Nov 10 11

Deliverance by Faith


By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. (Hebrews 11:30-31)

One of the compelling narratives in the Old Testament is the story of Rahab and the providential way she was brought to salvation in Jehovah God. Her story is found in the book of Joshua chapter 2, which is in the time when Israel was ready to take possession of the Promised Land. There was a formidable obstacle standing in their way which was the fortified city of Jericho. Rahab lived in Jericho. She was one of the Canaanites that was a worshipper of false gods, she was dedicated to the immoral practices of the people which included worship filled with terrible sexual perversion. The scriptures note that Rahab was a harlot, or in our terms she was a prostitute.

Rahab was one of the down and out; she lived in a city that was destined for destruction. For all intents and purposes, it would appear that Rahab would die the death that others in Jericho would experience when Israel came to take possession of the land. This was not to be, however, because she was one of God’s chosen people. One of the most marvelous aspects of this in consideration of God’s grace is this person that God chose to save. If I told you today that God was going to rain down destruction upon San Francisco and only one person in the city would be saved, who would you expect God to save? In God’s kingdom, who would be the most advantageous?

We might say, “Well, surely, God would save the richest person in town.” Or, “God would save the most prominent businessman or the savviest politician. That kind of person would surely make God’s list.” But if I told you that God was going to save a homeless person, or a heroin addicted prostitute, you would say, “That’s crazy. It doesn’t make sense. Why would God save that person?”

Most of us here today are used to singing “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me;” and what we are really thinking is “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like him, or like her.” We don’t think we are all that wretched and it is really not too amazing that God would choose us. The fact is, however, that all of us are undeserving of God’s grace. There is nothing in us that commends us to God, and certainly nothing that prompted God to mark us out as objects of His saving grace.

Rahab is a good case in point that God can save anyone. No matter what you have done or where you have been, God’s grace is powerful enough to save you. The scripture says “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not.” This is the key to the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth. By faith, God saves. Have you trusted Him? Jesus Christ stands ready right now with arms open wide to receive you. Rahab realized the power of Almighty God to rescue her from destruction. The same is true for you today. Destruction is your path if not for the saving grace of God. By faith Rahab was delivered, and by faith you may also receive deliverance from God.

Pastor V. Mark Smith