Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 20 - Faith Is Bigger Than Your Past

Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:1-24, 6:22-23

I love the story of Rehab! To me, her story is such a beautiful story of redemption. Rehab was an innkeeper or prostitute and a resident of the city of Jericho. When Joshua sent spies into the land, he asked them to especially look at Jericho, so the spies went straight to Rehab’s house for lodging. It seemed like a good cover, but word of the spies reached the king and he questioned Rehab about them coming to her house. She hid the spies and sent the king’s men outside the city to search for them. She then explains to the spies in Joshua 2:8-13 why she sided with the spies and hid them. In verse 8 she says, “I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.”

Please notice the word LORD spelled in capital letters in Rehab’s statement. When Lord is spelled that way, it means his most holy name was used. We don’t really know what the Jews considered His real name because they guarded it as sacred and didn’t use it flippantly. In fact, if the information I have learned is correct, they didn’t even spell it out completely in their writings, so our best interpretation of the Hebrew word is Yahweh. I also want to point out that she didn’t use the phrase “your god” as many other Gentiles would have used; she said “Yahweh.” In fact she explains her faith in God even more in verse 11 when she says, “…for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” She didn’t say He is a powerful God; she said that He is God! What a statement of faith; she had never had an encounter with Him except for what she had heard of God’s works.

At that moment of faith, Rehab’s past no longer was significant. Who she was in God’s eyes was based on her faith in Him. Remember in Hebrews 11:6 when it says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Rehab didn’t just believe in God, she believed God! She believed that He would make the Israelites successful. Look how God used Rehab in Matthew 1:5. She was in David’s and Jesus’ lineage! She didn’t know God would honor her in such a way, but He did. Her past did not matter to God; her statement of faith mattered. That is an important lesson to take away, because the enemy has an incredible way of condemning us even when the Bible tells us that we are saved by faith through grace and not by the law. God can work with our past when we give Him our present.

Do you believe that God wants to work with you where you are now? Do you believe that your faith in Him matters more than your past?

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