PUBLISHED OCCASIONALLY FOR ZION'S MOURNERS WHEREFORE LIFT UP THE HANDS THAT HANG DOWN, AND THE FEEBLE KNEES AND MAKE STRAIGHT PATHS FOR YOUR FEET, LEST THAT WHICH IS LAME BE TURNED OUT OF THE WAY, BUT RATHER LET IT BE HEALED. HEBREWS 12:12.13 VOLUME ISSUE

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IV 19

RAHAB THE HARLOT



There rages a great debate about the divine authorship of the Bible among the great thinkers, philosophers, and intellectuals of the earth. We would certainly not suggest that it is possible to prove to these skeptics and men of great mind that the scriptures contained between its covers are indeed the word of GOD. "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Heb 11:3) Apart from the gift of faith bestowed upon us we too should probably doubt its veracity and scoff when it is read or go off seeking some secret code whereby to understand it. An amazing consequence of this gift of faith is that those upon whom it is visited can't find anyway to escape believing that it is the word of the Living GOD. They confess as the apostles of old, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) The LORD himself said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27). I remember hearing Lester Roloff give an account of his confidence in the Bible as the Word of GOD. Several years back some men set out on an expedition to find Noah's ark over in Turkey. Evidently they had reason to believe that its exact location had been pinpointed. A newspaper reporter was interviewing Mr. Roloff concerning this expedition and asked him if his faith in the Bible as the Word of GOD would be strengthened if they were to actually find and photograph this boat. He said he wouldn't believe the Bible was any truer than he already did, even if they "drug" the whole ark back with them and put it in his back yard. The Bible does not need the defense of the natural mind to prove its veracity since the natural mind does not receive the things of the SPIRIT anyway. Spiritual truth cannot be known nor comprehended by the natural mind, so all of the arguments that men make in the flesh to "prove" that the Bible is the Word of GOD are basically a waste of time. (see I Cor.2:14) This is not to say that GOD's people cannot and do not rejoice when things in this natural world attest to its veracity but their belief that the Bible is the Word of GOD is not initiated, established, nor secured by such testimony, nor I might add can it be overturned by "discoveries" and futile intellectual exercises designed to that end.


The very content of the Bible proves itself repeatedly to the seeing eye and hearing ear. If the Bible was the mere product of men trying to persuade other men to follow a certain religion then there are many accounts that are recorded in its pages that they would surely have left out. David and Bathsheba is one. Judah with Tamar is another. Think about Lot and his daughters, the denial of Peter or his weakness as he sank into the water. This book is indeed the Word of GOD who records the truth "warts and all" for our benefit and HIS glory. Many of the incidents that are recorded in its pages are examples of the indecency of man and the purpose of GOD in using that wickedness to accomplish HIS purpose. These incidents must surely cause the "moralists" great consternation as they read and try to explain them. This can be plainly seen in the account of the Hebrew spies who paid a visit to the house of a harlot named Rahab. Now it is true that we don't have any detailed account of exactly why they visited this particular house. Neither can we be certain that she was still involved in the occupation for which she had become known, but it seems odd that her profession would be mentioned if they came there just looking for something to eat and a place to hide. But regardless of their intention or her occupation, GOD foreordained all these things to come to pass in order that HE might accomplish HIS will and purpose in the salvation of sinners. The fact that "all things work together for good to them who are the called according to HIS purpose" (Rom.8:28) can be seen plainly demonstrated as:


The LORD provided for the safety of those sent out by Joshua. Now we don't know what was on these men's minds when they went to Rahab's house but we do know that GOD meant for them to visit that house for their good. As Joseph told his brothers, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good," (Gen 50:20) it is often true that even the evil intent of our heart can be the means GOD chooses to preserve HIS elect. Saul of Tarsus went down the Damascus Road breathing out threatenings and slaughterings against the saints of GOD but the LORD brought him down that very road in order to bring him to faith and set him free. What a great benefit he has been to the church of GOD. Now what we need to glean from this fact is not that sin is good or even excusable. Neither can it be said that the wickedness of man is not reprehensible in the sight of GOD. Rather, we can rejoice that the purpose of GOD in the salvation of HIS elect is going to be accomplished by whatever means HE deems necessary, even the life of HIS only begotten SON. "Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." (Isa. 43:4-7)


The LORD used Rahab to preserve the spies but HE used them to bring deliverance to her that she might be spared. There were no doubt many morally upright women in the town of Jericho but it was on this harlot that the salvation of the LORD was bestowed. These men could have been sent to any house in town but it was to Rahab's house they were compelled to go. (see Luke 4:25-27) Salvation is not by chance but is bestowed according to the sovereign mercy of a predestinating GOD. "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Luke 10:21-22)


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