Moses v Rahab (Hebrews 11:20-31) *Verses in NLT*
– Hebrews 11:20-23, It was by faith that Isaac promised blessings for the future to his sons, Jacob and Esau. 21 It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. 22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left. 23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.
– Hebrews Chapter 11 is known as the “faith chapter”. Right now, these believers are struggling with persecution and ridicule, and the author is encouraging them to hold fast and to live by faith.
– Hebrews 11:1-2, Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
– Faith is not wishing, it’s not blind, not a formula for blessings, not a secret key to unlocking the favor of God. (Example: Like those commercials, “Do this one thing every day to torch belly fat…”)
– Faith is an active certainty, a confidence that the God of the Universe will fulfill His promises, even if we don’t see it now, and may not see it in our lifetime. Faith is an action word.
– Out of thousands of years of the history of God’s people, the author chose these specific examples of faith to highlight. He must have chosen these people as examples for a reason.
– Hebrews 11:23-28, It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command. It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. 27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. 28 It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.
– Moses, founder of the nation of Israel, writer of the holy scriptures, delivered the nation out of slavery, a man who spoke with God face to face. A great super hero of the faith!
– In verse 23, the word “unusual”, means or attractive or beautiful. This word refers to something of superior quality. His parents could already tell that Moses was extraordinary from birth.
– As an example of faith, I have trouble identifying with Moses and his accomplishments. I look at him and say, “How can I match up to that?” He is like the Superman of the saints.
– Hebrews 11:29-30, It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians tried to follow, they were all drowned. 30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
– Although the Israelites are not great examples of faith as individuals, as a group, through their obedience, they displayed great faith in doing the ridiculous to see the miraculous.
– Crossing the Red Sea would take faith that God could protect them through the walls of water.
– Jericho had an impenetrable wall, but God said, “I have given you Jericho.” By faith they did exactly what God told them to do. Walk around it and shout at it, and God delivered on His promise.
#2. But there is still one more verse…
– The examples of faith we have been given are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and the armies of Joshua… Super Heroes, legends… then there’s Rahab the prostitute?
– Hebrews 11:31, It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
– Rahab was an Innkeeper and prostitute in the city of Jericho. When Joshua sent the spies in to scout out the town, they stayed with Rahab. (see Joshua chapter 2)
– She was a Gentile, living in a pagan city. A sinner, and surely not respected or admired by anyone.
– She is basically the opposite of a Moses.
– She risked her life to hide the spies from the king’s men, and then help them escape unharmed. She let them down by a rope through the cities wall. She didn’t have to do that.
– She knew the town was going to be destroyed, and everyone in it killed. She could have escaped using the same rope she used for the spies and been long gone… but she didn’t.
– She told the spies that she knew and believed that the Lord had given them this land, and she had heard of the miracles that God had done for them.
– Joshua 2:11, (Rahab said) “No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.”
– This is her declaration of faith. How do I know? Because she confirmed it with her actions!
– What was the difference between her and everyone else in Jericho just like her? She obeyed God.
– James 2:25-26, Rahab the prostitute is another example. She was shown to be right with God by her actions when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by a different road. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.
– James 2:14, What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?
– Faith is an action word! If you truly believe it, then you should confidently act on it. (Example: USMC combat water training. Fully geared up jumping off of the tower… you won’t drown.)
– Rahab doesn’t fit the mold of the other examples of faith listed in Hebrews 11, but that’s okay, because it really isn’t about her, or Moses, but about their faith. It’s not who they were, but who God made them to be, and their obedience to do what God has called them to do.
* Faith demonstrated is faith remembered.
– Rahab was not disqualified or excluded because of her past and failures or missing pedigree.
– In Matthew chapter 5, Rahab is one of only 5 women, including Mary, mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Rahab was Jesus’ earthly great grandmother to the 30th great. (She was the Great, great grandmother of King David!)
– Her inclusion in the genealogy of Jesus is an important reminder of the grace of God.
– 2 Tim. 1:9, For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
– If it is true that “you are not your job” then why do they always refer to Rahab as “the prostitute”?
– It’s important to recognize where she came from as an example of God’s redemption and restoring power. Highlighting her sinful history only further magnifies the power of God’s mercy.
– It breaks the illusion that if someone is doing something great for God it must be because they are great. Not true.
– 2 Cor. 12:9, (The Apostle Paul said) Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
#3: Don’t play the comparison game…
– How would Rahab feel knowing that she is kept in this company? Would she feel unworthy?
– Faith is not a competition between you and others. It’s not “Moses vs Rahab.”
– Don’t compare yourself to others.
– Example: Super Hero Actors, The Rock 49, Mark Walberg 50, Hugh Jackman 52. Buff fitness specimens, cover of magazines, I’m not going to ever look like them even with a special diet and professional help.
– Social media “influencers”: It’s all filters, photoshop, and lies. (But our brain believe the lies.)
– Even if someone IS really awesome, it does you no good to compare yourself to them.
– Don’t compare yourself to high profile Christians, or any other of the saints. You, are you!
– You will not be judged by how great your calling appears to be, but by your obedience in following the calling that you have been given.
– God has created you and designed you perfectly for what he has instore for you.
– Eph 2:10, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
– Hebrews 11:1, Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
– The confidence of faith is based on the God who fulfills his promises. It’s an active certainty that what God has promised will come to pass despite our not yet seeing it.
– Hebrews 11:6, And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
– What good is the Grace of God that saves us, if you do not believe it with active certainty?
– Luke 17:5, The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
– If you want to increase your faith, increase your actions of faith. Step out into your calling!
– Lamentations 3:22-24, The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
– prayer –
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