Faith’s Risks

Joshua sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there.  And it was told to the king of Jericho, ‘Men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.’ Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you…’ But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.

“Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said, ‘I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan… And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house,.. and deliver our lives from death.’ And the men said to her, ‘Our life for yours! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the Lord gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.’ Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall.” Joshua 2:1-4,8-15

Rahab knew men, a lot of them. She knew their cunning, their urges, their ugly dealings. She was experienced in danger. But she was also coming to know the God of men, and He was changing her life orientation. Risks she’d taken to provide for food would now become risks propelled by faith. She would no longer trust her wiles, but God’s ways. As the Israelite spies instructed, she tied a scarlet cord in her window as proof of her faith in His trustworthiness.

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What we know of God determines our willingness to step out with Him. The Scriptures teach much that can instruct and develop our faith– are we taking advantage of its knowledge, or do we fill our time listening to the drone of man, even ‘thought leaders,’ instead of His voice?

Have we faith enough to believe and fear the God of heaven more than the men of earth?  Is our faith informed enough to believe God’s sure promises are stronger than the threats of men? How willing are we to risk our lives for His good plans rather than worry for our lives in the heat of pressure that opposes them? What scarlet cords of belief or behavior identify me as my Lord’s? What risks of reputation or repudiation will I boldly take in order to offer salvation to others?

Lord, fix my help and hope in You alone. May I risk courageously for the faith You give, that it grow large, and You be glorified. (Psalm 124:1-5,8)

 

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