Transformation Garden - Mar. 16, 2009

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March 16

“For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites….”
Joshua 2: 10, King James Version

EXPLORATION

“Hold On!

“Patience and diligence, like faith remove mountains.”
William Penn

Like Rahab, am I willing to be patient and diligent as I allow for God’s leading in my life?

“Diamonds are only chunks of coal, that stuck to their jobs, you see.”
Minnie Richard Smith

INSPIRATION

“I’m on My way, I’ll be there soon.  Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you…. I’ll make each conqueror a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, a permanent position of honor….”
Revelation 3: 11, 12, The Message

If you had asked me, “Dorothy, did you know we would be studying the life of Rahab for three weeks?” I would have said, “It’s impossible!  There’s not enough to fill up three weeks.”

Guess what?  I was wrong!  In fact, there’s more than enough in the Old and New Testaments to write a book with study guides on this fabulous, fantastic woman of faith – only one of two women mentioned by name in Hebrews 11, the “faith chapter” in the Bible.

As I have reflected on all I have learned from the life of Rahab, I asked myself this question. “What is the single most important lesson Rahab’s life has taught me?  What lesson do I want to take away from her life and ask God to daily incorporate into my life?”         

You may have other ideas, because all of us take away different points from different stories. But here’s the single lesson I’m longing to take from Rahab’s life and to pray it infuses my own.

This lesson is found in Joshua 2: 10.  We are never told how old Rahab was when the spies came to her door, but from this passage in Joshua 2, it is clear that the story of the Israelites and their God was one that had been passed down through generations even in the land of Canaan.

When the spies came to Rahab’s house, she informed them she had heard about God’s miraculous support of the Israelites, over 40 years earlier.

Obviously, what God had done at the Red Sea meant something to Rahab.  God wasn’t a, “What have you done for me lately,” kind of God in her eyes.  With persevering diligence she listened to the stories of God down through the years. She watched as the same God worked on behalf of His children when they went up against Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites.

And even though, at this point in time, as Rahab told the spies, “our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any (woman and man),” she still came to one conclusion: GOD WAS IN CHARGE – He was ruler of, “heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2: 11).

Here it is all of God’s daughters and sons.  The lesson I want to learn from Rahab is that even when it takes time to see God at work in my own life, “Hold on, Dorothy!”

I don’t find it a bit strange that it was a cord, a line you have to hang on to, that meant salvation not only for 2 Israelite spies, but for Rahab and her entire family as well.  It was a line they had to hold tightly to and never let go!

Rahab heard the stories through the years, she watched God at work and NEVER gave up on her belief in the God of heaven no matter what was going on around her.  She hung on!  How I pray for the perseverance of Rahab to keep holding on.  For one day, deliverance will come for you and me, just as it did for Rahab and all those like her who had a faith that never failed.

I’ll never forget, several days before my dad died, when we were enjoying life, totally unaware of the time-bomb ticking inside his fragile heart, my dad made this statement to me. “As a young man, I followed God’s call upon my life.  I promised Him that when I put my hand on the plow, I’d never take it off.  And I’ve kept my promise to God.”

In an ancient letter written by Madame de Stael, she penned these words, “I must keep rowing, not until I reach port but until I reach my grave.”

What a perfect way to end our study on Rahab.  Keep rowing!  Keep holding on!  Keep your hands on the scarlet line!

Yes, life may get tough.  Yes, time drags by.  Yes, sometimes God’s silence seems deafening!  But the lesson of Rahab’s life, and the reason we find her in the New Testament is that the Apostle Paul extols her faith because she “Held On! In spite of the fact that no one else in Jericho believed God was who He said He was.

The wonderful Amy Carmichael called God the, “Strength of My Heart” when she wrote:

“Strength of my heart, I need not fail,
Not mine to fear but to obey.
With such a Leader who could quail?
Thou art as Thou wert yesterday.
Strength of my heart, I rest in Thee.
Fulfill Thy purposes through me.”

As we say goodbye to Rahab and begin our move through Canaan, I can hear Rahab the harlot saying to us today: “Hold on daughters (and sons) of God, for I know your Lord!  He’s worth waiting for!”

AFFIRMATIONS

A Stumbling Beginner

“Lord,
I am a stumbling beginner,
unconfident,
unused to trusting,
afraid to trust.
Please help me.
I’m also pigheaded – I’m stubborn
and want my own way!
Please forgive me and overcome that in me.
But you know that, don’t you?
And you’re still prepared to take
me on and work with me,
Wonderful Lord!”
Dorothy Stewart
Women of Prayer

“I know the Lord; He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”
Rahab the Harlot

Your friend,
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus 
Available May 2009
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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