Story Altering Faith-Rahab

Story Altering Faith-Rahab
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Day 1

The lie

Sermon Sentence: Faith can change your story which can then be used to change the stories of others.

Key verses: Read Joshua 2:1-11

These verses begin to tell us the story of Rahab.  She lived in the city of Jericho.  Joshua, leader of the Israelites, sent two spies into Jericho and they entered the house of Rahab. She hid the spies in her home and when the King’s messengers asked her about the spies that had visited her home, she lied and told them that the men had left.  The messengers then set out in search of the spies. Rahab tells the spies that she knows the Lord had given the Israelites that land and that a great fear had fallen over the people of Jericho after they had heard of the parting of the Red Sea.

  • Why do you think Rahab would lie to the King’s messengers and endanger herself and her family?
  • The people of Jericho were fearful of the Israelites even though they had a wall built around the city. Why would people of such a protected city be fearful of the Israelites?
  • Rahab was, at one time, a Canaanite idol worshipper, and may have worked in a Pagan temple. Why would she want to lie to the King’s messengers and protect Israelite spies; people who believed in God?
  • It seems like the most unlikely pairing of Rahab and the Israelite spies. Why was it her house that they went to?
  • Have you ever done something in your life that you felt God was calling you to do, but it didn’t really make sense? Did you have faith in God’s plan or do what you felt made sense to you?

 

Day 2

The oath

Sermon Sentence: Faith can change your story which can then be used to change the stories of others.

Key verses: Read Joshua 2:12-24 and Isaiah 1:18

In exchange for hiding the spies, Rahab requests that they swear to her that the Lord will show her kindness and spare she and her family.  The men agree and give her a scarlet rope to hang in her window and instruct her to keep all of her family inside in order for their oath to be kept.  Rahab sends the men away and after waiting three days in the woods, they go to Joshua and report this news to him.

  • Do you think that Rahab made this deal with the spies, simply to protect herself and her family?
  • She had no reason to trust the spies and what they said, but she did. Why do you think she trusted them to keep their oath with her?
  • Rahab did not have a complete understanding of God or what he was doing in her life, yet she had faith in him. Did something ever happen in your life that didn’t really make sense, but you trusted God and his plan?  What happened when you gave up your insecurities and just had faith?  What did God do with that?
  • Do you think there was any significance to the scarlet cord that Rahab was given to place in the window of her home? Read the verse in Isaiah.  It says, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”  When you think of Rahab’s past and after reading this verse, does it change the way you feel about the significance of the color of the cord and what it will do for Rahab and her family?

 

Day 3

Our past is not necessarily our future

Sermon Sentence: Faith can change your story which can then be used to change the stories of others.

Key verses: Read Joshua 6: 22-25 and Hebrews 11:31

In the verses in Joshua, we see that Joshua sends the spies into Rahab’s house to bring her and her family out once they have overcome the city of Jericho. They burn the city and Rahab and her family live out their lives with the Israelites. Something else that you may have noticed in the verses and the others throughout the book of Joshua is that when Rahab is named, she is often called by “Rahab the prostitute” which is a direct reflection of her life and her past.

  • What is the significance of her being called this throughout the Bible and I am sure that when many of us are asked about her, we would also say, “Rahab the prostitute.”
  • Rahab was not someone that we would expect God to use in any of his plans. God tends to use broken or unlikely people to do some of the biggest things in the Bible.  Take for example; Moses, Paul, Sarah, David, and Mary.  Why do you think God choses these people in his plans?  Why do you think he chose Rahab?
  • God tends to use the willing in his plans. He does not expect us to be mature in our faith or be spotlessly clean.  He knows that we are sinners, but he uses us anyway for a bigger purpose while helping us to grow.  Can you think of a time when God used you or someone that you know in his plans?  I am sure that you can think of many examples; how did God’s glory show through when this happened?
  • Did God’s plan stop with you or with that person or was it much bigger than expected?

 

Day 4

The big picture

Sermon Sentence: Faith can change your story which can then be used to change the stories of others.

Key verses: Read Matthew 1:1-16 and Proverbs 19:21

Many times in life, we think of how God affects our life and how it affects our faith.  Quite often though, how God works in our life, is only a small portion of the much larger plan that God has for us and for others.

  • Think about how you came to know God and about how you came to church. Did someone invite you and did you then invite someone that you know to come to church?  Think of the people in church with you and how they got there.  Your salvation could have played a much bigger role in the lives of others than in just your own.

When you read the verses in Matthew it can be a little confusing, but this is the lineage of Jesus.  Rahab was the great-great grandmother of David, through whom Jesus came. Rahab, a prostitute and idol worshipper, who chose to hide Israelite spies and lie to the King of Jericho, is part of the lineage of our Savior.  While Rahab was trying to save herself and her family from destruction for her part of this story, God’s plan for her was much bigger than she ever knew.

  • When has God used your story or your life for something much bigger than just you?

We tend to do as Rahab did and focus on our needs and ourselves. She just wanted to save her family, but she put her faith in the most amazing person and he did more than just save her family from destruction.  Her faith made her a part of the most amazing story of salvation for the world.

  • Spend time finding out where your weakness is when it comes to your faith. Is it in only giving God some parts of your life and not all or is it in having selfish desires?  Learn to give God your entire life whether you think it is good or it is a mess and let him turn it into a message and into something far greater than just your part of his story.

Day 5

Having Faith

Sermon Sentence: Faith can change your story which can then be used to change the stories of others. 

Key verses: Read Matthew 28:19-20 and Matthew 19:25 and Mark 10:27

It is important to remember that our past does not determine our future and that with God’s help, all things are possible.  Rahab’s story is a perfect example of this.  Nobody would have expected a prostitute to have so much faith in God, a God that she did not even know and for her to end up in the lineage that produced King David and eventually, the Savior of the world.  Rahab’s history shows us that God uses the willing.

  • Be willing and open for God to use you in his plans. Get to know God and put your complete faith in him and his plans for your life.  It will be so much better than you could ever do with it.
  • Use your past. Many people are afraid of their past because they don’t feel they were “good enough” for God.  The truth is that none of us are good enough to spend eternity with God and that is why he sent Jesus to be our Savior.  Not being afraid to share your past may be what others need to see, so that they can see the amazing things that God does.  Share your story with someone and let them see how God has changed your life.
  • Recall your life and your story and the point in which God changed you. What have you done to become part of the bigger plan for sharing Jesus’s story?  Don’t let it end with you.  Tell others of Jesus’ story and do has we are command; go and make disciples.

 

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