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Rahab – A Woman of Great Discernment

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I love reading the old stories of how God used so many vessels we would look at as unworthy to accomplish His will. And I love the stories of the women in Jesus’ lineage. Rahab was one of those women! She was clearly an intelligent woman who showed a remarkable knowledge of the recent history of Israel, and of what God was doing for the Israelites when they drew near to her country. In fact, she seemed more aware of God’s intervention for Israel than Israel was. Compare – Joshua 2:9-11 “And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 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, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” to Joshua 1:2, 11, 13 “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel…Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it…Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.” She also had wisdom enough to obtain an agreement for protection from the spies, hid them, and out-smarted her own people when they came looking for them.

It took a lot of guts for Rahab to help the spies and arrange the deliverance of her entire family. Her siding with the Israelites was treason, punishable by death, not only for herself, but also for her whole family. Once she made her decision, there was no turning back.

Finally, Rahab was a woman who showed great spiritual insight. She recognized the difference between Israel’s God and the gods she and her people served. God was supreme–He did not share His rule in the heavens and the earth the way their gods did – Joshua 2:11 “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

We can see Rahab’s first confession of faith in her use of Yahweh’s name. Without any support or input from her world or Israel’s, she claimed the covenant name God gave to Moses when the Israelites first left Egypt – Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Then again, without any encouragement from others, she acted on her commitment by hiding the spies. This kind of faith was not often seen in God’s own people in the Old Testament, let alone from a Gentile harlot! It makes me think that Rahab had come to know the God of the Israelites and had a relationship with Him, even if it began out of fear for herself and her family. This is another great testimony to how valuable EACH and EVERY soul on earth is to our Lord God Jehovah! He would that NONE should perish!

This woman is a wonderful role model for making the right decisions and standing firm, even when it means going against our own peers. No wonder God wanted to honor her faith and courage by placing her in the line of our Messiah. Boaz, one of the most gentle and Godly men in the Old Testament, was her offspring. We are reminded of this in Matthew 1:5 “And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;” As well as in the Book of Ruth. God honored Rahab’s faith and courage by placing her in the lineage, not only of Israel’s great King David – Matthew 1:6 “And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;” But ALSO of Jesus, the King of Kings – Matthew 1:1 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Godly Women

 

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A Woman of Wavering Faith-Rebekah

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Rebekah was certainly one of the most appealing young women in Scripture. She is portrayed as chaste and beautiful, courteous and helpful, hard-working, hospitable, as well as responsive and trusting. She was chosen as the intended bride for Isaac – Genesis 24:15-20 “And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder. And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.” I recommend reading the whole chapter 24 to see the story unfold, and how God accomplished His plan for His choice of wife for Isaac.

Verse 28 hints that her family ties were very close, as her first response when she returned from the well was to share with the women in her household all about her encounter with Abraham’s servant. For a girl to be chosen for marriage to a wealthy relative was indeed considered a blessing from God. Her father and brother also knew that this was from God – Verse 50 “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.” But, the choice to leave home was Rebekah’s to make. This tells us how the young women in her culture enjoyed autonomy. (Verses 57, 58)

Rebekah volunteered a lowly service giving the camels water in verse 19. This was not a quick nor an easy chore for a young woman to accomplish. “And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.” This opened a lofty destiny to her as God worked His plan for her life through her mundane daily responsibilities. Her courage and faith at that time motivated her to venture from the familiarity of her family and friends to the unknown new life in a strange land.

God rewarded Rebekah’s faithfulness with a monogamous marriage that began with romance and loving affection (verse 67; Genesis 26:8). Also, in answer to Isaac’s prayer for his wife’s fertility, God removed her barrenness with the birth of twins, Esau and Jacob – Genesis 25:20, 21 “And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”

It was in her later years that Rebekah’s unwavering faith of her youth faltered. Of course, I am sure it did not happen suddenly but over time as our falling out of close fellowship with God always comes about gradually. Her taking things into her own hands which direction her sons’ futures would take, instead of trusting God, showed a lack of reverence and respect for her husband and his leadership.

The thing I find so very sad about this whole situation is how both parents showed such strong favoritism to their sons. Naturally, this brought rivalry, deceit, and contention into their home – Genesis 25:28 “And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.” Proverbs 28:21 gives us some wisdom about favoring one person over another – “To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.” And that definitely took place in this instance!

A few thoughts here may help us to understand Rebekah’s motivation for her deceit: perhaps her discernment of her sons–that is, recognizing Esau as worldly and adventuresome and Jacob as having potential for spiritual sensitivity, or her own close connection to one son over the other, or maybe even a strong faith in God’s revealed plan in Genesis 24:23.

In any case, the deceiving of her husband was without excuse and her poor example to her sons was a far-reaching tragedy. Even if her motives was pure, her action was wrong. Sadly, she paid a bitter price in living out her final years in separation from the son whose presence she desired, in alienation from the son who would ever remember his mother’s deception toward him, and in broken fellowship from a husband who had loved her devotedly. You see, there is no way of escaping the consequences of our actions. Those consequences very often extend out to future generations as well.

As always when we take things into our own hands to bring about our best laid plans, God turns things around and uses it all for His purpose. But we sure can save ourselves some pain and heartache if we just leave things in His all-knowing and caring hands. Try not to let your faith waver.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2018 in Women of the Bible

 

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Tidbits from the Book of James – Part 5

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Today’s tidbit is concerning faith and works. Works have absolutely nothing to do with our Salvation, other than as fruit of our Salvation; works will not get us to Heaven. But, once we are saved, we ought to want to work for Christ, and our works are evidence of our faith in Jesus unto Salvation. Our works are our fruits of our Salvation. So faith without works is dead. All born-again saints will stand before Jesus and have our works (after Salvation) tested by the fire. Those works born out of wrong motivation and not glorifying Christ will be burned up. Those works done for the sake of Christ and the Gospel will come out of the fire and we will receive our crowns for them. I look forward to laying those crowns at the feet of Jesus in gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice He paid for me so that I can live eternally with Him as my Lord and King.

James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (This is a great example of when a brother or sister says to us that they have a need and we respond with, “I will pray for you.” That is all good and well. We are to pray for our brethren. But what about actually using some of the increase that God has blessed us with to put our prayers into action and help them by supplying their need, as the Holy Spirit leads. God blesses us and provides well for us in order for us to help those less fortunate, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ.)

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary:

Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ’s righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith.

A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes.

Men may boast to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart.

That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favours. We see then, in verse 24 , how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer.

Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners. Rahab’s conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit.

Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God’s friend, or God’s enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Tidbits from the Book of James-Part 1

The Epistle of James always helps remind me of many of God’s wonderful guidelines on how to live Godly in this sinful world. These tidbits can bring needed, though uncomfortable, conviction to the believer’s heart. That’s why some tend to shy away from it. I did that for a time myself. Each time I read this Book, God does a little something different in my heart. I will attempt, over the next however long the Spirit leads, to share what He shows me.

First, let us consider and understand who James was. He was the half-brother of Jesus and he did not accept Christ as Saviour until after Jesus rose again. (I have often considered the heartache Jesus must have felt when He began His ministry and many of His family members disowned Him for His claims of Christ-hood. But that is for another time.) James did become an elder of the church in Jerusalem and he was respected as a leader among and Council member of the early churches in Jerusalem – Acts 15:6-21. James may possibly be the first New Testament book to be written.

This Epistle offers words of encouragement to us as we try to be firm in our Christian faith while we are persecuted for it. He urges us to focus on the victory that we will attain through what Jesus did. James also provides practical advice to unite all believers so that our fellowship will not be threatened by a lack of love, un-christlike speech, and bitter attitudes.

James teaches us to develop our faith by seeking wisdom from God. He reminds us that we have a choice: we can either give in to sin and suffer tragic consequences, or we can stand firm and therefore experience maturity of our faith by accepting the trials that will inevitably come. He maintains that our trials will produce patience and they will ultimately perfect and complete us as Christians. The prevalent theme of James is how to develop an enduring faith.

Today we will look at James 1:1-8

James 1:1-8

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (James could have given himself more credit by making sure we know that he is Jesus’ brother here, or he could have even boasted about his leadership in the reputable Jerusalem church. Instead, he proudly referred to himself as a “servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Servant here means “bondservant,” like slaves who had been released from their obligation, but willingly remain servants to their masters out of respect for them. Likewise, James gladly offered his life to be bound to serving God, who gave him his freedom. He expressed his willingness to obey, laid aside his own rights to follow God’s will, and he pledged his loyalty to the Lord regardless of personal loss, humiliation, or danger.)

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (Woah, hold on there you say! Count it all joy?! Yes, we are to count it all joy when several trials and temptations come, and sometimes several of them come at once. Remember when Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into stocks in the inner prison? What did they do? They sang praises to God and were set free. I have experienced the release and help that Jesus gives when we praise Him during tough times. There is nothing like to to build your faith.)

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (So all Christians learn as we grow that trials usually come so as to build our character and patience. This is never fun to experience, but if we praise God during the trials and ask Him what He is trying to teach us, He gives us the grace we need to grow as we move through them. I used to pray, God please give me patience. And then I would freak out because almost immediately something would happen that I really did not like, and as I whined about it to a more mature Christian, I would be reminded that every time we ask for patience we can expect a trial to develop that patience in us. Now I ask for grace as He teaches me the patience I still need.)

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (As Christ-like women, we come to realize that we all have the potential and that it is our God-given destiny to continually be maturing in our walk with our Lord. This is a goal that only God can help us reach.)

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (I am also understanding more the importance of growing in Godly wisdom. And all I have to do is ask for it. I used to think that the Scripture that says to ask and you shall receive was about asking for things and happiness, etc., but I have come to understand that while we do ask for those things, it is also speaking of wisdom in dealing with things that come up throughout our daily lives, as well as sharing the Lord with others and live out our faith.)

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (When we ask, we are to ask believing, like it is already happening. Oh how many times do I ask the Lord for answers in fervent prayer and then take it back and fret about it and get myself into a tizzy. How silly that is. If I ask something of the Lord, I need to trust Him with it without doubt; if I take it back and start fretting about it then I am not trusting Him.)

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (Double-minded=wavering in mind : undecided, vacillating. It is a human weakness and a characteristic of the hypocrite. One might say one thing while acting completely opposite, making one “unstable in all his ways.” God has no use for a double-minded person. Jesus spoke of double minded behaviour in Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” We are to know what we believe and why we believe it, hopefully because God says it in His Word, and we are to stand firm in those Godly beliefs, not wavering.)

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Forever Thankful!

I have been under the weather for several days now. I was not up to joining my brethren at Faith Baptist Church this Sunday. But, I am so thankful that the sermons are recorded on our church website!

Thank you Pastor Rainey and all those involved in recording and uploading these wonderful Biblical teachings! One was the Sunday School lesson and the other was the morning service message.

Let Not Man Put Asunder

Take it to the Lord

As you can see, there are many other messages you may listen to and learn straight from God’s KJV Word.

Enjoy! I sure did.

Service Times

314 South Circle Drive
Colorado Springs, Co 80910

719-632-1844

Sunday School 10:00 A.M.
Sunday MorningWorship 11:00 A.M.
Sunday Evening Worship 6:30 P.M.

Wednesday Evening 7:00 P.M.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in God's Love

 

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Only God Jehovah Knows Everything About Us

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Hello all. I feel like I have been away for a while, but no, just busy enjoying life in the Lord. Spending time with precious grandchildren, crocheting Christmas gifts, and have started a new writing course. As usual, God is Good.

I had some very special sharing time with my son this morning on the subject of letting life’s hurts keep us from our Lord. We talked about how David cried out to the Lord when his son, and others, were trying to kill him and take his throne and how he must have been overcome with discouragement, wondering why God did not intervene, in David’s timing. We, too, can become disappointed and/or angry with God and decide to run and hide from Him instead of obeying His purpose for us, and therefore miss out on His blessings. There is nowhere we can hide that the Lord is not there. Though I believe it is okay to question the Lord and perhaps be a brat for a time and try to run away from Him and His purpose for our lives, we must not stay in that dark questioning place. We must make the choice to converse with Jesus and ask Him why He may have allowed something horrible in our lives, and how He can help us turn it around to help others. Then, we are able to receive the healing that only God can bring.

As I was looking through some of my morning devotions, the Lord led me to one on Psalm 139. I said, “Aha, look, this is what we were discussing this morning!” And, of course, I just had to share it with all.

Psalm 139

1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in God's Truth

 

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God Never Changes!

That’s right! God never changes! Why do we limit Him and go our own way without Him until trials come and then fall on our knees calling out to Him? He is with us every day in every way. One of the greatest lessons I have learned over my lifetime is to talk with God every day, or the “little days” when everything seems okay, not just crying out to Him in the midst of trials when I have strayed too far from Him or life just happens. God is the same every day, no matter what goes on in my life. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, forever!

I recall being very young and thinking I was invincible, as we all do at that point in our lives. I went my own way, which was the way of the world, but after a time my Lord let me find out the hard way that the world’s way is the devil’s way, and hence we face trials that bring us back to our loving and merciful God Jehovah. But, just as God was forgiving time and time again with the children of Israel, so He is with us. When we humble ourselves and repent from our sin of turning away from Him, He always welcomes us back with open arms and withholds our much deserved wrath and punishment. I find such great joy in my golden years as I spend precious time with Him each day and grow so fond of His presence.

As I look back over trials in the past few years such as loss of loved ones and straying adult children and grandchildren, I am amazed at how the Lord has bathed me in His grace and peace that passes understanding. He tells me “Peace be still” and “Pray. Leave it with me and let me be God.” When we spend time with our Lord every “little” day, He gives us His strength through those bigger, badder days of trial. I love Mark Bishop’s song about this. So very true! Enjoy!

 

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in God's Love

 

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