Facing Today's Uncertainties...
Alongside the Corona virus outbreak, is the outbreak of anxiety and uncertainty that is crippling many people around the world. I know of people who have lost their jobs, some have taken pay cuts, and some have even lost loved ones during this pandemic.
I was writing a song with thoughts about not being anxious and then I thought of Rahab, here is a woman who ‘struck a deal’ with two Israeli spies in return for her family being saved, when the rest of her world would be destroyed.
Rahab’s story is found in Joshua chapter two. It’s a great story about someone who had faith in God in a time when the people around her were anxious and concerned about their futures. I want to focus on the period between her encounter with the spies and when she and her family were actually saved.
Here are three things that she did that we can adopt into our daily lives:
1. Remember the greatness of our God.
"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…for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.”
This is a powerful statement of faith made by a prostitute who lived in a city that neither knew God or feared Him. Rahab knew that if God was able to free slaves from bondage and feed millions of people in the wilderness, He was certainly capable of overcoming a city like Jericho.
In the state that our world is in, as believers, are we assured like Rahab was, that God is greater than what seems to be overwhelming the world?
2. Align yourself to God and His Word.
She said: “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… The men said to her ‘… you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father's household. Then if anyone goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be guiltless. But if a hand is laid on anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head.” Joshua 2: 12 -19
This was all Rahab had to secure the salvation of her and her family. A word from two men whom she had just met who spoke on God's behalf.
This reminded me of when the centurion approached Jesus and asked Him to heal his servant, he said to the Lord ‘You don’t even have to go see him, just say the word and I know that he will be healed.’ Jesus commended him for his faith and said to the others that he had not seen faith as great as this in all of Israel.
Before the Corona virus had completely reshaped our world, what Word did God give you concerning your future?
It’s one thing to know that God is capable, it’s another thing to trust and believe that He will keep his Word for you specifically. How many of us have doubted during this time?
The reason I had to sit down and learn about Rahab was because I was starting to feel overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed after hearing stories of people whose livelihoods are at stake because they can’t work, or their businesses are going under. Hearing about how anxious the people around me were started to make me feel anxious about my own life.
I began to focus on the words of those around me and not on the Word that God had given me. I put myself in Rahab’s shoes, but unlike her, in that moment I failed to believe that God would come through for me.
This is where our faith is tested, and endurance is cultivated. I never really thought about it, but it probably took weeks before Rahab and her family were saved from the Jericho's imminent doom.
Here are four events that took place before Rahab’s family was saved:
1. The Spies hid for three days before returning to camp.
2. After crossing the river, all of the men had to be circumcised. (Now, I have never been circumcised, but I’ve read that it usually takes about ten to fourteen days to heal from this procedure.)
3. The Israelites celebrated Passover, which is a week-long celebration.
4. When the Israelites arrived at Jericho, they walked around the city for a week.
I’m not a Bible scholar, but it seems as if she was waiting for at least a month before they had the assurance that their lives would be spared. When you know that everyone around you is going to die, a month is a long time to wait for someone to come and save you. She had to get her family together and wait for salvation to come. How or when this was going to happen, she had no idea. All she had to go on, was a word from the two spies who seemed to be speaking on behalf of a God that she had not yet encountered.
On the day of their salvation, the shouts of men and the sound of trumpets shook the walls that encircled them. I can imagine the helplessness they must have felt when they could hear the anguished cries of their neighbours.
Right now in the midst of the world's uncertainty, God is orchestrating your salvation. All you have to do is obey and stay where He told you to stay.
In seasons like these, it’s important that we remember the greatness of our God, that we keep His Word in our hearts and that we wait in faith.
Let us not be anxious friends. Let us keep our eyes on the one who preserves our going out and our coming in. From this time, and even forevermore.