Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Woman Named "Storm"

So what kind of woman would you think would be named "Storm?" That was the meaning of the name Rahab who we are introduced to in Joshua 2:1. Her name didn't mean "butterfly" or "gentle breeze." He name meant "Storm!" I imagine her personality fit her name well. This woman was no doubt on the feisty side. She probably wasn't the type of woman you wanted to cross.

Not only that, She was a Canaanite, meaning that she was part of a very wicked group of people that God had promised to judge harshly. As a Canaanite, she would have no doubt grown up as an idol worshipper. And to top it off, she was a harlot - a prostitute. Some will say that she was nothing more than an innkeeper who ran a bed and breakfast. Folks, listen, she was a harlot. The book of Joshua calls her a harlot. The book of Hebrews call her a harlot. The book of James calls her a harlot. She didn't run a bed and breakfast in Jericho, she ran a brothel.

Now based on this description, how many of you would like to see your daughter grow up to be just like Rahab? Not likely, huh? In fact, Rahab would have easily made the list of "least likely people to become a spiritual hero." In fact, most churches today would have wrote Rahab off. I doubt she would have been welcomed in many churches in our culture today.

That's what makes her story one of the best M&M stories (Meeting & Moving stories) in Scripture. Joshua 2-6 tells the amazing story of how God met this woman right where she was at and moved her to where He wanted her to be. It is well worth your taking the time to read these amazing chapters.

But let me jump ahead to the first time Rahab is mentioned in the New Testament. We see her name mentioned in the lineage giving in Matthew 1. In verses 5-6, we find that Rahab marries a Jewish man named Salmon. She becomes the mother of Boaz (who married Ruth). She then becomes the grandma of Obed, She then becomes the great-grandma of Jesse. She then becomes the great-great-grandma of King David. Imagine that! And that puts her in the lineage of Jesus through His earthly father, Joseph. WOW! What a long way that is from her days at the brothel in Jericho.

And if that is not cool enough, we see her again in Hebrews 11:31 where she is an example of what Biblical faith really looks like. In fact, she is only one of two Old Testament women mentioned by name in Hebrews 11, the other being the wife of Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation.

She started out a Canaanite woman who worshipped idols, had a stormy personality and ran a brothel in the walled city of Jericho. She ended up in the line of the Messiah and a Biblical example of faith for all of us to follow. Now that is what I call an M&M story - God MET her right where she was at (a place where most religious people would have rejected her) and MOVED her to where He wanted her to be!

M&M's stories! Nothing tastes better!

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