Friday, July 20, 2007

Women of the Bible? Who was Rahab?

Let's look at who Rahab is....

I. Character Profile:
Rahab, A Woman Who Believed The Truth

A. WHO WAS SHE? (see JOS 2 and 6:17-25; MAT 1:5; HEB 11:31; JAM 2:25).

B. WHAT WAS HER OCCUPATION? She was a "prostitute"- ishshah, woman: zanah, one who fornicates, harlot (JOS 2:1; 6:17,22,25)

Her Name Was Rahab, "insolence", or "fierceness" or "broad" or "spacious". The "Ra" part of her name comes from Egyptian idolatry, "Ra" the sun god. *this is from
"All the Women of the Bible", by Herbert Lockyer, Zondervan Publishers, pg.130.

3. WHEN DID SHE LIVE? She lived at the time of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, variously dated as @ 1400 B.C. or @ 1200 B.C.. The account of her took place @ 6 days before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, and somewhere around 2 1/2 weeks after that.

a) She lived in Canaan- the land northeast of Egypt, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, Lebanon to the north, the Euphrates River to the east, and the wilderness of Arabia to the south; to the north was the Hittite Empire and Bashan, to the east were the nations of Ammon and the Ammorites, Moab, and Edom.

b) She lived in the city of Jericho
1) this was a walled city-state located west of the main ford on the lower Jordan River; it controlled the crossing of the river and the entrance to the land west of it.

The Bible tells us that Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert without reaching the Promise land for 40 years. After Moses died God told Joshua that he would become the new leader to fulfill God’s promise to his people, and he would lead them into the Promised Land.
So Joshua assembled the Israelites, and told them to get ready to cross the Jordan River to take over the land. Before they took over the land, Joshua chose two spies to check out one of the most wicked cities, Jericho.

There the spies entered the house of a prostitute named, Rahab. The Bible tells us that Rahab and the people of that entire region had heard about the power of the God of Israel, and that she and they were very afraid. Because Rahab feared God, she wanted to help the spies by hiding them from the King of Jericho and his soldiers.

Early the next morning the Bible tells us that Joshua and the leaders of Israel crossed the Jordan River in a miraculous way. God parted the water and led them through on dry land just like he did for Moses and the Israelites when they crossed the Red Sea to escape from Egypt.Then God told Joshua to do something very unusual. This is what he said:

"See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."

The Bible tells us that the Israelites did as the LORD commanded and the city was utterly destroyed. Everyone and everything -men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, and donkeys. Everyone except Rahab and her family because she had protected the spies and feared God. From that day on Rahab and her family lived among God’s people. In fact, the Bible tells us that she was a great, great, great...grandmother of King David, and that means she was an ancestor of Jesus! (see Matthew chapter 1)

God rewarded Rahab for her faith. We are to learn from her and emulate that behavior. But she, like us, made other mistakes. We all have to strive toward purity, and repent when we fail. We can learn from her mistakes as well as from her obedience.

As I get to know Rahab and her struggles I'm encouraged to continue in my day to day walk as a wife, mother, & woman. Rahab wasn't perfect, I'm definitely not perfect. For myself and others I know life is a day to day challenge in many ways, but I've learned from Rahab that faith, courage, commitment, obedience and God's grace are key factors to that day to day challenge.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Monday, July 16, 2007

What is a Christian Woman's strength

The first general, but great principle to assure you walk in the perfect will of God for your life is: "A woman's strength should be spent on her God."
"... As thy days, so shall thy strength be." declares Deut. 33:25. The Lord will give us enough strength for today. He has promised, "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is evil thereof." in Matthew 6:34. You are going to make it dear lady, if you'll utilize the daily supply of strength that God gives you.
Use your strength on God, not on self. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31. You will be rich with His joy; and "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10. You will avoid burnout and be refreshed in your spirit daily.
Ladies, what is the greatest thing you can ever do? The Bible says in Mark 12:30-31, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." It is not a waste of a ladies life to spend her strength on God, it is the greatest thing she can do.
How can a woman use her strength on God then? The Bible is filled with some wonderful examples of ladies who blazed the trail before you.
Let's look at some:
Anna used her strength in prayer and fasting- Luke 2:37b.
Other women used their strength at prayer meetings- Acts 1:14
Hannah prayed fervently- 1 Samuel 1:10
Junia was a missionary- Romans16:7
The woman at the well helped win her city to Christ- John 4:39
Rahab the harlot gathered her family to safety- Joshua 6:23-25
Philip's daughters preached the gospel- Acts 21:8,9
Tabitha was a disciple (student) and had a ministry of helps making coats for widows- Acts 9:36-39
Phoebe was a helper in the Lord- Romans- 16:1,2
Women ministered unto Christ of their substance- Luke 8:3
Mary anoited Jesus with ointment very precious- John 12:3
The widow gave of her want- Luke 21:2
Another Mary gave support for the man of God for the Lord-Romans 16:6
Mary the anointer sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His word- Luke 10:39
Priscilla ministered for the Lord with her husband Aquila- Romans 16:3-4
Tryphena and Tryphosa laboured for the Lord- Romans 16:12
This is just a partial listing of women who used their strength for the Lord. The Lord took note of them. Whatever they did whether small or great. There is an old saying, "One life twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last." Dear women, a million years from now and throughout eternity, you'll be glad if you used your strength for your God.

A Wise Woman Buildeth Her Home

Is the home just about order and outer beauty? My goal is to have a home that reigns a spirit of Love, Joy, & Peace. A place of warmth and encouragement.

In Bible times, a woman was responsible for keeping the hearth fire burning at all times, as it was vital for food, warmth, and light. It was, in a sense, imperative to life itself. To "keep the home fires burning," so to speak, she had to be a keeper at home in the purest sense! Letting her hearth fires die brought embarrassment upon her home, for she would then have to walk through her village balancing a fireless brazier atop her head for all to see, and beg for another woman to have mercy and "heap coals of fire on (her) head." (Romans 12:20)

The phrase "keeper at home" in Titus describes an important role in the preservation of the family, extremely more important than a modern reader might assume. Yet it remains true even today that when a woman turns away from her hearth fires, the first ministry; her service to the Lord lies cold and dark. But when she diligently tends her hearth, she blesses Him by creating the most appealing and treasured spot on His earth - a home away from our true home in Heaven; a warm, magnetic center of life for those He places in her care. Light shines forth from it, and all within are nurtured and content. If we are wise, we will build such a joyous haven!

I sure experienced this lesson the hard way this past year working full time outside the home. I set aside my service to the Lord; which is my family, my home. My focus is back on the Lord, my husband and my children. Our light will shine brighter.
Father, guide me as the "keeper" of my home that I shall keep the home fires burning