Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Plot - Joshua Part 4

Joshua Part 4
This message was preached at Word of Grace church  by Colin D Cruz on the  29th of July 2012. You can listen or download  to the Audio recording  of the message by clicking here

How many of us like movies? We all like different kinds of movies. Some of us like spy thrillers where someone goes undercover, there is danger and suspense.

This morning we are going to look at a similar kind of story in the Bible where there is adventure, suspense, danger, spies and the good guys win in the end.

 Joshua Chapter 2

This morning we are going to look at a famous personality in the bible –she is known as the prostitute, Rehab.
The Israelites are on the east of the river and are about to inherit the Promise Land. It was now Joshua’s responsibility to lead the people.

Here is his strategy. Joshua sends in two spies secretly. The question to ask is secretly from whom? From the Israelites. Joshua remembered the last time 12 spies were sent, 10 came back and spread a bad report and it had a devastating effect on the people. They landed up wandering in the dessert for 40 years because of the unbelief that got sown. So this time he was careful.

The  river was in flood. The spies must have had to find a way to get across. Spies are supposed to blend into the community so that they are not spotted – so they ought to dress like the local, speak like them. The spies arrive at the city and book into an Inn. In those days Inns of this sort were of ill repute – there was a lot of prostitution that was practiced there. The bible makes it a point to highlight Rehab’s reputation. Five times in scripture she is referred to as Rehab the prostitute. No sooner did these spies arrive in Jericho that they were spotted – so much blending happened – maybe their clothes or their accent gave them away. They were found out. Rehab hides them. What made her do that? If you are caught hiding spies – punishment was death because it was high treason. So why did she do this? Verse 4-6 tells us she sends the Kings messengers on a wild goose chase. She has hidden them on the terrace under the flax and helped them escape.

Verse8 gives us a clue – “I know the Lord…” Somewhere in the past Rehab the prostitute had become Rehab the believer. Verse 10 tells us of how she had heard about the parting of the Red Sea. This had happened 40 years ago! People were still talking about it. Maybe she may have overheard some discussion about it and somehow faith rose in her heart. God can use any situation to spread is word. And His word  will never return empty.

Verse12 – She pleads for her family. She was an amazing lady of amazing faith. Jericho was a city that was a 1000 years old. The walls were several feet thick. But she knows that God would accomplish his purposes. She did not just care for her life but for her family as well. Maybe we have family members who are not saved- lets be like Rehab who wanted her family saved. We need to cry out for our family.
Verse14 The spies responded – “our lives for your lives” these spies had faith and confessed faith.

Chapter 6 we see that Jericho is destroyed and in verse verse20-22 we see Rehab was saved because of her faith and the scarlet cord.

What can we learn ?
1.       1.God chose Rehab the prostitute. No one is beyond the grace of God. God’s grace is bigger than our sin

2.       2. Why did God destroy everything? Verse 26. Let’s look at Gen15:16 Abraham was in Canaan. In the 4th generation your descendants will come back here ( verse 12-13)which refers to Egypt. This was 470 years ago  that Abraham was told that his descendants would get this land because God is gracious upon the nation s of the earth he did not destroy them immediately. Finally he is going to bring judgment. This is a picture of how God will judge the human race. Acts 17:29-31

3.How does one get saved from judgments? The scarlet cord – it requires great faith. Her house was on the wall! And the wall came tumbling down. They could have moved house saying it was not safe there.. The scarlet cord represents salvation in the blood of Jesus. Today if you don’t know whether you are saved, get hold of the blood of Jesus. Act on your faith – she did something . You need to act on your faith – baptism is the first step.

Rehab must have also heard of God’s promises. Gen12 :3 perhaps she heard the promise somewhere . She was blessed – she and her family were saved. Rehab married ( Matt1:5) Salmon the father of Boaz who was the father of Obed who was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David who is a part of  Jesus ‘ lineage. So we see grace upon grace being demonstrated here.

Through the blood of Jesus we are blessed. It does not end here. Heb11:31 By faith Rehab…We see how from the hall of shame Rehab is lifted to the hall of fame, how from a common harlot she becomes a courageous heroine, from a zero to a hero from the gutter to glory.

So whatever your sin, God can take away the shame and put you in his hall of fame. This is God’s abundant life transforming grace that is available for each one of us.

Colin DCruz
August 2012

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