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From House of Shame to Hall of Fame - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2024 6:00 am

From House of Shame to Hall of Fame - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 21, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip begins his message “From House of Shame to Hall of Fame” and tells the amazing story of transformation in one woman’s life.

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But she was changed. She was transformed. She was transformed from the house of shame into God's hall of fame.

From prostitute to princess, from harlot to heroine, from somebody who walked in the night to somebody who walked in the light. Today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Pastor Skip begins his message from the house of shame to hall of fame and tells the amazing story of transformation in one woman's life. But first, here's a timely new resource about the current war in Israel and how it fits in God's plan for His nation. Israel at War.

That's the title of a new book by Skip Hyten. Modern Israel has been at war from its very first day of existence, as Skip points out. On the day after Israel became a nation, that was May 14th, 1948. On May 15th, virtually every Arab neighbor attacked Israel to destroy it. Israel had been a nation one day.

They didn't have an organized army. Israel at War is up to date concerning current events in the Mideast and includes Skip's comments during his December tour of the Gaza border and a video link to Skip's interview in Jerusalem. The new book, Israel at War, is our gift to you this month to anyone who encourages the growth of Connect with Skip with a gift of $50 or more.

Make your financial vote of support at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Israel at War will give you Skip's insight from over 40 trips to Israel and decades of Bible study. I know the Middle East seems like a very complex situation.

It's actually pretty basic. One side wants the other side dead. On one side you have a Jewish nation, a Jewish state called modern day Israel. Israel wishes to exist as a sovereign state living in peace. Most Palestinians and other Arab nations, not all, but many of them, deny the right of Israel to exist. Receive Israel at War by Skip Heitzig with your gift.

Go to connectwithskip.com or call 1-800-922-1888. Okay, we're in Joshua 2 as we begin today's lesson with Skip. As you turn to Joshua 2, let me begin by telling you a little story that is true. You know how court reporters are given the task of writing accurately word for word what happens in courtroom proceedings? What they do is vital to the legal process. Well, because they are court reporters, they report everything that goes on. Here is something that was actually said in court word for word taken down by a court reporter.

Now you just have to picture the scene of an attorney putting a physician on the stand and peppering him with questions. Doctor, before you perform the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? No. Did you check for blood pressure? No.

Did you check for breathing? No. So then, is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

No. How can you be so sure, doctor? Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. But, could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere. You know, some things just make common sense when you add up all the facts.

Right? We have in chapter 2 of Joshua the story of a woman in Jericho who added up all of the facts and came to the conclusion of the reality of God. Based upon what she discovered, what people around her were saying, it made sense, perfect sense, for her to believe in that God. I have a friend who comes up with all these funny little sayings, and he likes to say, people change, but not that much. And unfortunately, with some people, that is true.

Seems like they're changing, but not all that much as time goes on. Paul said they have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. Some people seemingly come to Christ. There's a veneer of faith, a thin layer of faith, a thin layer that gets worn away very quickly when trouble hits. Jesus even gave a parable about the human heart being like soil. It receives the truth, but he said sometimes the soil is shallow, like a shallow heart, and the person receives the truth, and there's joy and emotion and tears that are shed, and it seems like there's really something going on, but Jesus said after a while they fall away because they're shallow, like a shallow heart. On the other hand, some people experience profound change.

It's not just a veneer. It's all the way to the core, and you see it played out in that person's life. Such a person was Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho. She comes out to us in chapter two of the book of Joshua. She is a harlot in a pagan culture.

She's a street walker. You could call her the shady lady of Jericho, but she was changed. She was transformed. She was transformed from the house of shame into God's hall of fame, from prostitute to princess, from harlot to heroine, from somebody who walked in the night to somebody who walked in the light, and all of that was demonstrated, shown by a token. She threw out as a demonstration of her faith a cord, a rope of scarlet, a scarlet-colored rope out the window.

We're in Genesis 2, and we need to sort of get the story to get the setting. Chapter two, verse one, now Joshua the son of... I prefer saying Nun. That'd be the Hebrew pronunciation.

To say the son of Nun, depending on your background, religious background, just doesn't play well. So Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly saying, go view the land, especially Jericho. So they went and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab and 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.

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. Then the woman took the two men and hid them. And so she said, yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they came 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. But she had brought them to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she laid in order on the roof.

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, she shut the gate, or 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 the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, that 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 what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were 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. Now, therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you will also show kindness to 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. So the men answered her, our lives for yours.

In other words, deal. 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. Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall. She dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, get to the mountain lest the pursuers meet you.

Hide there three days until the pursuers have returned afterward. You may go your way. So the men said to her, we will be blameless of this oath of yours, which you have made, I swear, 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, so it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head. We will be free, or we will be guiltless. Whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath, which you made us swear.

And then she said, according to your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed, and she bound the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua sent out two spies.

Why? Deuteronomy 19 says, by the mouth of two witnesses, every word will be established. General Joshua wants to find out what's going on on the other side of the Jordan River. So he sends out special ops, two guys who can reconnoiter the area, be reconnaissance, gather information, let Joshua know what's going on. The question is, why did Joshua send out just two spies when Moses, years earlier, sent out 12 spies?

Well, you know the story, right? He sent out 12 spies. Ten of them had a bad report. Only two of them, Joshua was one, and Caleb, his buddy, had a good report. The bad report spread so that the people of Israel did not believe God's promise. So Joshua, 38, 40 years later, goes, forget the 10. All I need is, like the Marines, a few good men, just two good men. You see, with God's economy, sometimes less is more.

So he decided, instead of 12, I'll just send out two. Another question, why Jericho? Why is that the first city? Well, if you were poised on the Jordan River, that would be the first city, geographically, that you would see right in front of you.

But I think there's another reason. It's not just because they could see Jericho, but there was somebody in Jericho whom they could not see, but God could see. God saw her heart.

Her name was Rahab. And God wanted to reach that woman, so they needed to go to Jericho for that to happen, because Rahab will end up in the genealogical record of the Lord Jesus Christ. So it's sort of like, in John 5, Jesus goes north, and it says, but he needed to go through Samaria. If you know the area, you would ask, why does he need to go through Samaria? Samaria is dangerous. It's out of the way.

It's in the hill country. Why not just go straight up the Jordan River? Because there was a woman in Samaria who was ready to believe in the Savior. And so to reach that woman, Jesus went to reach this woman. They go, these two spies.

These two spies. The love of God is like the Amazon River flowing down to water a single daisy. And that daisy is named Rahab. Now let's consider a few things, shall we, in this chapter? First of all, her status. We know her status. It says in verse 1, she was a harlot. She's a prostitute, street walker, woman of the night, a madam. She was a harlot. Now, I found it interesting that many commentators who write about the Book of Joshua try to sanitize Rahab and say, well, she may not have been an actual prostitute.

The word in Hebrew is a little fuzzy. Maybe she was just an innkeeper. She kept a way station. All of that, I believe, is true. I think she was an innkeeper.

She did keep a way station. But it says she's a harlot. And by the time you get to the New Testament, and they use the Greek language, the word is used pornein. That's the Greek word for harlot. Pornein, we get our word pornography from it.

Pornein always and only means, when it's used in that form, a harlot, a prostitute. Herbert Lockyer writes on this and says, both Jewish and Christian writers have tried to prove that Rahab was a different woman from the one whom the Bible always speaks of as a harlot. To them, it's abhorrent that such a disreputable person could be included in the Lord's genealogy.

But that's the whole point. The whole point of Rahab, in fact, the whole point of most of the biblical record, is God's grace that God saves undeserving people. Ephesians chapter 2, by grace you have been saved through faith, not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, not by works, lest anyone should boast. It's grace.

But let's be honest. Respectable folks are uncomfortable with God choosing a prostitute. Surely there's better people in Jericho than Rahab. How about the king of the city or the mayor or one of the judges at the gates? Somebody of finer reputation.

Let me ask you something. If God were going to destroy Albuquerque and save only one person, who do you think he'd choose? Some of you might think, well, he'd probably choose somebody like a police chief or fire chief or mayor or benevolent person who's well known in the community, maybe a prominent pastor.

But if we follow this story, maybe the one person he would choose would be a crack-addicted prostitute, somebody on Central, somebody homeless, an ex-criminal, or a current criminal. You know, we sing a song, we know it all, it's called Amazing Grace, right? We all know the song. We sing it. We like it.

I don't know that we believe it. When we sing the first verse, Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Saved a wretch like me. Oh, we sing the song, but we think, I'm not a wretch.

My counselor told me I need better self-esteem. I'm not going to say I'm a wretch. That's bad juju. So we sing it saved a wretch like me, but inside we may be thinking, Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like him or her. But you see, that song was written by John Newton.

John Newton was a slave trader, a human trafficker in England. And when he realized that God could turn a slave trader into a songwriter, there was only one word that could capture it. Amazing. That's Amazing Grace.

How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. So Rahab's status is important. We need to, we need to identify her, what it says she is. She was a harlot. She was a prostitute.

She was a street walker. There was a little girl who loved her collection of dolls. She had a complete collection of dolls. And get this, every morning she would make her bed.

And she'd like, first of all, that's amazing. And then she'd line up all her dolls in a row, nice and pretty. She had this beautiful collection of dolls.

She was so proud of it. One day a visitor came and asked a little girl, of all your dolls, which one is your favorite doll? Little girl said, do you want to see my favorite doll? She went to her closet and she took out a doll that they would throw away at goodwill. It had one eye. Most of its hair was missing. Its neck was sort of dangling by one little sliver of plastic. Tattered clothes, one shoe gone, one shoe on, one little doll foot.

Just a mess. And the visitor said, and why do you love this doll so much? And the little girl said, because if I didn't, nobody would. That's Rahab. Who would love Rahab? Who would pick Rahab, God?

God has chosen the foolish things of this world. So that's her status. She was a working prostitute.

Now consider her service. Verse four, five, and six tell us what she did is she took these two men, these spies, and hid them from being found out by those who lived in Jericho. She hid them in stalks, it says, of flax. Her home was on the wall, the periphery of the city. Now in ancient cities like this, there was not just a wall, there were two walls called a casement wall and there was a wall and then an inner wall and it was filled in with rubble to fortify it. So it would be impenetrable, hard to get through.

Not only was rubble put in between the two walls, but sometimes little cross sections of wall were put in for storage rooms or for living quarters. That's where she lived. She would have had a window facing outside the wall. She would have had the main entrance from the inside. Because of where she was situated, everybody in town or those living near here could see who's going in and who's coming out, so they found out a couple men were there. But that was the one place you could go in Jericho as an outsider and be welcome.

This inn, this way station. And what a perfect place for reconnaissance, because a harlot would hear from all the men every night who came in that city, all about what they thought, all about what their fears are, all the news they've heard, so they could get a lot of information from this woman. Now just a side note, it mentions flax here. They would harvest this flax, they would put it on the rooftops to dry by the sun. But this indicates that her family worked in the agricultural trade. Not only did she have an inn, not only was she a prostitute, but they worked in the harvesting of flax. Flax is linseed.

So it's a kind of a delicate plant with blue flowers from 5,000 BC all the way that far back. People were harvesting linseed or flax and they would extract the oil. They would then weave the fibers of this plant into linen, that's where linen comes from, and they would make rope out of it as well.

So it was quite useful. So they would bundle it up after it dried into these bundles, these stalks, which were about three to four feet tall. And so these two spies were hiding behind the bundles of flax.

Nobody could see them. When she hid them, it was a demonstration that she believed so much in their mission and in their God. We're going to see that in just a minute, that she hid them.

In fact, in Hebrews 11 verse 31, we're told, by faith, the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe when she had received the spies with peace. So that's her status and that's her service. What I'd like you to think about now is her salvation.

And it comes in phases. She is a work in progress. First of all, I want you to notice she heard about God. Look at verse 10. She says to these men, for we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you.

This is 38, 40 years before. When you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these sayings, our hearts melted.

Neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you. She heard that. She heard those stories. She heard about the Red Sea. She heard about this ragtag group of ex-slaves conquering standing armies of two nations. And they were migrating toward their land.

Now they're right across from Jericho, two, three million of them barreling down on the Canaanites. She heard that. They heard that. They heard that. Everybody heard that. What's interesting is what she says. Her testimony about what they, the people of Canaan, were actually thinking is amazing. She said, we heard that and we freaked out.

I'm paraphrasing. We flipped out. Our hearts melted. There was no more courage in us.

Wait, wait, wait, wait. That is not what the 10 spies said 38 years before when Moses sent out 12, 10 came back and said, it's a beautiful land, but there's giants in the land. And we're like grasshoppers in their sight and in our sight. Joshua and Caleb quieted the people and said, our God's big. We can take the land. God made us a promise.

We can easily take this land. When they said that, the people of Israel almost killed them, stoned them. That's Skip Hyten with a message from his series, Bloodline, tracing God's rescue mission from Eden to eternity. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com.

God's desire is for all humanity to know him intimately and personally, and he's revealed himself in the pages of scripture so we can do that. That's why we share these messages to help you connect to God through his word and grow in your relationship with Jesus. And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and so many others around the world, helping others grow and connect with God. To give a gift today, just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate.

That's connectwithskip.com slash donate. Thank you. Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message and discover what happens when you include God in your hard situations. Difficulty, your difficulty that you're facing today, must always be measured by the capacity of the agent doing the work. If it's up to you and you're doing the work and you're fighting the battle alone, it can crush you. It seems so big, it's insurmountable, but you insert God into the equation. It's not difficult. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 07:40:04 / 2024-03-21 07:50:21 / 10

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