Finding the Truth: Hope in the Distance, Part 18

by | Apr 4, 2020 | Hope, Hope in the Distance, Truth

The Israelites were excited. In three days they would cross into the Promised land.

By this time in their history, Moses had passed away. Joshua was their new leader, and he decided to send two spies into Jericho to find out what the people of Canaan thought about Israel.

The two spies ended up at the home of Rahab the harlot, and she proposed hiding them on her rooftop. Before they lay down for the night, she said to them: “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea[a] for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:9-11, NIV). There were no more doubts. God is with them. Rahab’s words set their hearts at ease.

When the authorities heard that Rahab had hidden the spies in her house, the soldiers wanted to arrest them. Because Rahab had hidden them under the stalks of flax drying on her rooftop, they were safe. The soldiers, upon the direction of Rahab, left the city to search for the spies in the mountains nearby. Once they were gone, Rahab, “…let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.” (Joshua 2:15 NIV)

We do not know how it came to be that Rahab was a harlot. Maybe she needed food for her family, and this was the only way to get it. The fact that she was a prostitute, however, would have made most of us turn away. Not these two spies. Instead of leaving her to what they would likely have considered her just reward for a life lived in defiance to God’s laws, they chose to show her Godly love. They gave her a red cord to hang from her window so that on the day that Jericho would be destroyed, Rahab and her family would be saved. By faith she believed them; and by her faith in the One True God, not only did she and her family find hope, but she would go on to become an ancestor of Jesus: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab…” (Matthew 1:5a NIV)

In our recent trip to Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory of Australia, we would quickly come to understand that the aboriginal people did not freely mix with non-aboriginal Australians. We do not understand the reason for this, but it was clear that the two people groups were divided. In the Christian Church we were blessed to visit that Sunday, however, the aboriginal people were made to feel welcome. The non-aboriginal pastor showed them love. He hugged them, prayed for them and prophesied over them. The non-aboriginal members served them a meal, drove them to and from church, provided fruit for their children, etc.

These aboriginal people at this church discovered what genuine love looked like through this pastor and his members. They make a decision to follow Jesus that they will never regret. They come to church every week, they share the same building with non-aboriginal Australians, and why not? We are all children of God: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (Romans 8:14 NIV)

These aboriginal people would never have heard the Good News of Jesus Christ had it not been for the love shown to them by this pastor and his church. As a result of this love, they now have the hope available to all of us through Christ.

As Christians, shouldn’t we reach out in love to everyone? Shouldn’t we especially reach out to those who are not accepted so readily in our society? When we do, we direct them to the One who is the Author of hope, and we open the doors for them to have that hope that comes through Christ.

God loves all people, whether they are accepted by others or not. There is always hope in God. Our job is to show love to everyone, and especially to those who are not so readily accepted in our society. When we do, we direct them to the One who is the Author of hope, and we open the doors for them to have that Hope that comes through Christ. Then, when they put their trust in God, He always comes through:

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV)

Who will you trust? Your friends? Your people? Yourself? Or our loving Father?

Who will you choose to show God’s love to?

Everyone deserves to find the hope that comes through trust in God.

Rob Chaffart


(To access the entire “Hope in the Distance” devotional series, please click here.)

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Finding the Truth: Hope in the Distance, Part 18

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