Keys to the Kingdom
The city of Jericho was the home of a prostitute named Rahab. Her story in the Old Testament is one of amazing faith and backbone. Rahab‘s life shows God’s mercy and loving nature in using the less than perfect, the unlikely, and the improper to accomplish His purposes. God still loves to empower ordinary people to fulfill His extraordinary divine plans. With the exception of her family, Rahab chose to leave everything and every idol behind. Because of her spunk and newly-found trust in the Israelites’ God, she eventually became an ancestor of king David and King Jesus.
If it’s been awhile, you may want to re-read Rahab’s intriguing story in the book of Joshua, chapters 2 and 6. I love the verse where she helped the Israelite spies escape from her home: “Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall” (Joshua 2:15 ESV). I found nine other translations confirming that she lived in the wall. Here’s a couple: “She resided within the wall itself” NRS. “She dwelt in the wall” RSV.
We believers are hidden with Christ in God. I like “in God” because that’s as good as it gets. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:2,3 ESV). When the men from various caravan routes crisscrossed at Jericho, they told news of a multitude of Israelites. This swarm of people had a God unlike any idol Rahab knew about. She heard how the one and only true God miraculously dried up the Red Sea and gave astonishing victory in their battles, which caused the Canaanites’ hearts to melt with no spirit to fight. Rahab made up her mind to cast her lot with God’s people. When she lived in the wall, she chose to risk her life by protecting the two Israelite spies. Before Jericho was destroyed, she actually switched from living in a wall to living in the God of all.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6 NKJV). Since believers are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, we can enter into rest and peace in our spirit and soul while here on earth.
Ike Davis and Ray Heady put their musical heads together and penned the classic song, “In the Shelter of His Arms. The tune and lyrics came to my mind as I thought about Rahab living in the wall, and how blessed it is to exchange a stone wall for the loving arms of Jesus. “When my soul was disturbed with sorrow and my heart was broken with sin; Jesus opened His arms of mercy and tenderly took me in. There is peace in the time of trouble. There is peace in the midst of the storm. There is peace, though the world be raging, in the shelter of His arms.”
If you ever feel like you’re beating your head against a wall, just turn around and you’ll find Jesus standing there with His arms open wide.
The Key: Don’t live in a wall when you can choose to live victoriously in Christ Jesus.