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From More Impossible to Effortless | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 1, 2023 3:00 am

From More Impossible to Effortless | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 1, 2023 3:00 am

Pastor Jonathan Laurie shows us what we can learn about God through Rahab's story.


1 Samuel 16:7

“…the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Joshua 2 / Joshua 6

Read: Joshua 2:1–15

This Is Only a Test.

Joshua 2:1

Matthew 19:26

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

An Unlikely Ally.

Joshua 2:3–5

Joshua 2:10–11

A True God.

Joshua 4:13–14

Philippians 4:7

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

John 1:29

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Romans 10:13

“For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

“Before the spies came, something must have happened in Rahab’s heart so that she would be brought to faith in God as the supreme God of Heaven and Earth. She was a Canaanite. She was a Gentile, but she embraced the God of the scriptures.” —Pastor Chuck Swindoll

Deliverance from Above.

Joshua 6:23

Genealogy of Jesus.

Matthew 1:5

An example of faith in action.

James 2:25

Spiritual hall of fame (faith).

Hebrews 11:30

It’s not good people that get into Heaven; it’s forgiven people!


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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to Amen. Good morning. You can all have a seat. Great to see you all. Welcome to church everybody. I'm Pastor Jonathan Laurie and it's great to be with you this Sunday morning. Who's excited to have a Bible study today? Come on.

All right. A special welcome to our friends all joining us today. Welcome Riverside. Welcome Orange County. Welcome Harvest over on the island of Maui.

Great to be with you all today. We are going to be continuing in our series in the book of Joshua and we're going to be in Joshua chapter two today. If you'd like to open up in your Bibles there, I'm going to be reading from the New King James Version. If you'd like to switch your translation on your Bible, you can, or you can follow along in your Bible.

You can do that as well. Some of the words might be a little different if your translation is off, but it'll all be there. We're looking at Joshua chapter two. Joshua chapter two.

This is a great text. You know, when I was younger, before I really came to the Lord, you could say that I was a prodigal. I was a prodigal. Any other prodigals in the house today? Hopefully former prodigals, right? Prodigals that have come home.

If you're not, let's talk afterwards. I was a prodigal. I was a hypocrite. I was an actor. I knew how to put on a facade. I knew how to put on an act. I knew how to keep appearances up. I was an actor playing a role, but inside I was also under deep conviction because as I came to church and I heard messages about how God loved me and I heard messages about how God could change my life. I believed it, but I was just too prideful.

I don't know exactly what it was, but I know that pride was a huge element of it. I didn't want to give up the way that I was living. I thought I was having too much fun. I thought God was going to take all the fun out of my life and, you know, everything was going to just be boring and drab and dry. Oh my goodness, how wrong I was.

It's actually the exact opposite of that. My life was so dull and dead and depressed and lonely, and then God brought me back to life. He breathed spiritual life into my life and the friends that I made and the things that He's done through me and in me is nothing short of a miracle.

I can tell you that right now, and I want you to know at the very onset of this message is that if He's done it for me, He can do it for you if He hasn't yet already. And so I was a prodigal. I was under conviction from the Lord, and one day my brother invited me to a church with him. My brother was going to a church to go see his friend who was a youth pastor at this church in Orange County, and so he invited me to tag along with him. And so I decided, okay, sure, I'll check this church out.

It's a little closer to the house today. And so I got in the car and I met him there. And as we pulled into the parking lot right away, I could tell you that this was a very unusual church. This was not a church that I had been to before. This was not a church that I had ever experienced before. The lead pastor was a former member of a pretty notorious motorcycle club. And let's say that he engaged in a lot of illegal activities, but now he was a changed man and the Lord was working in his life and he was a great communicator, good guy. But let's say the church looked a lot like him.

Okay. And so I pull into the parking lot and right away as I'm walking towards the doors of this church, I noticed there's an ashtray outside and there's like eight, 10 guys all outside just chain smoking cigarettes outside the doors of the church. I thought, well, you don't see that every day.

This doesn't look like harvest too much. But I did notice that they were, you know, they seem to be upbeat and they made eye contact and smiled. And it was like, oh, okay. But you know, their appearances are wearing leather jackets and leather boots. And I'm wearing like my polo shirt with like iron pants and like my white tennis shoes and definitely didn't fit in. The one guy that caught my attention the most though was when we walked into the sanctuary and he was one of the greeters and he was saying, hello. The guy had an eye patch and a skull and crossbones tattooed on his forehead. And so, wow.

Okay. This is unusual, but he welcomed us in. He had the joy of the Lord. And so we get into the service and it was, you know, it was going good. Pretty traditional service.

I felt like maybe it was even a harvest service. Honestly, we were singing some familiar songs and I began to look around and I noticed that the guys that were outside that were now inside, they were smoking and whatever else, they were so passionately worshiping the Lord. They had their hands raised. They were singing a song, a familiar one that we've sang here many times by John Mark McMillan. It's, he loves us is the name of the song or how he loves. And the chorus goes, he loves us. Oh, how he loves us, right?

He is jealous for me. Loves like a hurricane. I am a tree, right? You know that song. And they were singing the chorus. He loves us. And you could tell these guys, they were really experiencing the Lord's love. This was maybe something they had never had in their own life. I'm not really sure, but I remember looking over and just being blown away how passionately these guys were worshiping. Their appearances did not match their conduct the way that they were worshiping.

It blew my mind. And then as the pastor opened up his Bible, he invited everyone to open with them. They all had their Bibles. They had pens and paper taking notes and the margins like, wow, these guys are, man, they're the real deal.

So cool. And as we walked out, it was a great message. I don't remember what it was about, but as we walked out, oh, don't lie.

Don't pretend like you remember every message when you walk out. What did the pastor talk about? It was in Joshua. It was great. It was good.

Don't lie. But as we walked out, that same guy with that tattoo on his forehead, this rugged looking man was greeting people as they left. And he shook my hand. I just remember looking into his eyes. First of all, I felt like his hand was so rough and coarse that it was literally going to cut my hand. I felt like it was going to cut through my hand with all his calluses. But as he looked at me in the eyes, I could just tell this was a guy who was transformed by the gospel.

This was a guy who was a new creation. And as I got into my car, I came under such heavy conviction. I came under conviction because I noticed something. I had my outward appearance together.

I looked like a normal kid. I came from a good home, but internally I had conflict. I was miserable and I was in bondage to sin. Now these guys, while they were rough around the edges, they had been a new transformation on the inside.

They had peace with God and he was making them into a new creation. And as I sat in my car, I just thought, what is my excuse? What's my excuse? You know, so often we are quick to judge people for the outward appearances based on what they look like, based on their upbringings, based on where they're from, what kind of family they might be from, who they vote for, maybe even what sports jersey they wear. And we think we know everything about a person. Oh, I know what kind of guy that is.

Oh yeah, I've got their number. The fact is everybody has a past. Everybody has a testimony, some more colorful than others. But the Lord says in 1 Samuel chapter 6, the Lord does not see the man as humans do. For man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Aren't you thankful that God can see our heart and he doesn't judge us based on what kind of background we might be from or what kind of neighborhood we were born into?

He looks at our heart and that's what matters most to the Lord. Well, today we are going to be looking at one of the most unlikely of heroes in the Bible, one of the most colorful characters in all of the Bible as we continue in our series, Joshua Living in the Land of Promises. We're going to be looking at a couple of passages today, Joshua chapter 2 and partially in Joshua chapter 6, but we're going to be looking at the character of Rahab.

Rahab, a notorious woman, a prostitute who ultimately was used by the Lord to help conquer Jericho, an amazing story. And so we're going to be looking at that together today. My message title is From More Impossible to Effortless. From More Impossible to Effortless.

If you remember last week, my dad's message title was From Impossible to More Impossible. Well, now we're going from more impossible to effortless because we see the Lord is with these people, the Jewish people, and we see how he delivers the people of Jericho into their hands because of the faith of Rahab. So again, we're going to be looking at Joshua chapter 2 starting in verse 1.

Let's read together, shall we? Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia grove to spy secretly saying, go view the land, especially Jericho. And so they went and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab and they lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho saying, behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country. And so the king of Jericho sent to Rahab saying, bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house for they have come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men and hid them. And she said, yes, the men did come to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut to the city when it was dark that the men went out. Where the men went, I do not know, pursue them quickly for you may overtake them. But in fact, verse 6, she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stocks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof. And 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. Now, before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, I know that the Lord has given you this land, that the terror of you has fallen on us. And all the inhabitants of the land are faint hearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt. And we have heard what you did to the two sons of the Amorites who are on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

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. Verse 12, now, therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you will also show me kindness into my father's house and give me a true token. And spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. And so the men answered her, our lives for yours. If none of you tell this business of ours, and it shall be when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you. And then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall.

She dwelt on the wall. So Lord, we ask now that as we just read this amazing passage, the faith of this woman, an unlikely hero, an unlikely woman to possess such virtue, a heart for you, Lord, we pray that you would speak to us, that we would see exactly what you want to show us today, Lord, that you would convict us and convince us of our sin, so that we may become more like your son, Jesus. We pray, Lord, that we would have the boldness of faith as this woman Rahab did, taking a step of faith, being a Gentile, being a Canaanite, being a prostitute, a woman that by all appearances is so far from you. And yet we see her heart is for you, Lord, and so close to you. We thank you, Father, that you reach out to us and you pluck us from obscurity and you don't just restore us. You call us sons.

You call us daughters. And so we're thankful, Lord, for what you have done for us. We pray again that you would speak to us through your word. Speak through me, Father, in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Amen.

All right. Point number one, for those of you taking notes, number one, this is just a test. This is just a test.

Again, our message title is From More Impossible to Effortless. And number one, this is only a test. Look back at verse one. Now Joshua, the son of Nun, sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy, secretly saying, go view the land, especially Jericho. And so they went and came to the house of a harlot, a prostitute named Rahab, and lodged there. Now, if you're familiar with the stories of the Bible and you were with us talking about the life of Moses, a few series ago we went through the life of Moses. If you're familiar with those stories, you will see some similarity here.

You might even find yourself kind of scratching your head. Because we read in the book of Numbers how the Lord told Moses to send out spies to go into the land, the land of Canaan, the promised land, the land of milk and honey, who he was bringing the Hebrew people out of Egypt to go and fulfill, to go have this amazing land, a land that would belong to them, a land of prosperity. And he said, okay, you're here at the land, you're here at the Jordan River, you're about to cross into it, go send 12 spies into the land and check out what's going on there.

Tell us what you see. And so Moses did. And among them was Joshua, a younger Joshua, 40 years younger to the point. And when the spies came back, they all came back with a glowing report.

Oh my goodness, it's more than we could ever hope for. The land of Canaan is the land of milk and honey. It's amazing. The soil, the fruit, it's beautiful. Giant grapes had to be carried by two men because it was so prosperous and so fruitful. But then 10 of the men, of the spies, reported that they were extremely fearful. They said in Numbers 13 that the people were strong in Canaan. The cities had very large walls, likely talking about Jericho, large walls.

They said that there were giants in the land. They said that they felt as small as grasshoppers and they just felt like there was no way they could inhabit this land. There was no way they could actually go and defeat these enemies that were there. It was an impossible situation. According to their report, they were outmanned, they were outgunned. Everything pointed to the fact that the Hebrews could not successfully conquer the land that God had promised them.

They could not do this on their own, just like every other time. If you're familiar with the story of the Hebrew people and when they were brought out of Egypt time and time and time again, when they faced an adversary, when they faced a problem, they could not do it on their own, what did that force them to do? To turn to God and ask God for help, ask God for his provision. The Hebrew people were so quick to forget that God was with them, that God was with them. He brought them out of slavery in Egypt. All of the plagues that he brought upon Pharaoh, the killing of the firstborn sons, all of these things that happened were so that the Hebrew people could be freed. How the Lord parted the Red Sea when they were being pursued by Pharaoh. After they were freed from captivity in Egypt, they came to the Red Sea.

They thought it was the Dead Sea because there was nowhere they were going to be able to go. There was a complete dead end and the Lord parted it and created dry ground for them to go right through the middle. We see the Lord providing for them. We also see that the Lord destroyed the Egyptian armies with the Hebrew people.

Excuse me, he destroyed the Pharaoh's armies and destroyed all of them so they could get through freely. He delivered them from them. We see that the Lord led them through the desert with a cloud of smoke and a pillar of fire when they didn't know which direction to go. He dropped manna out of heaven to feed the people every single day, teaching them to rely upon his provision daily.

So time and time again, when they face an adversary, when they faced a problem that they could not figure out on their own, they could not just figure out, they couldn't get it on their own. They were facing certain death, the Lord provided for them. The Lord delivered them. Whenever they were facing a problem, God provided.

And so here was another opportunity in the book of Numbers when Moses was leading the people for them to trust God. They came to Canaan. They saw it was impossible to inhabit the land on their own. And they said, there's no way we could do this. They were facing an insurmountable opponent.

I like that word insurmountable, right? It's like impregnable, impossible to pass, but they didn't trust the Lord. They didn't trust the Lord. And so often with us, I think we're the same. We want things handed to us, right? We come against a problem. We don't want to pray about it.

We come against an issue going on at work. We don't want to pray about it. We don't want to seek the Lord. We don't want to read our Bibles and seek God's wisdom about how to reconcile with that person or how to lead our families or how to cope with some discomfort.

How do I deal with this news from the doctor? Well, I'm just going to go and do all the research and look up all my issues and my symptoms on WebMD and give myself even more problems and anxieties because it's telling me that I'm going to die tomorrow. We should be praying about these things. We should be seeking the Lord, asking Him for His perfect peace. We want these things to happen.

We want the result with no effort or attempt made on our end. The Hebrew people came to the Promised Land. God had provided for them every step of the way, and here they were at the very border, ready to cross into it, and they said, nope, there's a problem. There's people that are really big.

They're giants, and we don't know how they're going to conquer them. I wonder what the Lord is trying to teach us there. They failed the test.

They failed the test. The Lord wanted them to be obedient, and through their obedience, God would use them and fill them with the Holy Spirit. He would make them as capable as they needed to be to conquer these enemies, as we will see in a few chapters coming soon in Joshua chapter 6, when the people do go and march around the walls of Jericho and bring it down. The Lord wants to use us.

I think that's a secret that a lot of us forget. The Lord loves to use us, and you know what? We are so blessed when the Lord uses us. He uses us as imperfect tools in the hands of a perfect God.

It's been said that He can draw straight lines with crooked sticks. Does God need us? Does God need to use us? Does He need our money? Does He need our time? Does He need our creativity? Absolutely not. He could send angels down from heaven to speak the gospel on our behalf.

He could go and do whatever He needs to do to get it done, but He uses us to teach us and because He loves us, and we are blessed first and foremost when we're used by God. When my kids were younger and they were learning how to walk, it seems like just yesterday that it always sounded like such a cliche to me. The time goes so fast, but it really does seem like just yesterday that I was teaching my kids how to walk, and when I was helping them just walk and take their little steps, I would put my hands on their hands and they would hold on to my index finger. They would hold on to my finger. That's just how small their little hands were, their little baby hands. They'd hold on to my index finger, and I would kind of reach around with the rest of my hand and hold their wrists and stabilize them, so they're taking their little steps, and as long as I was holding them, they were able to take big confident steps regardless of the terrain. They could glide over it no problem because I was holding them. I was upholding them. They trip a little bit. I wouldn't let them fall down. I'm holding them up, but they had to be the ones taking those steps. They had to be the ones taking the steps. They had to put forth the effort and trust to make those strides, and then they would jump from obstacle to obstacle. I'd be holding on to them, and they'd jump from the ground to the bench, everyone from the bench to the drinking fountain. You know, they'd jump onto stuff, things they could never do on their own, and then they'd do like a 360 off of it because I thought it was fun, and they would jump from obstacle to obstacle, from ground to bench, to the drinking fountain, 360 onto the ground again.

They weren't the ones doing that. It was all me, but what little effort they put forth, I was able to make them do things they could never do on their own, and they got to enjoy it, and I probably enjoyed it a little bit more than they did doing those things, but isn't that what God does with us? Isn't that what God does with us? We trust Him. We cling to Him. We hold on to Him with our tiny baby grip on His fingers, and He spiritually wraps His arms around us, and He stabilizes us, and He puts us in places we never would have been otherwise, experiencing things that we never would have without God's involvement. Jesus said it best when He said in Matthew 19, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

All things are possible. When Moses failed to execute, we will now see Joshua succeeds. Joshua was now the one in charge.

He was the one that was in charge. He knew the Lord had delivered the land of Canaan into their hands just like He had promised 40 years earlier, which to the point because of the disobedience of the Hebrew people, and they would not go and inhabit the land when Moses was in charge, the Lord said for 40 years you will wander the desert. Did you know that? It didn't take them 40 years to get to Canaan.

It only took them a couple of weeks. All those people, they got from Egypt, they got from the Red Sea all the way to Canaan, to Israel in a very short time, but what happened was when they came to the border they were disobedient. They didn't listen to the Lord and because of their disobedience they were forced to wander the desert.

The entire generation before had to pass away in order for the people to then go and inhabit the land of Canaan. So that generation had passed away and now Joshua is the leader and that's where we see this very similar event taking place. Joshua coming to the land sending spies in once again to go investigate the land, go and tell Joshua what they see, and that's where we pick up the story. We're going to see this is exactly what happens in Joshua 6. When they march around the walls of Jericho, they are going to bring the walls down.

It wasn't Joshua's strength, it wasn't Joshua's timing, and it wasn't the volume of their voices that brought the walls of Jericho down, it was obedience to God's plan. So that brings us to point number two, the second part of our message, an unlikely ally. An unlikely ally and we read about her in verse three. So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab saying, bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house for they have come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men and hid them and she said, yes the men did come to me but I did not know where they were from and it happened as the gate was being shut when it was dark that the men went out where the men went I do not know pursue them quickly for you may overtake them. So Joshua, he sends the two spies into Canaan to spy out the land to go see what the enemies are like to go check out the walls of Jericho gather any intelligence and bring any observations they may find and right away they come to contact with a prostitute named Rahab. Now it's important to know that yes she was a prostitute but the home that these spies came into was more likely an inn like a modern day inn or a hostel than it was a brothel okay. This was a place where people from out of town would come into and lodge and when the king hears about these Hebrew nationals he wants to catch them and he wants to kill them and we find Rahab the prostitute lying about these men's whereabouts and covering for them and ultimately saving their lives.

And talk about not judging a book by its cover right. Rahab the helpful hooker. We see that Rahab she talks about how she has seen God. She's seen God of the Hebrew people as the one true God. In fact she says this in verse 10, we have heard about how the Lord dried up the land the water over the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the on the other side of the Jordan Sihon and Og whom you utterly destroyed and as soon as we heard these things our hearts melted. Neither did there remain any more courage than anyone because of you for the Lord your God he is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

How amazing is that? What little she had heard about God what little she knew about the one true God of the Hebrew people she believed enough for her to go and put her own life on the line to allow these Hebrew spies to go and spy out the land. She hears about this God that is parting the Red Sea. She hears how he is paving a path for his people and how he's providing for them how he's protecting them and Rahab's heart longs for a God like that a true God. It reminds me of the words that Jesus said to the woman at the well in John chapter 4 when he told her whoever drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst but the water I shall give him will become a water will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Rahab had heard about the God of the Hebrew people and she knew that these worthless idols that she's been surrounded with her entire life in Jericho are worthless and only bring more evil. So she reminds me of the woman at the well just hungry for the things of this world and finding that they're just leaving her hungrier than when she first left off thirstier for the things of this world than when she first started off she's dissatisfied she's not happy with what is happening and so she sees the God of the Hebrew people and she longs for a God like that.

Has that ever happened to you? Has that ever happened to you where you just long for God? I remember longing for God when I was wandering away from him.

I remember having a hunger for him and for whatever reason I didn't go back to him but here's Rahab the first opportunity the first notion she hears about the one true God and she jumps at the opportunity. Do you remember when you first experienced the peace of God for the first time when you gave up that old way of living when you gave your life to God and you experienced the peace of God for the first time this amazing thing Philippians 4 7 tells us what it's like the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. It could be that you experience the peace of God in the most unlikely of situations right in the most unlikely of situations. I've heard stories about people who have hit absolute rock bottom and they get sentenced to prison and in that first week while they're in prison facing you know years while they're there they call out to God or they they open the Bible and they have the peace of God and they realize they're exactly where they need to be that makes no sense that makes no sense at all but you want to talk about true rehabilitation coming into a relationship with God will do that. It could be that you experienced the peace of God in the most unlikely of situations it could be that you experienced the peace of God in a doctor's office after you just got the most terrible news or you just experienced the peace of God when you got horrible news from your boss and you just know that the Lord is in control and you're confident that no weapon formed against you will prosper. That is the hope for the believer. This is something we get to experience on a daily and weekly and monthly basis right we experience the peace of God and I think this is what Rahab was looking for and was hungry for and how good is God that he brings two bona fide children of God to her doorstep. Hello we are Hebrews we are worshippers of the one true God can we stay at your house for the night and she's like I've heard about you I have many questions for you and so Rahab had faith in God she knew he was the one true God but when a chance came to take a step of faith she was not shy about it and she fully embraced the opportunity. After the coast was clear the men from Jericho had left Rahab very wisely made a deal with the spies as well asking them to spare her household because of her help and they agreed and told her that anyone inside her home during the coming raid on Jericho would be saved because of her actions and they asked her to do something to mark her house so they would know not to destroy it and they said you need to drop a scarlet thread from your window and if we see the scarlet thread everybody will know to spare your household and anybody inside anybody outside of the household hey we can't be responsible for them but anyone inside your household when we see that scarlet thread we will leave it untouched and they will be delivered a scarlet thread that's really interesting a scarlet thread you could say that there is a scarlet thread woven throughout the entire bible a scarlet thread which is the bible's overarching theme of deliverance and redemption of mankind the bible has a scarlet thread from genesis to revelation symbolically we see the blood of Jesus run throughout the tire the entire bible that scarlet thread all the way back in eden when animals were killed to provide garment and to atone for the sins of adam and eve we see the scarlet thread when the ram took abraham son's place isaac on the altar on the mount of mariah he was supposed to be sacrificed but the lord said to abraham abraham said to isaac excuse me the lord will provide for him a sacrifice and the lord did they found a ram caught in the thicket we see that scarlet thread and when the hebrew people were told while in egypt that they were to take the blood of the passover lamb and apply it to their doorposts the top and the sides making the sign of the cross all the way to the new testament in john chapter one when we see john the baptist say behold the lamb of god who takes away the sin of the world this theme this scarlet thread runs throughout the bible and we see it on full display right here in the book of joshua the apostle paul quotes uh the prophet joel in romans chapter 10 he says for whoever calls upon the name of the lord shall be saved whoever chuck swindoll famous pastor said before the spies came something must have happened in rahab's heart so that the she would so that she would be brought to faith in god as the supreme god of heaven and earth she was a kainanite she was a gentile but she embraced the god of the scriptures and so we can say with certainty that the barrier to salvation is not racial or cultural but a personal response to the god who offers it that is the barrier to salvation we see the scarlet thread throughout scripture and then it brings us to point number three deliverance from above we see the rahab makes the deal with the spies and now we see the result of that in joshua chapter six now we're going to read about this so i don't want to give too much away but uh you know a little bit of a uh a news flash here uh the people of israel they the hebrew people they march around the walls of jericho and they bring the walls down we all know that story right okay so the walls of jericho have come down these huge tremendous walls and we see the hebrew men the spies keeping their promise in joshua chapter 6 and verse 23 and the young men who had been spies went in and brought out rahab her father her mother her brothers and all that she had and so they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of israel and so here we fast forward to joshua 6 and we see that because of rahab's faith we see that she is delivered from her entire from her her city of jericho she is delivered from that destruction but not just rahab her entire family are spared from being destroyed the faith of this woman was enough to protect her and her household they were delivered they were spared but it's not until really interestingly the new testament that see that she was not only delivered she was not only spared this this harlot this prostitute this outcast of society her life was not only spared we see that she was redeemed and we see that she prospered this prostitute this outcast of society is not just passively mentioned in our bible she was revered as a woman of virtue in our new testaments a woman of faith a woman of prestige we see her mentioned in matthew chapter one verse five which is the genealogy of jesus yes she is a great-grandmother of king david who is the son of jesse we see that she is mentioned in the lineage of jesus the lineage of the messiah there is no greater relation you could have than saying yeah jesus is my great great great great great great great great great grandson we see that rehab is she went in and began to live with the hebrew people that she got married she had a kid and the kid's name was boaz it might sound familiar because there's a girl named ruth in the book of ruth that marries this guy named boaz we use boaz today is an example of waiting for the perfect man who god has boaz is like the perfect guy and so ruth and salmon raised a pretty awesome kid so that's amazing we see her mentioned in the genealogy of jesus next we see her mentioned in james chapter 2 in the new testament talking about how rehab was a perfect picture of faith in action in verse 25 of james 2 we we see james say likewise was not rehab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way this is so great because james who is the half brother of jesus who is also related to rehab lists her alongside abraham the father of the hebrew people the father of the jewish people he's like the patriarch of patriarchs one of the most important men in all of jewish history he is the oj the original jew right he is the guy that god chose to make this covenant with you will be my people you'll be the father of many nations and so he lists rehab the harlot right alongside abraham the patriarch and then we see her mentioned in hebrews chapter 11 which we call the hall of faith it's the spiritual hall of fame listing all kinds of men and women in the bible the greatest men and women and focusing on the profound faith that these people had and how it was able to change their worlds so we see this act of faith this act of obedience that rehab followed and and listened to the lord and heard his voice in her life it changed not just her life not just her family's life but generations to come rehab a gentile a prostitute a Canaanite an amorite a race that god had actually marked for destruction we see that rehab was so far from god by all appearances everything we could think of she just seems like a person that would be you know a person who would curse god so far from him but again we see the gospel here we see god's mercy is open to everyone and his plan has always been wider than just israel even in the old testament times rehab's life is a picture of the gospel she was a notorious sinner separated from god she heard about god and what he had done for others she made a strive towards god and her life ultimately was spared as a result her family was delivered from the siege of Jericho but her life was more than spared from destruction it was blessed and she was included in the lineage of Jesus Christ this is what the gospel has to offer to all of mankind every walk of life every age man woman biker surfer businessman illegitimate child drug addict alcoholic sex addict like rehab you need to see that without god regardless regardless of what your life is like you are headed for destruction if you do not have the forgiveness of god you are headed for destruction you are headed for hell it's not good people that get into heaven it's forgiven people god paid for this forgiveness he paid for this forgiveness when he sent his own son Jesus to die on the cross for our sin and this is where we see that scarlet thread completely fulfilled the blood of Christ is what saves us the blood of Christ is the payment for our sins the atonement for our sins but god doesn't just deliver us from our sin just like he didn't just deliver rehab from the destruction of Jericho he blesses us he blesses us he gives us a new nature he gives us the power to overcome these strongholds in our life and he helps us when we put our faith in Christ not just to bless us but our wives our husbands our children our our grandchildren our great-grandchildren it makes an impact so deep that we don't even realize what is happening what God is doing inside of us that is what the gospel does that's what the gospel does we see the Israelites enter into the promised land and there were enemy strongholds and it's symbolic because as the Israelites entered into the promised land this is the promised land this is Christianity this is faith symbolically it's like when we walk into our relationship with God this is great I'm saved wait there's still enemies in the land there's still enemy strongholds in my life that's right you're still going to deal with addiction you're still going to deal with temptation just like the Israelites had to face the people of Jericho and had to feast the people of Canaan all the different enemies they had to conquer you as a Christian are going to have to face the enemies in your life the enemy strongholds that you're going to have to conquer but like the Hebrew people God is with you and he has given you everything you need and the lesson we are to learn the test that he is giving to us is will you trust God will you trust him he brought you out of destruction he saved you from hell will you trust him and allow him to help you conquer these enemy strongholds in your life God wants to prosper you and heal you and bless you just like he did with Rahab just like he has done for me and just like he has done for so many in this church today and so in closing I would like to extend to you an invitation to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can put your faith in him and be saved from destruction just like Rahab saved from hell but not just saved from hell also saved for something see God isn't isn't just saving you from hell he's saving you for something he is saving something he's saving you to be a blessing to other people he is saving you so that you could be blessed he is saving you so that you could have fulfillment in this life and you can bless your family and your communities and people are around you you can have this hope today you can have this relationship with God today if you don't already have it would you pray with me heavenly father we thank you for the story of Rahab we thank you Lord that you used her life as a witness as a testimony of your grace of the gospel Lord this woman who is so far from you but her heart she knew who you were she had a longing for you and she took a small step towards you and Lord you used that and you saved her and you saved her lineage and Lord you blessed her and she is in Jesus family tree this is amazing Lord we are thankful for that and Lord we know that you do the same thing you graft us into your family tree you adopt us Lord we were illegitimate we were far from you Gentiles non-Jews that's us but Lord you grafted us into this promise you bring us into your family because of what Jesus has done for us and so Lord we are thankful and when our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying here together I know there may be some who have not yet put their faith in Jesus Christ listen I want you to know that you can have a relationship with the creator of the universe you can become a new creation you can be freed from your sin you can be saved from destruction but not only that you can have the hope of a fulfilled life you can have the hope of God doing an amazing work in you so if you would like to receive Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior today and have the hope of heaven I invite you to just pray this prayer wherever you are out loud after me pray this prayer dear God I know I'm a sinner but I know Jesus is the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and I turn from my sin now from this moment forward and I make you my Lord and my Savior would you fill me with your Holy Spirit in Jesus name I pray amen. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to and to find out how to know God personally go to and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-01 04:23:33 / 2023-10-01 04:41:23 / 18

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