem?"
What we can learn from this song is that we have to protect each other.
One of the attributes of justice is protection. We fight for justice from police officers because we have seen them fail to protect and serve a various number of black men and women in our neighborhoods. We fight for justice because we need protection. Historically people wanted the protection to vote safely, ride buses without issues, send their children to schools in effort to receive an equal education.
Most recently one of the protections we see is the hashtag me too movement. Men and more importantly women are seeking protection and justice from things like sexual and physical abuse. As Christians we know that Jesus was fighting for the protection of the oppressed. So much so that Jesus said “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them”. Jesus wanted protection for the less fortunate. In Jesus protects the hungry from the Pharisees attempting to falsely accuse the disciples of finding food on the sabbath. Even further he protects the disabled by healing the man with the withered hand.
If we are going to progress as a people we have to protect the disenfranchised, it is our duty to protect each other. We need to protect women, protect the homeless, protect the disenfranchised, protect those who cannot protect themselves.
While the Israelites were struggling in the wilderness they were at the mercy of people in the cities they passed through and belonged to the protection of God. It was God that helped them pass through the red sea when their lives were in jeopardy of the Egyptian soldiers, it was the protection of God as they marched around Jericho, nonetheless it was God that entered the heart of a prostitute by the name of Rahab that helped facilitate the entry into the promise land.

Who is Rahab?

Rahab is what we would call a hero, an unexpected hero at that. Moses has just died and God told Joshua that his people had to cross the Jordan in order to enter the Promise Land. Before crossing Joshua sent two spies into the land to observe the land they were entering. Understand that they were not just entering they were making a military observation.
In effort to make this observation they had to pass through a fortified city called Jericho. One of the thing that makes oppression difficult is when you are not welcome in the city you are passing through. I imagine they knew they needed help but were probably unaware that it would come from prostitute whom some suggest she ran a brothel. Some Jewish scholars suggest that Rahab’s career as a sex worker could have began as early as the age of ten years old.
This woman who probably was not the most socially accepted understood the power of God so much that she decided that protecting these men of God was the right thing to do. Socially, we understand that people in this profession aren’t the most protected. Often times victims within the realm of sex trafficking are not the more protected by society. Nonetheless she decided to protect those who needed some assistance. They did not belong in this land, they were entering a land that was promised to them nonetheless the people there did not want them there. Not to mention they were the products of oppression in the form of slavery, so protection is what they needed.
It is up to us to apply this lesson from idea that regardless of our background or past we all need protection. That is what Justice is all about. We never know how God will work in the lives of those that society rejects.
God has called some of us to be front line protectors. But even in our protection of others we also will need to be protected too.
* "Anyone who rebels against your order and does not obey your words in all that you command him, will be put to death. Above all, be strong and courageous". ()
* Imagine powerful men like this, who have survived the wilderness and are at the cusp of entering the place promised to them by God? Now are in need of protection. Many of us can see the promise land of liberties, rights, and church growth but even the strongest of us will need someone to step up and protect us when times get tough.
* Joshua sends spies and come to the house of a woman, a prostitute and stayed there.
* Be careful not to immaturely imply that there are sexual relationships prevalent in this text.
* The last verb "stayed there" or "lodged" is not used for sexual relations in the hebrew text unless followed with the designation of a partner. "Stayed there with Rahab".
Question - You might ask, why would they stay with a prostitute? It was most likely a tavern, hostel or used by visitors in a hotel sense as well.
As some point this lodging may have been intended rather than a random act of hiding. Even if it is not, this act of protective faith from Rahab is legendary. One, because she didn’t have to do it, two because she risked her life in doing.
This is what oppression looks like. Historically we have seen this in our communities. The leaders of organizations that are helping are communities are now communicated by the powers that be that they are dangerous. We saw this with the FBI and Dr. King, we've seen this with Black Lives Matter Leaders, Brother Malcolm and many other leaders. We see this today when men and women are ostracized because they are seeing justice and liberation for those in need.
Rahab protected these men:
It's safe to say they did not believe Rahab, they sent messengers then they showed up at her place.
Understand people will question those who you are protecting.
We never know who values the mission of God, they sent messengers to her twice looking for these spies. She hid them and she sent the enemy ahead of the people they were looking for.

6 (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) 7 Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

It’s safe to say that Israelites looked different than the people in the land they were sent to spy in.
But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. He gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry. The LORD frees the prisoners.
You have no idea who knows God and who wants a chance to join the people of God in the promise land. Rahab states “I know that the LORD has given you the land, the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.”
She had heard about the Red Sea, she had hear about them coming out of Egypt, she had heard about the Amorites the people of God had destroyed.
Sometimes people are protecting others because they have seen the goodness of God working in our lives and they do not want that triumph to stop.

11 And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, 13 and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”

In this series of Rahab, we see in episode six of Joshua her and her family get to the promise land. Although she protected the spies, what altered her life can alter yours this morning too! Faith altered her life, it was an encounter with the people of God that gave her a chance to act on her faith.

18 unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home.

Faith come by hearing! Rahab heard about the goodness of God and protected those sent by him. Her faith became actions and her actions led to a public display of faith. It wasn’t just a cord, but a scarlet cord was a symbol of belief, it was a sign of deliverance and an effort of protection.
Faith come by hearing! Rahab heard about the goodness of God and protected those sent by him. Her faith became actions and her actions led to a public display of faith. It wasn’t just a
We attempt to protect ourselves and each other with big fences, alarms, and the proverbial walls we build around us, but a simple proclamation of faith, a simple act of mercy, a simple act of justice is what really protects people!
Can’t we all do that? Shouldn’t we all allow our faith to be seen hanging from the walls we tend to build around us; a simple proclamation of our faith, of our hope, of our deliverance?
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