The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Note: This week we will consider the five women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ.
Message Summary: What's your past like? For some it's like Rahab. But God hasn't changed. He's still saving, transforming and using lives today! This message applies to every reader and to those for whom you are praying to be saved.
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"Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab" (Matthew 1:5). "By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient" (Hebrews 11:31).
If you had known me then, The way I was before
Then you’d understand why, I can’t hold back the tears
Now my life is so different, Since I gave it to the Lord
And I want to give Him glory, while I’m here
I stand before you knowing, That’s its only by His grace
That I am just what I am today
We received an email from a reader who shared how she tried to read the Christmas accounts in Matthew and Luke every Christmas season, including the genealogies. In reading the names in the genealogies she noted, "I make myself read every one, even if I can't pronounce them. The way my thinking goes is; if this person was important enough for God to make sure they are listed in the Bible, it's important enough for me to read it."
Today let us take note of the second woman mentioned in Matthew's genealogical record of Christ (Matthew 1:5). Rahab's story begins in Joshua 2 where two Israelite spies "came to the house of a woman, a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there" (v.1) She courageously hid the Israelite spies in exchange for her deliverance, along with that of her family, at the conquest of Jericho. She then helped them to escape by lowering them out a window over the city wall on a rope and then placed a scarlet cord out the window signifying her faith.
The final mention of her in the Old Testament is in Joshua 6:25 where we read that "she lives among the Israelites to this day". I find it interesting that none of the Old Testament narratives or genealogies refer to her after this nor her marriage to Salmon who is listed in Matthew's genealogy: "Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab."
Bible teacher W. A. Criswell wrote, "Rahab the harlot is an example of the grace of God at work. Her salvation was not based on her character or merits: she lived in a doomed city, practiced a condemned profession, engaged in subversive activities, and falsified [lied about] her actions. Nevertheless she acted upon faith, and was spared the judgment of God which was executed at the hands of the Israelites."
Both references to Rahab in the New Testament epistles specifically call attention to Rahab's background as a prostitute (Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25). But she is also commended for her faith and obedience in assisting the Israelites.
Some may wonder what business the Israelite spies had staying in the house of a prostitute which was likely also an inn. We could speculate that it would also have been a good place for strangers to enter and gain information without undue suspicion!
Rahab was not a member of the covenant community nor was she bound to its moral laws. Yet, after hearing the miraculous stories of the Red Sea crossing and their great military defeats, she was observant and had a great sense that these spies would conquer her homeland of Jericho as she said to them, "I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us…" (Joshua 2:9).
We believe there's a great lesson in her purposeful inclusion in the genealogy of Christ. Rahab was certainly not deserving of salvation through any merit of her own. But God saw her faith, rewarded her obedience in tying the scarlet cord in the window, and she is an early example of His grace.
But that's not all. God used her to fulfill His plan. In the providence of God she married one of her Israelite conquerors and with him bore an ancestor of the Messiah. If God can save and use Rahab the harlot He can surely save and use each of us! Like her, we're a trophy of grace, a masterpiece of His mercy and nothing we've done could deserve His great love.
What's your past like? For some it's like Rahab. But God hasn't changed. He's still saving, transforming and using lives today! This message applies to every reader and to those for whom you are praying to be saved.
I’m a trophy of grace a display of His love
I’m part of the results from the old rugged cross
That was stained with His precious blood
Though I’ll never understand why
He died in my place
Just look at me today
Because I can say I’m a trophy of grace
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we think of Rahab's obedience in hanging the scarlet cord from the window of her home which brought safety and deliverance for her and all her household. It would seem that the scarlet cord is symbolic of the blood of the Passover lamb that was posted on the houses of the Israelites during their mighty deliverance from captivity in Egypt. And, on the personal level, when we receive Jesus as our Savior we post His sinless blood on the doors of our hearts so that we are freed from the captivity of Satan's tyranny. We are protected from our deserved judgment for sins, because Your Son, Jesus, bore our sins for us. Thank You for making provision for us just as the spies made provision for Rahab. But even greater is that Your provision for salvation is not just for this life but for all eternity. We give You thanks in Jesus name. Amen.
Special Year-end Financial Appeal: We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.
Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.
If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information.
To donate directly online here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376
Please Note: We also provide this familiar option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Trophy of Grace" Video Davis, Goodine & Switzer featuring Louie Gutierrez
"A Trophy Of Grace" Video The McKameys
"Trophy Of Grace" Video Mike Manuel
"Mercy Saw Me" Video Geron Davis
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them. Thank you!
Please Note: Our chaplain agency is unable to provide a receipt if the donation is made through PayPal. However we provide this option due to the convenience, international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official receipt. Click here to donate using PayPal.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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