We’re into Week 8, but before we finish, here are my notes on Week 7. A new generation of Israelites, a new leader, a new land, and…a prostitute. It doesn’t take long to find “skeletons” in a family tree. What seems to take a bit longer is finding the grace that was there all along. He has always been…there. He is always…here. He will always be…
One might think its the Israelites finally taking the land God gave them that reveals God’s glory. Really, though, God had that land all along. What but the power of the Almighty God could blow down the walls of Jericho? God’s glory would be seen regardless of Israel, but thankfully it included them. Yet, a greater opportunity for glory was residing within the walls. An unlikely character for God to graft into His Story – a prostitute. A woman who knew she needed a Rescuer…a Redeemer! An imperfect woman was the perfect place for God to reveal His glory. Her mustard seed of faith led her out of hopelessness and into hope and into providing Hope for all mankind. Rahab would join The Story…our Story…of the Redeemed.
Chapter 7…Sunday and Wednesday of week 7:
Conquest of Canaan: No survivors. No prisoners.
Isn’t God love? but here He seems different than the New Testament God – He seems heartless and mean. Here, the answers do not come from our perspective – The Lower Story
Only in the Upper Story do we get an understanding of God’s wrath in the Old Testament.
1) Sin is serious!
it is an affront to the very nature of God. It is what separates Him from His creation. It is what caused separation in our “stories” – it was the ultimate thing that God did not intend! And in order to rescue what was lost – to be in communion with His creation again – He will do all that is required!
the Canaanites were a culture that had become completely evil. (Deut. 18:9-12; 9:4-6) When God sees there is no hope in a situation, He makes a way for it.
2)God has patience
we think, “how merciless,” but God had been waiting a long time!
Genesis 15:16…the Israelites were in slavery for 430 years, giving the Amorites a long to time to stop sinning…sometimes our “wait” from God is because He is waiting on others.
2 Peter 3:9
would He have changed His mind if they had repented? Yes! Rahab!
Those in Canaan knew Who God was – He wasn’t expecting something of them that they were not capable of. He had made Himself known through a group of people in order to gather people. God was there…how else could the walls fall down. Marching, blowing trumpets, and shouting did not take the city – God took that city!
3) True Love isn’t always obvious
love: doing what’s best for the other person no matter the cost to myself
love looks very different in the Lower Story than it does in the Upper Story
if God would have loved like we think He should have in the lower story, He would have let children to continue to be born into a hopeless situation
love from the Upper Story is more complicated but it is more complete than our thoughts of love in the Lower Story…our love has loop holes…God’s is whole
Today: since God will judge evil, we need to live much more distinct lives (Upper Story lives) here in the Lower Story
we are still called to be The Difference
we are a people called to live like the Redeemed in order to draw a lost world to the Redeemer.
take note of what may happen if we fail to live for the glory of God – if we fail to make Him known to Jericho
Key to victory is obedience Josh 1:7
the logistics of the marching around the wall were not going to win the battle – their obedience would give them the victory
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Josh 1:9
Gen. 3:10 – fear is a result of not living in a right relationship with God…if you really trust God, you will not be afraid to do the thing He asks
in the Lower Story the giants are bigger than the people; in the Upper Story God is bigger than the giants
God will be with you! Josh 1:9, Gen. 26:3
the only thing that can separate us from God is our disobedience and fear
will you identify yourself with God not just privately but publicly?
a woman of flaws…she was never able to shed her past maybe for the very reason that God didn’t want her to shed His glory. her life was a glory unto Him precisely because of her weakness (the place His strength and grace was made known)
why were the spies really at Rahab’s? the Hebrew words do not suggest pure motives…the night wasn’t all about Rahab’s faith…it included her flaws
even in the mess – even without her being a “righteous” woman of faith – God took the mustard seed that she had
Woman of Faith: spies weren’t that competent, the king’s spies weren’t either…but Rahab, she knew God’s Name – YHWH, she knew He had promised Israel the land, she knew that YHWH would do what He said He would
she seemed to have more faith than the Israelites…maybe even more than Joshua?
she even knew enough about God’s character to know He showed mercy – Do I even remember that?
James mentions Rahab in “chapter 2” of his letter…want to know what I see? James was Jesus’ brother. Rahab was a Great…Grandmother of Jesus…and James. James also knew the need for mercy…just like Grandma!
Salvation is available to all…was always about being God’s child!
God saves the unlikely sinners…I was!
always be on the look-out for the unlikely person – remember, someone looked for me!
This month I’m trying something new…for me. Many others out there try this 31 Days thing throughout the year, but me, I just try to get husband and kids cared for and fed most months. So, I am stepping out, and I am hoping to find my footing. 31 Days to live like the Redeemed comes from the desire I have to live up to James’ challenge: “But be doers of the word and not hearers only…” Part of this challenge is simply finding out how to live like the Redeemed. I am part of the Redeemed; so, it is a way of life I am meant to know. Yesterday I took time to talk about my Redeemer with friends and family…outside of the Church Building. That is a big part of living like the Redeemed – living a life of worship after the Church lights are turned off and the doors are closed and you’re back in your own days. Today, well, I stood in prayer for friends. I remained faithful in my present calling – to be wife, mom, and teacher. And…I stumbled over foolish words that caused me to bend my heart to Him…in need of Forgiveness and Grace once again. The life of the Redeemed knows how to stand in victory and how to kneel in surrender.
So the Days continue for this Girl-Redeemed. I would love for you to join me in this walk or maybe you need 31 Days of something else. Whatever your upcoming Days entail, I pray that you will be “more different” – more His – at the beginning of next month than you are now.