Rahab’s Faith Part 1
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).
In almost every capital city in Europe, there are triumphant arches and statues, upon which they have recorded the heroic deeds of the country’s generals, its emperors, or its kings.
On one of the arches you will find a long list of the battles of Napoleon, and on another, the victories of England’s Lord Nelson are pictured.
It seems, therefore, that it would be right for faith to have an arch raised to its honor, upon which its valiant deeds could be recorded.
The apostle Paul undertook the task of raising a type memorial to the faithful in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.
There he recites the victories of the faithful.
It begins with one triumph of faith and then proceeds to others.
In one place we have faith winning over death; Enoch never entered the gates of death but reached heaven by a highway that no one else has ever traveled.
In another place, we find Noah wrestling with time.
God warned him of a flood that was one hundred and twenty years away, and yet, in faith, he believed God even though such a thing was beyond all rational expectations.
And here we can also find faith overcoming old age-Abraham had a son in his old age.
And then we find faith succeeding over natural affection, as we see Abraham climbing to the top of a hill and raising his knife to kill his favorite son at the command of God.
Then we have faith winning over the appeal of wealth, “By faith, Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”
We have faith dividing seas and bringing down strong walls.
And then, because perhaps the greatest victory is recorded last, we have faith having a contest with sin and coming off more than a conqueror.
“Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.”
This woman Rahab was no mere hostess, she was a prostitute.
Anyone who reads her story would have to admit that there is no way she could deny her sin.
The triumph of faith over sin may be the greatest victory of all, especially where it had to fight against lust.
It was faith that delivered Rahab the harlot from the detestable vice of prostitution.
Faith saved and rescued her and gave her a pure heart and transformed her into a beauty of holiness.
And now her name is recorded among the faithful; a woman full of sin, yet saved by faith.
In this woman Rahab, we have a noteworthy victory of faith over sin.
This woman’s faith was SAVING FAITH, SINGULAR FAITH, STABLE FAITH, SELF-DENYING FAITH, and SANCTIFYING FAITH.
I want to say something about each one of the divisions of her faith.
In the first place, this woman’s faith was SAVING FAITH.
All the other people we mentioned were undeniably saved by faith, but I don’t find that they were at any time rescued from death by their faith; while this woman was delivered from the destruction of Jericho through her faith.
And her salvation did not just come by delivering her from the swords of the Israelites; it was also that her soul was redeemed from hell.
What a mighty thing faith is when it saves a soul from going down into the pit of hell.
The appeal of sin is so great that only the atonement of Christ can snatch a soul off the pathway to hell.
However, faith is the instrument that God uses to accomplish the saving of a soul.
The sinner is rescued from the river of sin by a faith that reaches out and grabs hold of God.
What a great thing it is to save a soul!
You can’t know how great it is unless you have been a savior yourself; that is unless you have been a hero to someone.
I have known some heroes.
I knew a man by the name of Christianson, who saved the lives of three women by swimming out into the ocean three times to bring each to safety.
He knew what it felt like to be a savior to another person.
Then there was the heroic man who went into a burning house, climbed a creaking staircase, and even though he was almost suffocated by the smoke, he snatched a baby from its bed and a woman from a window and carried them both to safety.
He can tell you what a great thing it is to save a fellow human being.
We can save a life if we are brave enough, but we will never know what a great thing it is to save a soul.
Only the Lord Jesus Christ can tell you what that’s like, because He is the only one who has ever been the Savior of sinners.
And remember, you can only know how great a thing faith is if you know the infinite value of a saved soul.
“Now by faith the harlot Rahab was delivered.”
The evidence of her salvation was that she hid the spies, and helped them to escape, and then she hung that scarlet cord out the window and all of this placed her life in great danger.
But we can take comfort in this: The same faith that saved Rahab has saved you and me.
Is there a woman here who is lost and guilty of sin?
Listen to this!
Rahab was saved and you can be too.
You may even be detestable to yourself and you may feel uncomfortable at this moment and in this gathering of Christians, but I would say to you, “You are welcome.”
You have a sacred right to God’s mercy.
Believe in Jesus Christ, and you, like Rahab, will not perish with those who reject Him, but you will be saved.
And now, here is something for the men.
Sometimes men will say, “Some of the worse sinners are members of the church. I know that in the past that they were thieves, burglars, murders, and liars. Christianity is a sanctuary for sinful men.”
Well, that is true, but I know this, that it is a hospital too, because it heals their sins, and afterward, they are not what they once were before they received the gospel with faith.
Even the greatest sinner, when he becomes a Christian cannot continue in his sins.
The chief of sinners is as welcome to Christ as the very best saints.
The fountain filled with blood was opened for men of every color, the robe of Christ’s righteousness is also for the poor, and at Calvary, he brought comfort for all who are sick with sin.
May God give you the faith of Rahab, so that you can stand with the saints in glory and sing unending hallelujahs to God and to the Lamb.
But note this, Rahab’s faith was not only saving faith, it was A SINGULAR FAITH.
The city of Jericho was about to be attacked and within its walls were people of all types of character and all classes rich and poor.
They knew that if the city was successfully attacked that they would all be killed.
But it is strange to say that not a one of them repented of their sins or asked for mercy, except for this one woman who had been a prostitute.
Rahab and Rahab alone was delivered; one solitary woman among the multitudes.
Now have you ever thought that it was a hard thing to have singular faith?
In 1998, my company transferred me from Kansas City to Iowa.
On my first day, a man met me at the door and said, “You are going to be the only person in the plant, who is not Catholic.
Word had somehow come to this plant of 200 men and women that I was a Christian and a Protestant.
It wasn’t that some of the employees were not Christians: I believe they were.
But I stood alone in those things I believed in as a Protestant.
In that respect, I had singular faith.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to believe as everyone else believes, but it is difficult to believe a thing alone, when no one else thinks as you think.
Now, this was the type of faith that Rahab had; singular faith.
There wasn’t anyone who felt as she did.
She stood alone.
It is a noble thing to stand alone for Christ.
I am sure that there are some here who could talk about how they were alone when they stood up for Christ.
There are some today who suffer great loss because they stand alone.
A magazine by the name of “Voice of the Martyrs” tells their stories.
They are humiliated, mistreated; they are fired from their jobs, refused food, thrown in prison, and murdered.
But despite all this, they stand firm in their faith.
I would call them “great” men and women.
But where is their greatness?
It is this; they stood as firm in the storm as they did in the calm that they were as content to serve God alone as they were when they were with fifty.
Christians must swim against the stream.
Dead fish float down the stream, but the living fish forces itself against the current.
Now, worldly religious men will go just as everybody else goes.
That is nothing.
The thing is to stand alone like Elijah when he said, “I only am left and they seek my life.”