I’ve been thinking about Rahab in the Bible. She was a prostitute, and she lied to save enemy spies lives, not to mention that she was committing treason against her own people in so doing.
But she had heard of the great things that God had been doing for His people. Somehow the news had trickled into town, and she decided her chances were better with an all-powerful God who took care of His people than they were with her own countrymen who probably didn’t treat her so well.
I mean, lets face it. She wasn’t exactly your reputable neighbor from the nice subdivision who might hold up her head and say, “I’m a good person. I’m as good as the next guy. I think God will let me into heaven on my own good merits.” (Not that these reputable people necessarily have good standing with God, since God says it’s “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” that He saves us. Titus 3:5)
But don’t we sometimes, even in the church, look at the reputable person who becomes a child of God and seems to just transfer seamlessly from one walk of life to the Christian walk and expect it to be that way for everyone who comes to Christ?
Let’s think about Rahab. She was not only a prostitute, a liar, and a traitor, but she was a pagan from a land of idolatry. She did not have access to the law of God which He had recently given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. But God had mercy on her and saved her by her active faith in Him.
The question that begs to be asked, then, is: Did she immediately, upon entering the fellowship of the Israelite company, become a flawless saint?
I don’t think so, do you? It would have taken her quite some time to learn another culture, and especially to learn the ways of God. I wonder if she ever blended in well with the new society she had entered.
The reason I say that is that when Ruth, the Moabitess, showed up in the field of Boaz, she was showing up in the field of the son or perhaps grandson of Rahab. I believe that Boaz had been taught by Rahab to accept people who were different. In my experience, the ability to do that comes from the raw emotion produced from not having been accepted by others yourself and from the inner assurance that the way you are being treated is not right.
So if we know a Rahab of today that comes to faith in Christ, what kind of attitude should we have toward her?
- Humbly hold her in a place of honor. “in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 HCSB Having a superior attitude is not Christ-like, and the poison of contempt has a way of seeping through our expressions and body language. We may, therefore, find ourselves working against God, instead of for Him, and sabotaging the work that He is trying to do in her.
- a servant attitude. Jesus Christ “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant”. Philippians 2:7
- a sacrificial attitude. “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 HCSB
- a loving, kind attitude. I Cor. 13
- a patient attitude. I Corinthians 13:4
- a hopeful attitude. This is an attitude that waits patiently with expectancy, knowing that God is doing His work in the person, and actively looking for areas of improvement instead of focusing on the areas that still have not changed. I Corinthians 13:7
- an attitude of humility before God. This attitude recognizes that it is not my job to be in control of changing another person; God is in control, and it is His job to do it His way and in His time. It is my job to pray for them in their Christian walk and to show them love and kindness.
So, who loves the Rahabs of today? Does anyone love them perfectly the way they should be loved? Does anyone treat them with the above attitudes, with humility, patience, hope, love, sacrifice, service, kindness, and honor?
Do I? Do you?
May the Lord help us to do a better job at it. May we seek His face for the Spirit filling we need so that our attitudes can reflect those of the Master.
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