Rahab and Peter are Bible people who had their lives changed when they let God take over. When they stepped out of their comfortable zones, they discovered that God was more than able to accomplish more than they expected.
At first, Rahab seems like an odd person for God to use at all. Then you realize that God rarely uses the person we’d choose. Rahab is introduced in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Joshua as a ‘harlot’. She is, it turns out, a woman with a heart for God, though. She hides the Israelite spies and tells them, “I know that the Lord has given you the land…for the Lord your God is he who is God in the heaven above and on earth beneath.” (Judges 2:9-11)
Believing that God was in control led Rahab to act treasonously (in the eyes of those in
). By trusting in
God, instead of people, she saved her family’s life (Joshua ). Eventually she married one of
the spies and became the mother of Boaz, who was great grandfather of David
(Matthew 1:5)! I found this story so intriguing that my book Rahab’s Redemption is based on these few
little hints in the Bible. Sometimes we can learn more by reading between the
lines to discover the faith of the women in the Bible. Jericho
God asks Peter repeatedly to step outside of his comfortable box. One such time is recounted in Acts 10. The Roman Centurion Cornelius is told by an angelic vision to “send men to Joppa, and bring one Simon who is called Peter...” (Acts 10:5). For Peter, a Jewish man, to go to visit a gentile was unheard of. However, Peter himself has a vision and tells Cornelius, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation; but God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection.” (Acts 10:28-29)
Peter hears Cornelius’ testimony of his own vision and understands, “God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35) He then preaches the Gospel to the centurion and all his family and friends who are converted and baptized.
Just this week, while reading an online meditation (d365.org), I came to this prayer which gave me pause and, for me, summarized the theme of these past weeks: “God, deliver me today from self-preservation so that I might believe you without reservation. Amen.”
Both Rahab and Peter didn’t consider ‘self-preservation,’ which would have dictated that they remain obedient to the laws of man. Instead they were obedient to the Spirit of God. By being willing to step out in faith, Peter converted an enemy. Rahab had to step out of her comfort zone in order to rescue the spies. In doing that she found welcome and learned the meaning of living a life of faith in God.
May we each listen more to the Spirit that says, ‘Have no fear. Come, follow me’ and less to the little voice that says we have to follow certain rules in order to ‘be safe’ or ‘successful’. Take Paul’s claim as your own, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7) and live boldly with God in control!Next time, we’ll start our final series of this Pentecost journey that started with living into the joy of Psalm 100 and learning to Abandon Self to God with Charles de Foucauld. We also saw how ministry grows like a seed and ‘we know not how.’ Each step along the way has been another way of looking at how we can live faith-filled lives with our Loving God in control.