A Mom With a Checkered Past
In Matthew’s genealogy, Chapter 1 of this book is the genealogy of Jesus there are five women that are mentioned. There some a couple things I think we would all want to note about those particular circumstances, because really nothing outside about them is really that special apart from the grace of God. Five women are mentioned. Now in near Eastern culture, it is not usual at all for a woman to be mentioned in the accounts and yet in the genealogy of Jesus, that will be with us forever, God intended and left for us five different women.
One of them is Tamar. If you're at all familiar with the book of Genesis, you read chapter 38, she's the first that is mentioned in the genealogy and Tamar was one that was basically abused sexually. The second one, which is the one that we're going to view this morning, is Rahab and in several of her accounts that are mentioned in the Bible from the Old Testament and the New Testament, she is called Rahab the prostitute or Rahab the harlot, depending on your translation. The third of women that are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus, is Ruth. Ruth was a Moabite woman and basically came down the Moabites came down through the lineage of Lot and she was converted. As we know in the book of Ruth, how wonderful story her story is as your story is, and all of it though fades into the bigger story which is the story of redemption and Jesus. The fourth of accounts that the Bible makes note of, that is gonna be in the eternal write forever with us, is Bathsheba. Of course we know that the account of Bathsheba is one of adultery. So you have Tamar who is abused sexually, Rahab the prostitute, Ruth who is a Moabite woman who is converted in the most difficult and desperate times, you have Bathsheba who is caught up in adultery with David and then the one for sure you knew is Mary. She was simply a young virgin girl, and we certainly know that God could have used any virgin in Israel, but he chose to take Mary who faithfully disregards her own life as she cries out to God her Savior. Savior, of course, is an inclusive term in the Bible of an acknowledgment of the end of your own sin and need of repentance. Nothing in particular about Mary's life, outside of that she was a young virgin girl. For each of them, in each of their storylines that are given in the Bible, what we find and what we will see in Rahab’s story this morning is God's grace is at work. As we get into the account we're gonna read, I think you want to get your mind into this storyline here.
As we begin, I want to say this to the moms and the grandmom's this morning: no matter what has happened in your past, however guilty you may feel about how you raised your children, in the past or even currently, Jesus can take and wash away anything you've experienced. I know this from being in the same church for over two decades that sometimes, and this has been seen in particular on Father's Day where dad's won't even come on Father's day because of the guilt associated in their own home. I want you to understand this: that the gospel doesn't work that way, the gospel brings a guilt from conviction but it doesn't lead us into despair. However you're sitting here and and if Satan's beating you up or even your being your own self up with with the condition of your own home, mom I want you to rejoice this morning that the gospel is always a new and fresh start. Rahab, you know, and the providence and the wisdom of God in the text this morning because she clearly pictures for us God's grace at work.
Not one of us here this morning, a mother, not a mother, or even a female, sits here not sullied by our own sin. Our own dark closets of our own minds are battling engagement in the warring with our desire, war with our own sense. Right now all of us have some things you just don't want anybody to know about and not that everything should be confessed to people, nothing wrong with that because the Bible says to confess your own fault, but you understand what I'm saying. None of us go to the family reunion, your mother's immediate family or extended family where there have been lives ripped apart by sin. I guess what we see as we dip again to this text this morning into the account Rahab, friends there's hope here. Here is just a great account, there is hope and the hope is always Jesus in the Gospel. It's always Jesus in the Gospel and what God is feeling as seen in Hebrews chapter 11, is how Rahab's story fits in as the other stories do that we've looked. That Pastor Alex and I have brought to you, but especially this morning for moms, I want you to understand we're gonna see, even though she has a checkered past, she's a part of Jesus's genealogy, God takes her by the working of his grace and he changes lives. Let's be honest that's why we're sitting here. If he didn't do that, you none of us could be here. So mom if if you're sitting there and you're condemning yourself and and you're doing this or that, please don't do that to yourself this morning. In a sense, in a real way, releasing yourself from the prison of your own sin to freedom that the gospel gives and that Jesus desires to give because no matter your checkered past or even perhaps some current of your own failing God wants you freed so that you can enjoy him. The tendencies for mothers, and we all know this the dynamic of motherhood, they care so much it’s perhaps to either beat themselves up or perhaps if you're condemning towards other moms, you should take caution. You should not dwell on the inadequacies that you have or judge the inadequacies of maybe others that are under, you need some freedom. You need to release being so stressed out about everything. That's what the gospel promises. I can't give that to you, Pastor Alex can't give that to you, nor the elder board. God wants you to experience that in a very real way. I hope you're able to do that as we look this morning. Because let's be honest in the day we live up against it is always been true for Christianity since the attack on the first very first home, there is no tougher job than being a mom. I'm not saying that with lip service. I know what my mom did in the home I grew up in and I know what my dear wife does in our own home and her rustling for the sake of righteousness, plus of the myriad of other things that she fits in. Here is what I want you to get as we dip into this, which was certainly true for Rahab is you don’t have to be perfect. For whatever reason that's been on my mind a little, but I hope you understand that. You don't have to be perfect. I'm thankful for all of our sake the Christ was perfect and that we sit here now and we enjoy the salvation and we're gonna enjoy throughout the afternoon, the whole theme of motherhood as hopefully I don't burn things on the grill, because that can happen. God often does the unexpected and chooses the unlikely. It’s again a picture of his grace and certainly true and Rahab and what is left for her as a mom. What a reward because the Bible is going to be with us in the new creation. It's eternal when you contemplate that it is just just a beautiful picture here. So let's go back to Joshua chapter 2 and let's begin to look at Rahab's salvation. Her faith, as we just read from the account this morning in Hebrews chapter 11, because what's true for her is this true for us and so we're gonna look at this account. Ten truths, ten specific things that I'm going to point out through this storyline that were true for Rahab that are true for us. Read Joshua 2:1 God here gives us the account and says that the two spies go and they come into the house of Rahab the prostitute. Now turn to James 2, stay back in Joshua because we're gonna spend all our time there but I wanted to see this. I think it's important and you know I think sometimes we miss this. James 2: 24 - 25 you see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. I'll explain that and in the same way Rahab the prostitute was not justified by her works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way. We know this to be the truth of Christianity and the gospel that we are justified (justified meaning made acceptable to God by our faith). She's in the account right in Hebrews chapter 11 and what James is arguing there is the idea of justification, indicates that her works were proof that she had believed. Don’t get confused, the Bible is not contradicting itself. It's explaining itself. But I thought that's necessary to explain, and some of you may be confused by that. But my point, actually, by looking at that text is that Rahab once again is called Rahab the harlot (perhaps in your translation the prostitute) and she's she's called this in Joshua 2:1, in James 2:25 and also in our text of Hebrews 11:31. Now there's two types of prostitutes in the Bible, the first one is is one of cultic worship there were prostitutes in certain cults that were utilized for the sake of worship. As bizarre as that may sound that was the case. But that's not the type of prostitute that Rahab was. Rahab was rather the second one that we're look at let's go back to the text in Joshua 2 and I'll point this out to you and you kinda get what is actually happening here as to how salvation comes to her. The Bible tells us there again in verse two and they went and they came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodging there she at her home would've been a picture like if you watch old western movies like a saloon. It was a place not quite like a sports bar today it would be like a place that's not just for prostitution only it was a place like where people convene where people came together. The spies went there because community was being done, information was being passed, and she had this in her home obviously an established business as a Gentile. The Bible just lets us know what's going on because sometimes this is how in the world Rahab find out about this. This is where community took place in her home so it wasn't as if everybody went there for the sake of prostitution there was discussion. People met, and I guess the clearest way I could try to give you a picture that it again would be at a saloon type setting. The two spies, the Bible tells us, went there and they lodged there. Now what we want to know particularly about her salvation was the first point, it's always the first point, that people need to understand, that Rahab understood that she was a sinner. The Bible is quick to remind us of this truth. In the three texts that I read you this morning, Rahab was a sinner as all men are sinners, all of humanity are we set here in the seat as converted sinners. But nonetheless sinners miss the mark, that's what Romans 3:23 is “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” the picture is the one the shooting of an arrow we miss the bull's-eye. We fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God is perfection. Rahab is a sinner and the Bible reminds us of that and it is good to remind ourselves of that. Kevin is a sinner. Secondly under this issue look at this look at verse nine and Joshua chapter 2 in her recognition of her sin and her understanding, she knows that she is under judgment. Joshua 2:9, the Bible says this before the man lay down, she came to them where she hid them on the roof and said to the man I know look at this this is very important to look at what what the words of her mouth and the activity of her life say “I know that the Lord has given you the land and that the fear of you has fallen upon us for all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you,” she knows that the terror of the Lord has fallen on her people. They are under judgment, now remember this is a war type setting. This is a war type setting but yet in her establishment, in her home, and all of the community is discussing what is taking place prior to the two men coming into her home. She knows and she goes to the two spies and explains to them, “I know we're under judgment, I'm under judgment all of humanity is under judgment they are lost and under God's wrath.” John 3:36 tells us that the wrath of God abides on those who are lost, basically those who are without Christ, you and I are no longer under that condemnation. Jesus has taken our condemnation. Jesus took our condemnation you see this in Romans 5:1 and you see this in Romans 8:1, “there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” yet at this point when you read this in Joshua 2, she knows that her people and that she is under the judgment of God. What's tied to the Gospel that sometimes we underestimate and we should never underestimate, because I believe it's a part of the turning of conversion that God uses: God is angry, friends, with sin. Psalms 5:5 tells us that God is angry with the wicked every day, and it's manifested in that currently they are already under the judgment of God awaiting to be judged in the last day. The word the wrath of God abides on the lost in John 3:36 in the Greek is a present tense active verb which means that God is holding them under judgment, until that judgement is turned when we place our faith in Christ because Christ bears our judgment on the cross. Thank God that he did so! But a part of the working of salvation is a recognition of, number one, that you are a sinner and that, secondly, is a part of being not okay with everyone being just a sinner. No we are headed to judgment and that was a factor that drew me to Jesus. I literally believed in my mind that whatever hell exactly is in it's in its fierce nature, I would dare say it's worse than what we could even imagine, I thought I was dying as a 12/13-year-old that night and going to hell, and I was alone. I knew I was under judgment, all Christians know that prior to Christ and without Christ we are under judgment. Thirdly though in this, look at verse 17 and 18 as we continue in looking at Rahab, the Bible tells us in verse 17 as the discussion unfolds with the spies, “the man said to her we will be guiltless with respect to this oath of yours” they they make most back and forth you know that we'll look into in just a few moments and verse 18 says, “behold we come into the land you shall tie the scarlet cord in the window through it which you let us down and you shall gather your house and your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father's household.” And at this point what I want you to understand about this that pertains to the salvation that Jesus offers is that Rahab's given time to repent. See the judgment hasn't come yet and right now as you sit here God is giving you time to repent, because you’re alive. You're your breathing. Because once Jesus comes, it's done. Right? It's the one life opportunity. And so in knowing the message, of course we know that Rahab goes on and she repents and she is scapes the judgment of her sin and it's represented to us as what was described there you jump down to verse 21 and “she according to your words so be it, then she sent them away and departed and she tied the scarlet cord in the window representing her faith in the Lord God of Israel.” Now a lot of people try to do this scarlet chorus it's not significant. I think it is, first and foremost, it represents her faith and that Jesus’ blood that was shed at the cross was scarlet and crimson. She is demonstrating her faith in YHWH. She is trusting in and she knows that she's been given time to repent. Now the gospel is come to her in perfect clarity. It has enlightened her mind as it does everyone, because you must know the components of the Gospel in a head knowledge type way to be converted to Jesus. Nobody just getting saved by accident. You're not just believing some, there is specific knowledge that pertains to the gospel. She knows she's a sinner, she knows she's under judgment, she know she's been to been given time to repent and what signified to her is the gospel is come to her in those two spies and she believes. By faith she believes the message. Oh friends repent, escape the judgment. That's what she is doing. In the community of those people that come, here is where the Gospel in her own home in the saloon type atmosphere. It reminds me of Romans 2:3-5 where people repent, it is under the loving kindness of God that brings a person to repentance. I live that reality, you live that reality. That fierce judgment when I was trying to just take stay isolated away from people so they wouldn't know what was going on in my mind, God arrested me.He arrested me. He had lovingly and kindly dealt mercifully toward me with to Jesus. I feel no different than Rahab. So in this Rabah pleads for mercy. She is pleading for kindness. She is pleading for forgiveness. She is resting in a God that is longsuffering and kind. She is coming to Christ on his terms, not her own terms. She is recognizing some things here. Number four in this, look back in Joshua 2:9. The gospel came to us in human instrument. See in her home, the gospel had come to her in oral form. Someone had communicated to her prior to the spies. What they had communicated was the truth that pertain to God and his people. The gospel was declared we see this in Acts 4:12 where the gospel is declared and when the gospel is is being proclaimed. There's knowledge about God, there's knowledge about Jesus, there's knowledge about what we are, there's knowledge about sin, there's knowledge about judgment, there's knowledge about repentance, there's knowledge about believe, there's knowledge about salvation, there's knowledge about new creation. That's what had happened to her. God's people somewhere along the way were engaging. Listen that's how she received this. She was a Gentile, she never would have heard this any other way. Because that's the truth to salvation, you hear the word in oral form. I want you to think back to when you were converted to Christ, who brought the word of God to you the gospel to you in oral form? Again for me it was Betty Ruth. It was my entire family got use my entire family and others. Bible class teachers, I think back to Dale Johnson, Sue Weldon. These people brought me Jesus in the Gospel when I was lost. But it was my mom at my conversion because I tried to go to my dad, but he was in the shower and I thought I was dying before he got out. I seriously did. I couldn’t wait. I cried out to my mom, I need I need to be saved. She goes, “Kevin you're already saved” I said “no I’m not”. I heard the word in oral form then from her. Fresh, new. Why is it necessary to hear the word oral form? Because there is salvation and no other way. Because Jesus is the only way and we need to tell people about Jesus. Listen let me say this, Jesus needs to be the language of your lips. You need to learn to say Jesus name and not just have generic conversations about God. You need to learn to say Jesus name and let yourself be loved by Jesus in a fresh way, to where the purity and the warmth and the compassion of that will so saturate your mind you will want to say Jesus to other people. I had a dude I went out with a few weeks ago, not part of the congregation, just lost. One of the things he said, “Man, you're always talking about Jesus” man I was like “Thanks! That may not have done much for you, but you just did a lot for me.” Then in that moment I got to express to him how Jesus could save him, like he saved me and that he could have some peace and contentment. Listen to me, this establishment was right,even by normal society, it was a prostitution saloon. She was probably doing it out of desperation to survive. In a culture that was very difficult upon women. No excuse to this but she was a sinner. But don't self righteously sit back and judge others and think you can engage them. Do you understand there are people that are surrounding you that desperately need you? And they need you to give the gospel to them! The sweet tasting words of the Gospel that are found in no other name but Jesus.
Quit self righteously looking at them and what they wear what they look like. Come on! Engage them, love them because they're created in the image of God. By God's grace as he gives you an opportunity, please hand them Jesus. Number five to this she believe the word of God. She did she believe the word of God look at verse 11. That was the fear of the judgment right. She believed the word of God and so as the gospel came to her in oral form it brought to her inner man write her immaterial man of conviction her heart was melted in that regard. See there's a lot of people that get convicted. The world stands under the conviction of sin, it's just mired with guilt. They might want to use drugs to escape it, they might want to use any number of things to escape it. The only thing that brings freedom is Jesus. So the fear of the people of Jericho are there under it, but man Rahab guys about to get set loose. “I believe the word That is come to me and you are God is the God of the heavens above and the earth beneath. I know how he delivered his people from Pharaoh. I know that your people cross the Red Sea on dry land I believe that miracle though I wasn't there.” That's faith. It is a conviction that bears repentance, it is a conviction that bears faith, that reveals itself in humility. The Lord your God he is God in heaven, submission. He is God on the earth, acknowledgment. And then friends that's not any different than ours. Those are all the elements of true faith, acknowledgment, submission, humility, repentance, and faith. Yes that's what faith is she believe the word of God. Let’s turn to chapter 6. We will jump forward in this story and we'll look at number six. We show you what happens to you when you believe. You already know this, in your heart and it's one day going to be manifested in reality. And that's this number six, in these ten truths that pertain to the gospel is deliverance from judgment and all that’s said here and exhale, Thank God! I'm delivered from the judgment! I desire he's delivered me. Rahab and her father's household are spared from judgment. Look at 6:17. Hey friends, let me tell you this no one's escaping the judgment unless they believe the gospel is true. Then now you have people in your life that don't know Jesus. It's time for us to get busy. Look at verse 22. She believed the message of God and she was spared. Which means at the end of this day, I have been praying for,because I woke up three times last night, that you're gonna lay your head down knowing that if something tragically happens to you, you will be with Jesus. You have been delivered from judgment the only way you can be delivered in judgment is to believe the gospel. Believers are delivered because believers are justified by faith and therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. Again as I mentioned earlier Romans 5:1 “there's no condemnation to those which are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 Jesus, Rahab, and the believers of Rahab’s gospel. As she went back to her home and told the gospel to her family. Who are the first people you tell? The first person I told when I got saved was my dad, when he got out shower. Then my brother when he came home, to the room we share. I shared with my family. That's what she did. She's running to her family. She had been delivered from judgment. Obviously in her deliverance she was spared. Number seven it was proved by her works that vindicated to her a genuine faith. This is what the Bible is referring to because in genuine faith, works are applied. Works are the action of love and the result of true faith. Listen to this, she hides the spies, she lets them down by a rope Joshua, and she ties a scarlet cord in the window and that example is given to her by the apostle James in the New Testament to where he says faith is evidenced and made alive by works. Without works faith is dead. It's a do nothing, save nothing, faith but the results of genuine belief is that one follows after YHWH, follows after Jesus. This is not only the case of Rahab, it is the case for we who are as God's people today. For you and I, Ephesians 2:8-10, were created as God’s masterpiece, of his grace for good works, her faith is proved by works. Of course one of those things, number eight, was that she sought to when others already read about Joshua 2:12 -13 where she makes her plea for her family and then of course again here in Joshua 6:23 so the young man who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all who belong to her and they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. We have had a plea and I believe that this plea was genuine. It's a genuine result of her faith because I really think this but when someone is really converted to Christ it isn't private religion. Why would I want my religion to be private and my dear wife and sons fall under judgment? No I love them and I want them converted to Christ. Just as you do for your home and it's not just for homes, it's for people outside of our homes. Because genuine faith results in people who will share the gospel in oral form. Rahab makes a plea. Listen to me think about the moment, she's desperate. Would you spare my dad? Would you spare my mom? Would you take with him my brothers and my sisters? I love them. Then of course the gospel oriented man will do it. Get this, this is a plea. Her heart is being revealed. She doesn't care who knows her heart is driven by a love for YHWH and then a love for people that's faith. That's faith, that's the gospel. When it’s believed, it seeks to win others. Number nine we go back to verse 25. This is true. Please this is an important point, man, it's often missed today. But Rahab the prostitute in verse 25 and her father’s household and all who belong to her and then Joshua saved their lives. She lived in Israel to this day. When salvation takes place, the people identify with the people of God. Rahab doesn't get saved and say this is private, I want to live on my own. I don't need those self-righteous people know this has always been consistent to real faith. People want to identify with the people of God's church. We meet to celebrate Christ and what he's done for us, as he did for Rahab. Rahab and her family identify with YHWH’s people.They believe God, they love God, and they love his people so it is true today of genuine faith. We want to identify with the people of God. We love the children of God. We love the people of God. 1 John 2:10-11, John 15, Jesus said it would be so in verses 12 - 17. Last one this is a good window go to go to Matthew 1. It’s not the end. This whole thing has not been consummated yet. Rahab's life ends up as she dwells with the people. It ends up in a wedding. And a wedding she gets to go to. Thank God for the wedding yesterday for Andrew and Chrissy and all the weddings that are gonna be taking and are taking place and for the children being born. I think these are reflections of the Gospel and a healthy church. Rahab gets converted and she goes to a wedding. Chapter 1:5 Salmon is identified here as her husband. What's interesting about this is his name Salmon means peace. The Bible doesn't say this but I still think it's pretty cool, it's obvious that she's married to him but there is Jewish legend that says Salmon was one of the two spies. The romantic in me loves that and if it isn't 100% factual, man will it preach. Salmon was known as a prince in the house of Judah. He married Rahab. Think about Rahab's life, a one time harlot just trying to survive. Sins forgiven and erased, marries Salmon, and even if he wasn't one of the spies he became and obviously was a leading man in Israel. Grace erased her former life.
Because of the wonder of technology my brother and sister, of whom I have one of each, got to enjoy each other this morning in light of mom, shooting text and then interacting with love for each other thankful they were spared. Find the joy of Christ and the Gospel for whatever failures you've experienced cast them at Jesus. He cares for you! Again, I love this story because everything changes for her, just like it changes for us in Christ. Because of God's grace she goes from prostitution shame to a wife and then into the genealogy of Jesus. Man, only Jesus does stuff like this. Their marriage becomes a picture of what you and I will participate in which is an eternal celebration, dear friends, the wedding feast is not just a momentary day, it's the eternal day. This morning, believers of the Gospel are those who understand they are sinners, they understand they are under judgment, understand because they're living they have been given time to repent and they hear the gospel in oral form. They believe the word of God. They rest, even as you and I do this morning, knowing they were delivered from judgment but the genuineness of their faith is proven through good works. The reality of that is we seek to win others with the gospel because we love them. They identify themselves with the people of God known as his church, that will be with him in eternity and that we're going to a wedding!