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Rahab – No Longer a Wasted Woman (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 28, 2022 6:00 am

Rahab – No Longer a Wasted Woman (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 28, 2022 6:00 am

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She was unfaithful. She was a moral failure according to God, the only God of heaven and earth and she came to know that. Thank God, her story is a heroic one. She does not remain where we find her. She advances. She converts.

She becomes someone very beautiful and very wonderful in the scriptures, but the Bible never makes this mistake of downsizing sin. It says it like it is, that stuff will kill you dead forever. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 as he begins his message, Rahab, No Longer a Wasted Woman. I will read from Hebrews chapter 11 where our text is taken from. Verse 31, By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe when she had received the spies with peace. Now that is the New Testament statement about her. It is a dominant statement and that is why it is the text, but the story is found in Joshua 2 and in Joshua 6. I want to mention that we love the scripture because we know that what is written in the scripture helps us to live our lives and to serve our Lord. We believe this because we know that the scripture is infused with lessons from the Holy Spirit. God's touch is on all that we have preserved for us.

He is the one that has preserved it for us. A woman who was a moral failure, a waste of what God created a woman to be. There are many people like this in the scripture, male and female alike. There are many people in our lives that are like this. They are living beneath what God intended them to be in spite of sin, in spite of the fall, in spite of the flesh.

A problem with feeling like a failure is that most of us still feel pressured to function as though we are not. That is probably a good thing, but it can leave the individual with a greater sense of hypocrisy and I don't know of a solution for this experience except God and this is why the scripture, the New Testament, places such an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, that third person of the Trinity, moving in your life, being well received, being desired. Why should the Holy Spirit come into your life and you're really not that impressed with the idea of the Holy Spirit to begin with. In the Old Testament, it was righteousness. It was the Ten Commandments. The individual had to be drawn to thus says the Lord. In the New Testament, that doesn't go away, but it is broadened, it is expanded, and now there's this opportunity for me to host the Holy Spirit in spite of everything about me, so long as I come to him on the terms that are laid out before me in scripture.

And so we New Testament saints and the power of the Holy Spirit, we consider these things in the Old Testament as real events, real lives and God's response to them. So in my own life, when I feel like a failure, whether I am or not, I feel that way, this pressure, this demand to still perform. You parents know this. You know about this. You can be very scared of something, but you don't want your children to know you are afraid.

You don't want to spook them and you are, regardless of what the bills are doing or the health is doing, you still must function and you must function as a leader. And so this is part of the experience of life. God knows this.

That's the benefit to me. God knows all this. He has worked this equation out. He has the solution.

And if I would just hitch myself to him, it all will not only work out, but it will work fruit through my life into the lives of others who otherwise would know nothing of this experience. Many times, unbelievers feel it is noble of them to become advocates of the natives of various countries that have not the gospel. And so these advocates side against the missionaries who came in there and converted everybody. Ooh, bad missionaries stopping those people from cannibalism and from sexual perversion and all of the multitude of sins that were going on there. They cover that over.

They mask that over. Mark Twain thought himself cute when he said, well, the missionaries were preaching hell to the native Hawaiians who did not even know there was a hell to go to. And he thought that he was an advocate for common sense, for decency, and that the missionaries got it all wrong. But it was indeed Mark Twain who had gotten it all wrong. He did not understand that wherever the true word of God was preached, the pagan practices were stopped.

And any benefits that westerners might have received coming into those lands was because of the missionaries. But they don't want it to work out that way. They want the lie to be true because it offers them a place to hide from what God is doing. So this is what is happening here in Jericho.

And let me see if I can bring it all together. Here she is a failure. She knows that she is. She knows this isn't right. And we're not told what hardship, if any, planted her in this particular thicket of sin. I don't know how she got there, but there she is.

When the story shows up, she is already in business. And it is not a mere transference of our life and time to hers and saying, oh, this is a taboo. It should not have been done. No, it is not what God created human beings to be. And while some may sear their conscience with a hot iron in the process of living this out, not all do.

In fact, I'm not even quick to say most do. And so as mentioned, her story is told in the book of Joshua, but her testimony is recorded for us. It's broadcasted, if you will, in the letter to the Hebrews as our text spoke of by faith. The harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe when she had received the spies with peace. And then James, chapter 2, verse 25. Was not Rahab the harlot, also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way.

That's pretty blunt. Bluntly, the Holy Spirit tells us what she was before conversion. She was unfaithful. She was a moral failure according to God, the only God of heaven and earth. And she came to know that. Thank God, her story is a heroic one. She does not remain where we find her.

She advances. She converts. She becomes someone very beautiful and very wonderful in the Scriptures. But the Bible never makes this mistake of downsizing sin. It says it like it is. That stuff will kill you dead forever. That's what the Bible has to say about sin and nothing else. Really, at the end, at the end of it all, it says, this stuff is bad and there is no good in it. Jesus said, the devil has nothing in me.

And we are looking forward to the day when we can say the same thing. And so, the time will come when she will be so thoroughly cleansed, so thoroughly removed from her failure, that she is listed in the messianic line, Rahab to Boaz, to David, to Christ. In the messianic line, there is Rahab. And she did not drift into this position. God drew her in. She had a role to play. She had to consent to it, and that she did. And one of the great or the loud lessons that comes out of Jericho is that they all should have saw what she saw, but they did not, to their shame. And so, her situation, as to her situation, as with Sodom long before her time, she lived in a city whose guilt was now under the judgment of God. And by that I mean, they were always guilty in their sin, but now God was going to act on their sin.

It's what is happening to the walking dead. Those who are going to reject Christ to the end. Their judgment is sure.

It just has not been executed yet. And so, blunt also is God's description of all who are wrong with him. One who is wrong with Jesus Christ.

I don't mean stumbling, getting tripped up, but who have rejected him. The Bible says that person is condemned. Doomed, doomed, doomed. We don't say it this way anymore. We don't say they are damned, because it has been so misused, so cheapened by flooding, sort of flooding the market with it, that it's lost its value in the mind of the recipient, of those who hear it.

But its meaning has not lost its potency. If you're wrong with God, you are doomed. And here in Jericho on this day was a waste of a woman, a waste of a people who had become so decadent that God's only solution was to get them off the earth.

That is an accurate commentary on what is going on. By the time Jesus comes along, we read this, he who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. In the old King James, he would be damned. Second Thessalonians chapter 2, in speaking of the one who is energizing the Antichrist, is that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. There's your Jericho. Jericho enjoyed her unrighteousness. It was fun. The thing about fun is it has an immediate payoff to the sensations, but it always hurts someone.

It always ends up wrong. And in the end, very, very wrong and so serious again about as God is that the cross is God's opinion of sin. I am going to let my son suffer the shame and death of this cruel cross to deal with this issue of sin.

And so wherever her story is told, it must be told with the wrath of God surrounding it. You cannot just talk about the resurrection. You have to talk about the cross of Christ. You cannot just talk about the cross of Christ. You have to speak of the resurrection.

You cannot separate the two. Well, you cannot speak of Rahab without the judgment of Jericho. Without this judgment, without this army showing up of God, it never would have made a hill of beans of difference to us. Other armies have showed up to other cities and have dropped them and no one got saved.

Everyone died. In Jericho and the surrounding land of Canaan, which is about to fall also in a series of campaigns over the next couple of years or few years, vileness of every kind was elevated to an act of worship. Whatever vile act you could think of, it became a part of their worship. Whether it was sexual perversity, whether it was killing babies after they were born of all ages, children offered up to their pagan gods. Whatever it was, they elevate. What are the, whether we're stealing cities in honor of their God. Every vile act was elevated to a religious act. We're seeing this in our own lifetime. We see homosexuality becoming a sacred cow, if you will. It is what everything is all about. How does that happen? There's a real devil and real sinners.

You have to have the two. You had no sinners and Satan would really have no point of access. The portal of the demonic world is through the fallen nature. And we know it is true. And so, this is where she lived. This was her situation. And not only did she live in sin, she lived by sin.

It paid the bills. It's a logical thing to do. You cannot justify it any more than you can justify any other sin. On its extreme end, you can say the hit man who assassinates people, whether they're guilty or innocent, makes no difference. For a paycheck does not make it right. Her society happened to agree with her behavior.

And that really doesn't matter at the end of the day. It's what God, what God agrees with and disagrees with. And so dangling over her head and this city was this divine law, this divine statement that we're supposed to preach. And if we're not preaching it, we're not preaching. And it is simply this, the wages of sin is death.

That is it. That's the story with Jericho. The wages of sin is death.

In the end, you die, then you pay. Word had reached these inhabitants who were under this judgment of God long ago about the coming of this invincible army of Jews, who was really not a superpower, but really was a supernatural power. And everybody knew it. It wasn't a secret.

If you lived in this neighborhood, you knew the stories from 30, 40 years ago. From the time Moses was still in Egypt, the story began to circulate. What was happening in Pharaoh's court? And here we are, 40 years later, in this army of freed slaves and their descendants, first generation, a wilderness people who had everything to gain by taking the promised land. But the most important thing they had to gain was obedience to their God. Well, that's what everything was back then.

Everyone was trying to be obedient to their God. Which brand? Pick one. Through a process of elimination, you could easily arrive at the conclusion that God is wrong. Why? Because that God kills the innocent.

That's why. You should look at Islam and think there's anything redeeming about it, when in its own writings they support the violence that they produce. It's just very simple. Well, if that is God, then that's not right. That is not consistent with my idea of a supreme being who is good. That is consistent with my idea of an evil being, but not a good one.

And it has not changed in all this time. And this very simple way of looking at things is, I think, one of the first things the devil targets when he locks down an individual so that they cannot become free. But before we get to that part, and that is, hopefully I've saved the most powerful part of the message, if I may say so myself, to the end.

But in the middle, there's building up to this. There's so much to glean, so much to be reminded of. Talking about what Rahab saw and how she saw it. She saw what God was going to do before she even knew it was God showing her what he was doing and going to do. She was being exposed to divinity, true divinity. Not these fake gods that littered the landscape of Jericho and all of Canaan and everywhere else. This was different.

And though she was being drawn in and enjoying it, she still didn't understand it. Joshua sent two spies into the land. He wasn't going to go through this, okay, let's vote on it. Ten no, two yes. This is not up for a congregational vote. This is an executive decision. The executive being God.

We're going to take this land. I need two good men to go in and I need them to choose for me high-valued targets so we can get this show on the road. And he sends two men in whom he knows are righteous men. Not only are they stealthy and wise, but they're righteous.

Big part of the story. They're not men who are just capable like Joab. Joab was very capable.

He probably would have killed everybody in the city in one of his homicidal fits. But it's not a man like Joab. These two men were spies. That was their mission. They were righteous and they impressed Rahab enough to begin to give her a hope.

And so he sends these two men. And as I mentioned, they kindled her hope. There was a dread working in her.

She already knew this. They didn't really care. They go to the house of the harlot because it's also an inn. And where else are they going to go into this city? That was the hotel.

They're not going to go to the mayor's office. Hi, we're spies from Israel. We're about to conquer you.

We just want to see your defenses. So it's not like they were doing something wrong by going to her house. This was how it was done. It does not mean that they engaged her services.

Not at all. That would be a diabolical thought and certainly not from the scripture. But of all those, again, in Jericho, she alone saw beyond its destruction and saw beyond and entered beyond by faith. She entered beyond by faith as all those who have faith will enter. And that is what Hebrews 11 is all about.

All these people struggled with their personal struggles of the flesh. Yet they saw beyond this life and they are now in the next life in glory. The time that Hebrews was written, they were no longer in paradise. They were with Jesus in heaven.

And that's where they are now. And that's where every one of us who believe, we're going also. Now let me add this about the Holy Spirit and this being filled with the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible teaches there are cases where a person can be saved and not filled with the Holy Spirit.

But I believe that is less than what God wants because there's less He can do through it. But the real evidence of being infused or immersed in the Holy Spirit and therefore infused by Him is the love of Jesus Christ and the desire to do whatever He wants you to do. That is the great part of being not only born again but Jesus taking you and immersing you in the third part of the Trinity, immersing you in God, immersing you in the Spirit of God. And again, why should He do it to anyone who is going to undervalue that and claim salvation at the same time? So I encourage you to not undervalue what God wants to do to you and for you. And if you've experienced this filling of the Holy Spirit in the past but now it's kind of pitied out, then all you need to do is come for a refill. You just need to call out and say, Lord, again, fill me. Not immerse me again, that's a one-time event, but refill me.

Refit me for action, the power of your Holy Spirit. And so when those spies showed up at her door, she knew this was her one chance. She knew it. And as she began to talk with these men, she knew that they were men that she could indeed engage. They weren't like all the others that would come to her door.

These two men were different. That alone, that alone is significant. It tells the power of God that we can block if we're not careful.

It also tells of the power of God that can be unleashed if we are careful. And I love that part about the story because these two spies, you know, there were two angels sent into Sodom. They couldn't save the place.

They destroyed it. The two spies sent into Jericho. They couldn't save the place, but they could get out of Jericho, Rahab and her mother and her father and her sisters and her brother, brothers, plural. Then there are the two witnesses that will come to earth.

They can't save this place. But they are used to extract out of the Great Tribulation period the Great Tribulation saints who otherwise would have been doomed with everybody else. And so these lessons of God, they're all over the place. And one of the problems is, is when I'm struggling or maybe it's a time of boredom in my life or a time of waiting, which is very difficult when you have all of this energy for God, in those times we're vulnerable. Those times Satan can shoot us in the ankles if we're not careful. He can sweep us off our feet. You have to learn how to wait the right way for God.

How do you do that? You have to see what's beyond. You just have to wait.

You can't think about, well, what if I don't? You have to trust in what you do, what is, what has already happened. And that has to be sufficient, but I'm getting ahead of myself, and we'll come to that when we talk about Mrs. Lott.

But now, I mentioned this is her one chance. And I ask you to turn to Joshua chapter 2. Joshua chapter 2 verses 9 through 11 speaks about her hesitation. And there we read, and said to the men, this is Rahab speaking to the two spies, I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are faint-hearted because of you. Not you two guys, but you Israel. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea.

That's an old story. For how He dried up the Red Sea for you. Pause there with me.

I know I'm interrupting a lot of this, but I can't help the commentary. God dried up the sea for the people of God, but He didn't dry it up for the people who were wrong with God. That's what He does. He makes a distinction between those who are His and those who are not, and it is really just that simple. She says, He dried up the water of the Red Sea, Yam Suph, 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. Notice her emphatic statement. You blew the guys away. That's how we would say it today. You didn't just defeat them.

You utterly wiped them out. I'd love to see her eyes when she prays those words. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's Word each time you tune in.

As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, this teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com. That's crossreferenceradio.com. We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can do so at crossreferenceradio.com or search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app store. That's all for today. Join Pastor Rick next time for more character studies right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-01 11:30:50 / 2023-01-01 11:39:59 / 9

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