Life Lessons from Hard Times – Studies in James
Unlikely players in the Biblical narrative – the unlikely but real Heroes of the Faith. Rahab, a prostitute, a Gentile outside the Jewish protections and community, stepped up and demonstrated her living faith by her works.
James 2:25-26 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
- Rahab as a living example of a life working out from faith. Both in Joshua 2, and here, both authors remind us she is a prostitute by [former] trade. But she became an Old Testament believer by her faith. Rahab becomes a perfect following example (the last of 4 examples here by James) of salvation in its longest sense – the saving of lives because of works. Faith must show itself in action – and obedience. Redemptive justification is before God. The maturity of Faith and of life is before men. Rahab demonstrated her faith by her secreting and sending out of the spies, from their enemies.
- Faith that saves. Rahab and her family were spared by God because of her faith working itself out with obedience. Hebrews 11:31. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And this obedience continued by not only receiving the spies, but sending them out, to safety. The point here is important. Rahab’s faith began when she received in the spies. By her faith, she was justified by works when she sent them out by another way. In this justification by works, she proved she was really a friend of God.
- Faith that is alive is a saving faith in the fullest sense. Again, redemption is seen in the obedience and working out of our faith among men. Rahab’s living faith triumphed over the natural consequences of her sin. Talk about grace! No wonder this is in our section of mercy triumphing over judgment!
So many great lessons here. God’s intention is for his children to grow up, to live lives of obedience and good works, to ‘’be mature and complete.” Those men and women before us, noble and ignoble in life, led the way. God honors our faith worked out in the lives and needs around us. Truly, mercy triumphs over judgment. That is the ultimate biblical ethic! Best to you in your travels and pilgrimage.
– John Moore