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Faith From the Unlikely - Hebrews 11:29-31

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
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June 26, 2020 1:00 am

Faith From the Unlikely - Hebrews 11:29-31

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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June 26, 2020 1:00 am

From a human standpoint, Rahab's name doesn't belong in Hebrews 11. She wasn't Jewish; her people were wicked and under the severe condemnation of God; she was an adulterer by profession. Yet, even she ends up being a hero of the faith!

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Faith is willing to follow God, even when it seems ridiculous. We walked around this wall 12 times and not one loose but they to a man or woman they said but we shall walk around the city. We will raise our voices in a shout of triumph breeze blew that long note of this trumpet and all the people began to shout and I think even to their own amazement walls, but in the story, there's an important character who's easy to overlook a woman named Rahab from a human standpoint.

Rahab's name doesn't really belong in Hebrews 11 she wasn't Jewish. Her people were wicked and under condemnation and she was a prostitute by profession, despite all that she ended up in this hero's hall of faith. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Devi has a lesson for you, entitled faith from the unlikely and he'll remind you that your past does not dictate your future if you ever Bibles over the Hebrews chapter 11 to cover the next two entries here regarding the Israelites and Rahab numbers 29. You'll notice that were going to shift from Moses to the plural pronoun which includes the entire people of Israel.

Notice by faith they have in circle the word they I recommend you circle that in your text. By faith. They much as Moses, but all of them passed through the Red Sea, as though they were passing through dryland and the Egyptians when they attempted it were drowned. All that said, is that one verse and know what 80 verses from the book of Exodus are condensed into that one verse and wheeling up time we don't we cant dare turn back to the book of Exodus, which I did in my study, so let me just sort of review for you. It's a familiar story. One thing you need to know which makes Hebrews 1129 really stand out is that the Israelites leaving Egypt and everything is going smashingly wonderfully until I get word that Pharaoh's army is coming after them somewhere along the way. Pharaoh said what in the world was I thinking I just let our entire host of unpaid laborers go free, we gotta go get them back now.

Thereafter them. The Israelites are pinned down. There are mountains on one side, a desert, playing on another Red Sea in front of them and soldiers behind the virtually stock and they say this to Moses in a quote from the account in Exodus, I said this to Moses where there are not enough graves in Egypt that you've taken us away to die in the wilderness and there's faith for it and it didn't we tell you to leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians.

It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness that does not sound like faith. What is Hebrews doing including them will get that in a moment, but you need to understand course the liberals and the critics are going quick to point out that the Red Sea can be translated Sea of Reeds, so they conclude. This is not what we think about.

We think of the historic location of the Red Sea. This is just this is just a shallow knee-deep marshy and overgrown Creek wasn't much of a C at all. It would have been nothing miraculous for them to wade across okay. But isn't it a little embarrassing them and then the Egyptian army will drown in knee-deep water. They learned the swim in the shallow end. No Red Sea had an average of about 1800 feet deep sea is deep enough to cause the children of Israel to assume they are hopelessly pinned down and there's absolutely no way out. Their first response is fear not faith. I love Moses commanded the people of fear which transforms them into a people of faith, he said this in Exodus chapter 14 stands still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will accomplish for you today is going to do something for you. You will never see the Egyptians again forever.

The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent. By the way, in Hebrews 11, you have two events in the same command is repeated in both event, be quiet when You Cir., Jericho be quiet when when the Egyptians come upon you being be silent just just be quiet and and watch and a lot of that because God asks them to do something, but he asked them to do.

The only thing they can do be quiet and watch. There's a key principle of faith you're taking notes faith in his willingness to obey God, even when it seems hopeless even when it seems hopeless.

Were told again in the fuller account that God caused in East Windows sweep in. He divided the waters into he didn't divide the waters with the wind. The wind dried out that riverbed so that the next morning. A few hours later, nearly 3 million Israelites are given a low risk their lives and by faith walk in between two walls of water.

Now this point you may have an image in your mind of Moses that long gray hair and a and a beard, and he looks like Charlton Heston and any got this narrow passageway where Israelites were walking 2 x 2 you know, shoulder to shoulder and I'm not quite what would it have taken to get millions of people across a dry riverbed quickly enough so that in the morning watch there already through it and then the Egyptians Dr., Arthur Pink in his commentary on this passage said there are 3° of faith. The first is a faith that receives your kind like empty beggars is how we got saved we could do anything but receive it. The second is a faith that reckons that is it. It counts on God to fulfill his promises.

Even though we don't have to do anything about it. And the third is a faith that risks this is a faith believes the promise of God, and it has to do something so that that faith can be demonstrated through their risk their daring this is the faith of Daniel as he runs to meet Goliath. This is the daring of Elijah who summons all of the false prophets to mount caramel. This is the daring of the apostles who defied the authority and said we will not stop preaching the gospel now this is the daring of the Israelites, they can't stay on the other side the well okay Lord we believe the promise and they got walk down that drive riverbank wall of water divided. Perhaps one of them dismounting higher and higher, cutting off the light of the sun you walk through it, you risk everything you can just believe, you just can't receive. You gotta do and they did.

This is one of the greatest corporate acts of faith in the lives of people who consistently failed course Hebrews 11 informs us here. The Egyptians came after them in private. God calls that dry riverbed to immediately begin to draw moisture their wills bogged down in those two walls of water came rushing toward them with such unbelievable fury that every one of them to a man died and historians record that it will be nearly 35 years before Egyptians will even venture near the Red Sea again.

God used unlikely people who'd really done nothing but fail.

Through him, he demonstrated his promise not now versus a 30 by faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they've been encircled for seven days. Again, it's possible to look at the skill can all about that story of fiber this a few times will slow down.

You need to understand first of all there's a 40 year gap between verse 29 and verse 30. Maybe it will help to write that in the margin. Your Bible 40 year gap at least the Israelites who crossed the Red Sea are not the same Israelites crossed the Jordan who are now facing the city of Jericho. In this particular story takes place. A generation later in the book of Joshua and this is a different group of Israel. This time the writer of Hebrews is going to condense 83 verses into these two verses that if you went back to the Journal of Joshua. This time, you discover the full story. The Israelites had just crossed the Jordan River.

Again, God miraculously divides the water. People walk across.

He doesn't really mention that, but this time there trusting God to lead them on their way as they move into the land is been promised. They bring and enter. First stop is this wall the fortress of Jericho. We learned as children. Many of us that classic old spiritual Sunday school right. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho. Joshua fought the battle Jericho Joshua fought the battle Jericho and what walls came tumbling down. Jericho barred the entrance into Canaan. It's a massive fortress standing in their way.

The city was armed to the teeth. It was well-equipped. It was heavily armed and here stand the Israelites and most of them all lived their lives as far I remember this would've been the city where the spies 40 years earlier had come back to report.

Deuteronomy chapter 1 and report included these words and are talking about Jericho. Think about it in that context. Now report said the spies said the people are bigger and taller than we are, in their city walls reach to have been in that report had thrown Israel into such a panic this and we can go any further than the ended up wandering for 40 years in the wilderness to those spies had said no, no, we can do it we can do it, but will trust the promise of God. Those two young spies are now 40 years older.

One of them is the commander named Joshua, I love the fact that Joshua and Caleb are back there.

Back there. Back now and they're looking at that same fortress 40 years older than 40 years to wait to think and to prepare and now the strategies given to Joshua and he was probably surprised.

Here's the strategy. I'll review it for you if you're younger in the faith. You may not know this soldiers priest and people to imply that the people walk around the city of Jericho once a day for six days there to walk in such a way. The priest at the front of the liner carrying the Ark of the covenant, and seven priests are blowing on trumpets made of rams horns and the people behind on the seventh day there a walk around the city seven times and then one of the priest is going to give a long blast on his trumpet, and all of the people are gonna look at that city and shout in the waterfall.

That's great is your Plan B by any chance know that's it.

I've tried to imagine that scene from the other side.

Can you imagine soldiers up on the walls looking down at this procession. Can you imagine you know when a meal down to the Israelites and one of the world are you doing that what you doing down there.

Imagine a conversation it it didn't happen is are not talking but suppose it did. What were were conquering your city all house that what were going to walk around your city once a day for six days. Oh wow, what then will they were going to walk around it seven times on the seventh day while you're scaring me stop and what that well and then another priest is going to blow on is strawberry a shot at your walls and oregano all day. We can take it.

Stop. We know the conversation didn't happen couldn't happen because part of God's command was that all the people remain absolutely silent during their March around the city. It was as much a demonstration of them to remain silent as it was for them to shout and forget that both were the will of God which is by the way such wisdom from the Lord because can you imagine that the potential grumbling in the ranks. You know day for the one stone of this wall has budged. I mean, will be building ladders to dig some tunnels. It will build some humongous slingshot or something that you know we can like that one author said it this way.

How much mischief is created by people perpetually talking about the difficulties of the task confronting us listen. He writes all real Christian service is beset with difficulties. Satan will see that they could travel around that city wall and after seven days be so upset and so infuriated and and so divided, so fat sendoff that no one would have a voice to yell on the seventh day God in his wisdom knew human nature well enough that even though they were trusting him the best thing they could do was remain quiet especially in light of the strange strategy Hudson Taylor missionary Piner to China said there are three stages to God's will impossible difficult done there will always be difficulties and always be challenges there will be disappointments. Frankly, as we attempt to demonstrate through us as a collective body faith. We had to understand that we are fallen sinners joining hands with fallen sinners to reach fallen sinners. The gospel sometimes it's helpful to just be quiet and work. There is no such thing as an opportunity for God without opposition from the enemy infected and said that the greater the opportunity, the greater the opposition and I just finished this past week biography that Norm Johnson and in one of the chapters. He's baptized one of the petty chiefs in Burma.

It was the highest official that he had ever baptized the come to faith in Christ and in Burma and a huge crowd that showed up and they they line the river, and as soon as that chief came up out of the water of the crowd began to laugh. Why don't fool that chief what a crazy ordinance when here in our assembly.

When people are baptized we clap. Imagine being baptized. Knowing when you come up out of the water.

You can be surrounded by people mock you can imagine these armies up on that warming.

They spent seven days laughing and cheering and mocking and hurling blasphemy upon blasphemy down upon the heads of these farmers what a test of. Here's a key principle that only as faith, willingness to obey God, even when it seems hopeless.

Secondly, faith is willingness to follow God, even when it seems ridiculous.

We walked around this this wall the city wall.

12 times and not one loose pebble, not one little rumble not one change jeering blasphemy hurled down on us for six days me what kind of military strategy. Is this in the first place. How could we've come so far for nothing but by faith, obedience, and following God even when it seems ridiculous. They to a man or woman they said, but we shall walk around the city for the 13th time we will do it.

We will raise our voices and a shout of triumph payment at this fortress of unbelief.

We will do it. They didn't priest blue that long note on his trumpet, and all the people began to shout and I think even to their own amazement.

The walls came tumbling down out of the getting a look at each other and said, yet we knew that up. I get to your breath away and marched into the city and took that city stunned cities.

It was captive judging. It is the instrument of God as he promised now and they had 40 years to repent and refute faith keeps walking impossible difficult done start all over again impossible difficult done start over again impossible difficult done story is even better. Even richer, I want you to notice one personal vignette of faith tucked inside this amazing national act of faith in verse 31 were introduced to another unlikely person of faith. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who are disobedient after she'd welcomed the spies in peace. Here's a sentence, you would never imagine reading in the Bible by faith Rahab the harlot talk about famous for all the wrong reasons we talk about connections she had all the wrong ones, but the last person you'd ever think would be converted to faith in the living God. But that's what she heard the stories Joshua's Journal again tells us that she told the spies who come I've heard all about your God I got. I even heard the story growing up about you crossing note this the red sea at the Jordan.

They just crossed 40 years earlier. I heard we all heard about how God divided the water and you all walked across the dry riverbed is God divided the red sea and she said, and our hearts melted within us. It only set 40 years ago when the spies returned and said although there are giants in the land and cities with walls reaching up to heaven, a reference to Jericho will never be able to do it and everybody panics. Now we learn the 40 years earlier, their hearts melted, they were terrified the tragic to think that was the real story all along, ready to be taken if not converted, terrified of the miraculous power of God. Now you have this harlot with more faith than the entire generation of Israelites because she said when I heard that you walked through the Red Sea, I knew and I'm quoting it Joshua to.

I knew that the Lord had given you the land, and that your God was the God of heaven and earth, the Israelites had marched through the Red Sea and they came to the conclusion we can do it.

This prostitute heard the story and she said all after I heard that happened, I knew you were following the true and living God. She said I to the spies of the come in this time hideaway. She's a new he was the real God. And here's what I love. She said to them effectively and can I come with you to think your God would accept somebody like me.

They said absolutely he taught at red rope on your window sill and will see it.

Recent research indicated that red rope was actually used by prostitutes to indicate business was open when Arthur said she lived in the red rope district you put it out there. You act as normal as you possibly can.

Even though business would close down, she moved her family and the weight and when they came she was ready she is to stay current tire future on God redeeming her harlot the grace of God to accept her faith is our willingness to forget the failure of our past and risked everything about her future as we obey God. Rahab is rescued after the walls fall that she and her family is along for godly, Israelite name salmon meets her, and he is so moved by where she'd been and how she believed in what she risked and what she abandoned her faith, he said this. This is the woman I've been waiting for all of my life and he proposes and she accepts and get this. He's one of the princes of Judah. He's in the royal line of the Messiah in this mixed couple Jew and Gentile have a little boy in the name of Boaz Boaz grows up hearing the testimony from his mom's own lips about past her faith and her risk didn't ruin his life either fact he grew up watching his faithful Jewish father and his faithful Gentile mother and his little heart is prepared to do the same because he's gonna grow up Marion Gentile woman who had a past of idolatry. Couple generations later. Their great-great-grandson will be named Dave is in King looked at Rahab's pass future will have pass engine are not so distant future for Jesus Christ was born of mixed blood, Jew and Gentile come to call the bride when I mixed blood every tribe and nation.

Imagine your future if you ever felt that you made too many mistakes to ever be used by God. No matter where we've been or what we've done. God can redeem us and use us and give us a glorious future.

I hope today's timing God's word has been a tremendous encouragement to you.

Thanks for tuning into wisdom for the heart are Bible teacher Stephen Devi has two more lessons to go in this series through Hebrews 11 will bring you those next week I want to remind you once again that this series is the basis of Stephen's latest hardback book entitled Hebrews 11.

This book would make a great addition to your library of biblical resources, and I encourage you to call us to learn how you can get a copy. Our number is 86 648 Bible. It's also available in the store on our website which you'll the July issue of heart-to-heart magazine will be arriving in mailboxes very soon. We've been hearing from readers telling us how much they've enjoyed it, and especially the daily devotionals. Those devotionals are written by a member of the wisdom team and are a great way to keep you in God's word daily sure and ask about how you can get heart-to-heart magazine when you call. Have a great weekend and join us Monday for more wisdom for the heart

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