Today I’m reminded of a genuine ‘Cinderella’ story. A story that when trouble strikes, ‘Cinderella’ is restored, through God, by random kindness and support, where a mustard seed of faith begins to grow.
The story begins with a man Joshua, who is commissioned by God, after the death of Moses, to possess the land of promise. History records the event in the Holy Scriptures; in the book of Joshua, the second chapter. In this historical journey, Joshua sends out two spies to scope out the promise land. Through the journey the spies meet ‘Cinderella,’ a noted harlot named Rahab, in the city of Jericho.
Rahab was the daughter of heathen parents and was taught from childhood in the ways of idolatry. Yet she believed sincerely and strongly in the living God. Rahab lived apart from family in her own home, yet she remained concern for her loved ones. Perhaps, like many young women today, she found the restrictions of home too difficult. She may have desired a freer lifestyle as an independent young woman. And, her pleasures may have been of a high-spirited nature; loving the thrill of the night life.
Today there are many parents who are filled with regret over the ways in which they have raised their children. There are moms and dads who have raised their children in the faith, dedicating them to God. Yet, their children become prodigals; leaving their fathers house to seek their own way. In the midst of this though, God is able to stir the hearts of His children to spiritual truth; causing them to long for the security and love that is gained from the Father’s heart. God is more than able to lovingly touch the heartstrings of his children. His love song whispers wanting melodies of love, awaking a yearning to return home.
The scripture gives record in Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not.” This verse provoked me to wonder – what did Rahab believe and is there a lesson for me? Joshua 2:9 says, “She said unto the men, ‘I know that Jehovah hath given you the land,’” therefore she was confident that they would actually come into the possession of it. Her faith gave testimony to the power of Jehovah to fulfill His purpose in relation to His people.
In Joshua 2:11-13, 21 Rahab speaking says, “Jehovah your God, he is God in heaven above, and in the earth beneath.” She showed kindness to the spies and entered into an important agreement with them and fulfilled her part and expected them to fulfill their part as well. Her faith was simple, yet firm, and she exercised it. She had faith in Jehovah as the true and supreme God. Her belief in Him was not simply as a superior god of many, but as supreme over all creation.
It may seem like such a trivial thing to place a red cord out of her window in and of itself, but Rahab’s obedience to this small act brought great reward. She knew little about Jehovah, but recognized His hand in the drying up of the Red Sea and she also had confidence in the men of God. She didn’t find it difficult to enter into an agreement with them or what they represented. Rehab had faith in the power of Jehovah to fulfill His purpose in relation to His people. She had faith in the fidelity of the worshippers of Jehovah, and she exercised her faith in the saving the spies, knowing the danger, yet risking her own life.
What an example of God selecting the unlikely! She was handpicked by God in spite of her lack of qualifications. We see how God equips whom He calls. As a result of her obedience and assistance to the men of God, Joshua’s spies, Rahab’s reward was greater than the sacrifice. She and her family were saved, and the gratitude of Salmon (one of the spies) turned into love, and when grace erased her former life of shame he made her his wife. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, from whose son Obed the father of Jesse, the father of David came, through whose line Jesus was born!
God Saves and Makes New.
God is the one who changes shepherd boys into kings, unknowns into prophets, and harlots into the royal family line from which Jesus came as the Savior of the world. God’s call remains a call no matter how unlikely the person may be. No one is too good–or too bad–to be a candidate for salvation. God’s grace makes new creatures out of the best and worst sinners. God saves us not for what we are, but for what he can make us.
What unlikely sort are you? Do you know the God of Rahab? Do you recognize God’s provision, even in the small things, knowing a small step of obedience is a giant step to blessing? Although everything may be crumbling around you, ‘Jehovah, the Avenger’ will see it and make a way for you!
Lord, I may not know how you are going to solve my problems, but I know you have something in mind. When I have trouble coping, increase my hope in you. Help me to see and believe ‘God is for me, not against me.’ Today, I come ready and eager to experience your power working through me. You are able to save! Amen.