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Words of Life / Salvation Army
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August 14, 2022 1:59 am


Words of Life / Salvation Army

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August 14, 2022 1:59 am

This week in our series with Helen Starrett she shares the story of an unlikely Bible hero. Rahab. This story is a perfect example of God’s grace- using someone the world may see as an outcast- to do something incredible for His kingdom.

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Love doesn't discriminate.

It doesn't pick and choose. When there's so much to fight against, love fights for. When others flee, love runs to ward. And when darkness prevails, love remembers its strength. For 156 years, the Salvation Army has loved all who feel lost.

With your help, we'll never stop. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum.

And I'm Bernie Dake. Well, Bernie, this week in our series with Helen Starrett, she shares the story of an unlikely Bible hero, Rahab. This story is a perfect example of God's grace using someone the world may see as an outcast to do something incredible for his kingdom. Okay, so full disclosure, as a young man who had just accepted Jesus into my heart, I had a mentor that suggested, or thought that if he could get some stories that were more compelling into my brain or into my heart, that I might be more apt to want to read the Bible, like a novel as opposed to just a study guide.

And he was right, because this is one of those stories. This is a prostitute that is doing ill in her community, but God used her for good. She turned her life around. You said it earlier, she was redeemed. This is the story of salvation, right? We're all sinners, right? And Christ enters the picture in our own lives, and he redeems us from that sin, you know, and we all have tainted pasts.

So the truth of the matter is I think this is, again, God using something that we're all accustomed to in our own lives. You know, I think that sometimes as we mature in our Christianity, we forget where we came from. And so we tend to have a more righteous kind of outlook on things in regards to holier than thou. But we're sinners, right? All have fallen short of the glory of God. Amen. The Salvation Army is a holiness movement, and so we believe that, you know, through sanctification that we can live a holy life. But the truth is that Satan is out there prowling. He wants to kill, steal, and destroy. So it's a war, literally, where we're constantly being tested, in a sense, and without God's strength, you know, we could fall victim.

Now, let's stick to Rahab. This is a woman who was doing fine in her community. She was an entrepreneur, you might say.

But people needed her help, and she had literally a come-to-Jesus moment where she realized what she could do and distract some people so others could get away. It's a compelling story. And as our listeners, we hope that you are compelled to listen to Lieutenant Colonel Helen Starrett as she shares her perspective on the story of Rahab.

Welcome. Mission Impossible, our popular movies today. Intrigue, lies, undercover work is all part of a spy's work. We will see all of these components in our Spying on Jericho segment today. Israel is preparing to enter the Promised Land, ready to claim their inheritance from God. The Israelites lost their way 40 years before. And now, the next generation is ready to follow God's leading.

We find Rahab's story recorded in Joshua 2 and 3. Joshua sends spies to check out the city of Jericho. They're ready for this mission. The Israelites don't know how they're going to do battle, but they're ready. I think they still think they're going to take Jericho by force.

They're ready to take action. This is a very familiar story, where the Israelites walked around Jericho for seven days, and on the seventh day, the trumpet blasted and the walls of the city fell. The people of Jericho were destroyed. The walls of Jericho fell because the people of Jericho were against the Lord. Overall, they did evil in the sight of the Lord.

The Lord had promised this land to his people, so Israel had to rid the city of anything evil so God's people could have the land. Rahab, our incredible woman in our spy story today, was a prostitute. Out of everyone who could have helped the spies, a Canaanite prostitute was not someone that they expected.

And not only did she help and save the spies, a Canaanite prostitute is in the lineage of grace. Humans tend to select individuals whose appearance, their looks, their height, their build, meet their standards. We don't necessarily choose from the ordinary line for important responsibility.

God chooses, and he chooses us to do extraordinary service for his purposes. Rahab's story is one of sacrifices, redemption, and hope. Her story is like a Mission Impossible movie. The intrigue?

Where did the secret agents just happen to stay when they arrived? The house of a prostitute named Rahab. Now scripture says she was a woman who sold the use of her body.

We can't clean this up, we can't wish it away, and she was chosen by God to be rescued from certain death, and she is included in Jesus' family tree. A bit of background and construction information. There were two walls surrounding the city of Jericho, 20 feet to 30 feet thick. They were about 15 feet apart from one another, which allowed Rahab's house and others like it to be built in between these two walls. She had a view of those entering the city, and also what was happening in the city.

It was a perfect location, and a perfect location for her financial success in her trade. The spies were able to get a close look at the wall, which was the city's chief defense against an attack. Rahab's house also provided a way for a quick escape if necessary.

Now it's amazing how fast news travels without social media. Spies in the city. The king sends men to Rahab's house and demanded that she give up the spies. She was very clever and had hidden Joshua's secret agents under the stocks of flax drying on her roof. Rahab admits the men came to her, but did not tell the complete truth when she said she did not know where they were now. Yes, she lied, but it was to protect the good guys that God had sent to her. The king's men leave, and immediately Rahab goes to talk with the spies.

A deep discussion takes place. During that time, we see Rahab's confession of faith as it takes place on the roof. Rahab was raised in pagan idolatry. She knew about the Israelites, most likely from visitors coming to the city. She admits that residents of Jericho were afraid of the Israelites.

She confesses the Israelites' God is the God of heaven and earth. Faith is the opposite of fear and requires action. Rahab chose faith in the face of fear, and it led to her family being delivered from death. Her faith was tested by what she did more than what she thought about the situation.

She could have passed on helping the spies. She confessed her faith in God before anything was done for her. She could not know for certain that her family would be spared, but she had faith. The smallest step of faith can activate an extraordinary miracle. A statement of fact and a confession of faith led to her salvation.

So it is with us, for it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Rahab now talks to the secret agents about what she wants. She got some bargaining chips. She wants her entire family to be saved when the imminent destruction of Jericho takes place. After all, she's put her life on the line to hide them and give them information.

They agree and seal it with our lives for your lives. They tell her she must put the scarlet cord at her window and only those inside her house will be saved. Rahab and her family were saved by her faith in God, not the scarlet cord hanging out the window. The scarlet cord proved her faith just as the blood on the doorposts in Egypt proved the Israelites inside believed God's word.

It takes courage to overcome the past and to assume risk. Rahab did both. The Bible does not hide the failings of people, and Rahab's reputation was definitely tainted by her past. She had to put her past behind her in order to move forward in God's plan for her life. She risked her life to protect the spies.

Love covers a multitude of sins. Her husband is mentioned in the book of Ruth, and we know that she bore a son that would lead to David, her great-great-grandson. God works today. He reveals His truth to those whose hearts are open, doing His mighty deeds through His people. We know how the story ends.

The walls come tumbling down. Rahab and her family are saved. Maybe you can relate to Rahab, maybe not.

If I was a songwriter, I would write a song for Rahab and maybe for each of us. I was, but now. I was on drugs, but now I'm clean. I was on the streets, but now I'm on my feet.

I was, but now. This is a song of God's grace. This is the work God did in Rahab's life. I was lost, but God found me. Hope may seem in short supply.

We may feel that things are falling down all around us, and we need a way out. Only when Rahab chose to place her lot with the people of God and hold to faith in Him was she able to escape judgment. Death became life as she combined her faith and works. Rahab became a faithful follower of God.

She married one of the spies. She's mentioned several times in the New Testament, reminding us that she's listed in the extraordinary lineage of Christ. This week, I pray God shows you the extraordinary in the ordinary. God bless you today. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit to offer your support, and we'd love to hear from you. Call 1-800-229-9965 or email us at radio at

Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store, and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews, and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 08:15:37 / 2023-03-12 08:20:24 / 5

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