Don't waste all that potential inside of you!
The Bible tells the story of two Rahabs, one a risk-taker, the other a time-waster. Debbie Bullock introduces the women and asks which one are you most like?
As I was watching television recently, there was a knock at my door. I went to answer it and there stood two men. They asked me if they could come in and hide because there was someone after them.
Immediately going into the role of wonder women, I quickly invited them in and hid them under a bed upstairs, thankful that I had cleaned under there just that day. Later that night, sure enough, the enemies of these two guys also came knocking. I calmly told them that they had indeed been at my house, but that they were now gone (I’d helped them climb out of the bedroom window by tying sheets together).
I’m sure you’ve realised by now, that none of the above really happened to me, (at least I hope you have!), but it did happen to someone we read about in the Old Testament.
I wonder what she was doing on the night she got the knock at the door – actually there was no knock - if you read the account in Joshua 2, the spies just entered her house! What was she doing? Maybe she was cleaning, cooking, catching up with a friend or she may have been getting ready for a client, she was a prostitute after all.
Whatever she was doing, her life was about to take a dramatic turn. She agreed to hide the spies which I imagine can’t have been an easy decision. She knew who they were and she knew about their God so she took the risk of taking these two guys, who were spying for an army planning to take out Jericho, into her home. Because she did that, the Israelite army protected her and her family and they were saved from the destruction of Jericho.
That would be a cool story, even if it ended there, what with the spies, drama and escape, but it doesn’t. Not only was Rahab the prostitute saved, to cut a long story short, she went on to become the great, great grandmother of King David!
Isn’t that just the grace of God? If we were God, how many of us would have looked through history and made the decision that there should be a prostitute in the genealogy of the King of kings? I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have.
Rahab, the prostitute, adventurer, risk taker, eventually became royalty. What an incredible story. Her birth, her upbringing, her sin didn’t disqualify her from being used by God in an amazing way.
I read recently about another Rahab. She’s found in Isaiah 30:7. The book of Isaiah is no picnic to read and, to be honest, most of the time, the chapters baffle me, but this chapter caught my eye, especially its reference to Rahab.
Basically, (And I hope no theologians read this!) Isaiah is telling the Israelites off for looking to other nations for help and not to God. In chapter 30:7, he’s referring to Egypt and he names her, ‘Rahab, the do-nothing’, meaning don’t rely on Egypt, she won’t do anything to help you, yes she may be strong, but do not look to her, she can’t do what God can do.
Let me use some poetic licence for a moment. If you were to compare yourself to one of the Rahabs I’ve talked about, which one are you? Are you the Rahab (no. 1) who has thrown herself into the adventure that God calls us all to, the adventure where you will have to take out your sword and fight sometimes and you will have to take risks, and it’ll be scary, but the rewards will be amazing.
Or are you more like a Rahab, the do-nothing? Are you just sitting on the incredible potential that is inside you because of your past, your hurt, your bitterness, or your un-forgiveness?
Maybe you don’t think you’ve got the same right as other people in your church or your life. Can I encourage you today to dismiss that lie? If you are born again, then meditate on these brilliant words of Romans 8:11 - “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
That is some potential – don’t waste it, what are you waiting for?