Tuesday, February 26, 2013

From Prostitute to Princess

I really should wait till tomorrow to post the first of the sermon notes, but I was so excited about doing this, I couldn’t wait. The first set of notes comes from my days at Wave Church in Virginia Beach, VA. The first several entries in this particular notebook seem to have been taken either during a conference, or when Steve Kelly, the head pastor was out of town (probably at the Hillsong conference in Sydney since these notes were taken in July), because they are from different speakers. Entry number 1 was taken on July 9, 2000. Ps Greg Phelps was the speaker. He is the pastor of one of the Wave Network churches, though I couldn’t find any bio info on him.

“From Prostitute to Princess”
Joshua 2:1-24

Rahab was the lowest of the low in her society. If a king wasn’t to be spared, how much less a prostitute? Because she welcomed the spies she was spared. She became a part of Israeli society. She married Sinoam, one of the spies, who was a prince of Israel. So, Rahab became a princess, mother of Boaz, and predecessor of King David and Christ. (Matt. 1:4, Heb. 11:31, James 2:25)

James 4:7, 1Peter 5:9
Are we willing to defy our society?
  • Rahab defied the world.
  • She had dependence on God (Josh 2:11b)
    • She was totally dependent on this God she had never met. She was willing to risk her life for this God because of the conviction of the spies.
    • Trust God—give up all the old things you depend on.
  • Rahab endured to the end.
    • The spies left and she was alone.
    •  The scarlet cord which had been a symbol of shame (her prostitute colors) became a symbol of hope and salvation when she hung it from her back window.
    • She took down her colors from her front door and had to endure persecutions for weeks from her society until the Israelites came.
    • The promise was kept and she was saved.
      • She brought her family with her. She didn’t seek salvation only for herself. She had a house of sanctuary where others could be saved.
      • She never quit believing.

My thoughts: Yet again, God is confirming what He has been showing me lately. If I truly live in a way that seeks His Kingdom first, then I will be required to defy the society in which I live. I will have to give up all the old things on which I have depended, forsake the life I have known, and depend solely on God. I will endure persecutions, yet I have to continue to believe no matter what happens. I also need to create a sanctuary in my home and life where others can be saved. I can’t just seek salvation for myself, which is the life I have lived in recent years, but I must seek salvation for others as well.

I’m also struck by the fact that the cord Rahab hung from her window was scarlet, much like the blood that covered the doorposts of the Israelites on the night of the first Passover was scarlet, and the blood of Christ that covers my heart is also scarlet. This cord was the symbol of her profession and would've been hung outside her front door when she was open for business. Rahab’s willingness to remove the scarlet cord from her front door and move it to her back window became the path to her salvation. She moved from a place of dependence on herself and worldly pursuits to dependence on God. Her perspective changed. As a prostitute she had probably spent many hours looking through the door onto the streets of Jericho, while waiting for her next customer. Once she took the scarlet cord from her door and moved it to the window, she probably spent many hours looking through it hoping to see the return of the spies. Rahab turned her back on the doorway to her past and sacrificed all she had known. In doing so she found the window to her future. In losing her life she found it. It’s so much easier to go through a door than through a window. There’s much you would have to leave behind to go through a window. Just like there’s much that must be left behind to forsake the broad road for the narrow. Lord, give me the grace, strength, and courage to leave behind what I must and forsake the broad road so that I can travel the narrow way.

This post has been added to "Walk With Him Wednesdays".

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