Case Study in Faith from Hebrews 11

By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies (Heb 11:31).

Yesterday’s post highlighted the four main components of faith I outlined in my sermon this past Sunday at Covenant Life Church. Rahab, whom the author of Hebrews specifically highlights in the great Hall of Faith chapter, makes for an excellent case study. Here is the text from Joshua 2:

Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death” (Joshua 2:8-13).

  • Faith has an object:In whom did Rahab place her faith?
    • “The Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath” (vs 11).
  • Faith has a foundation:What assurance did Rahab have for her faith?
    • “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea…” (vs 10)
  • Faith has a desired outcome:What was Rahab hoping for from her faith?
    • “Give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death” (vs 12-13).
  • Faith has a response:What act of radical obedience resulted from her faith?
    • “But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof” (vs 6).

Rahab’s knew that the Lord was God. She had heard about how he acted for his people, the Israelites in the past, delivering them from Egypt and from the Red Sea. She knew that God would act for them again and wanted to share in that victory, hoping to save her life and that of all of her family. So she hid the spies. Now that, my friends, is faith.

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