There came a time in Rahab’s life when she looked around her city with it’s corruption and perversion - activities that she had participated in - and began to think about the situation. What brought her to this position? We don’t know. Others have been brought to reconsider their life choices and situations because of an empty feeling inside, a sense that there must be something more to life. Some have come to this point because a death or tragedy has made them think about eternal issues. Still others have been motivated by fear - the Israelite army camped across the Jordon perhaps. And some come more by weighing the facts and reaching the thought-out conclusion that God is real and Christianity is true [C.S. Lewis is an example].
Regardless of what began the journey for Rahab, she came a point when she realized that the God of the Hebrews was the real God and she wanted to join Him. This was not was not a “every head bowed” anonymous, costless decision. She could not - because of her situation - go out and tell everyone, but she may have begun to share her thoughts with her family because when the moment of attack came they seemed willing to accept her protection. .
The point is that there came a time - whether the process was long or short - when she was so committed to this God of the Hebrews that she was willing to lay down her life in His cause and for His people. This is amazing. She could have had very little knowledge about what God was really like. She knew a little, from the stories she had heard about the Israelite's escape form Egypt and battles on the other side of the Jordan, what it was like to be an enemy of this God. Today, at least in Western society, anyone can obtain a Bible, go to church, reach Christian books, listen to Christian music, etc. While there is much misinformation out there, ignorance is no longer an excuse. Rahab did not have that advantage. Raised in a degenerate pagan society committed to horrible gods who demanded child sacrifice and perverted sex and molestation as forms of worship, she had no opportunity of learning of the real God. But she knew God was real and whatever He was like she wanted to be His.
As we consider what we know of her life, we have two Rahab Decisions to make. It is really two parts of the same decision.
The first decision or first part of the decision is to decide to join the living God. Life is full of variety and the journey is individual. Some people come from “good” homes and backgrounds, although there is none good in the sight of God [Rom. 3:10-18]. Some come from atheistic backgrounds and have a struggle even believing that God exists. Others, like Rahab, have done evil things and may doubt that God can forgive them. And many are somewhere in between. In the full light of the New Testament period we know that whatever the route it must end at the foot of the cross with the commitment that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.
Some view Christianity as a crutch for those who can’t “handle” life. That was certainly not Rahab’s experience. Her decision knocked the “crutch” out from under her and made her stand on her feet. If you are in a “non-Christian” position right now, you need to take time to think hard about your life and the call of God. Christianity has nothing to fear from honest questions and deep thought. In fact you should, like Rahab, consider the consequences of your current life, the risks and costs of total commitment to Jesus Christ, and the long-term benefits of knowing God for yourself. Will you know everything? Of course not. Christianity is a loving, growing relationship with Almighty God which will never end. No one will ever know everything, but you can know enough to make an informed decision and get started.
The second decision or the second part of her decision was to go “all in.” There was no holding back. There was no opportunity to be cautious in her decision. Once it was made, she was a traitor in the eyes of her community - not a traitor in the sense that they would have been disgusted and rejected her, but in the very real sense that she would have been executed. This was not a half-measures decision.
Too many Christians today have not reached this point. They are comfortable. They think they have a risk-free Christianity. But such a thing does not exist. Jesus does not call converts but disciples. Discipleship always has a cost.
If your “Christianity” has no cost attached, if you are satisfied in a comfort zone and have no desire to move, you had better consider that perhaps you have been stillborn. There are many people who have had an emotional or intellectual experience and are trusting in that to save them. Christianity involves both the emotions and the intellect, but it is a heart recreated by the grace of God through faith in the blood and finished work of Jesus Christ that brings salvation. So examine yourself see to see if you are indeed in the faith.
Perhaps you are a Christian, but you have grown cold…distant…comfortable… [This is far different from going through what is known as a wilderness experience - which we all go through from time to time.] It is time to ignite your passion for Christ. It is time to get off the couch and onto the battle ground. It is time for the Rahab decision…to give it all…no stopping…no turning back
As I read Christian biographies [and you should, too] and look at the lives of great men and women of God, I see a sad fact. Often they have faced opposition - from discouragement and ridicule to outright attempts to destroy their work - from within the Christian community! Why is that? Some of these are genuine Christian people. Why would they do that? There are many reasons. They may not understand what God is doing [remember, Peter - Matt. 16:23]? They may be in a comfort zone and resent anyone wanting more. They may be locked into “traditional” ways of doing things and not appreciate innovation. They may not have confidence that you have really heard from God and fear you are making a big mistake. Plus many other reasons… The point is, if you make this Rahab decision do not expect all your Christian friends or leaders to support you. That is part of the cost. A note of caution, this does not mean that we are “lone wolves” for that is a sure way to destruction. We need the body of Christ, just don’t expect everyone to be supportive. If they are - great!
And a final note: We need to keep a check on our own thoughts and actions. We need to be careful that we are not the ones opposing the men and women God is rising up to do His work. We need to be very careful in our criticisms. I doubt any of the people who opposed God’s men and women in the past thought that is what they were doing! It is only as we look back that we can see their actions. Let us pray that we will always be found supporting the men and women that God has chosen for various aspects of His work even if we don’t understand their methods or calling. As long as they are not operating in clear violation of the Word of God, let us, at least, have a word of encouragement or a gentle word of caution if we genuinely believe they are wrong.