New Curriculum Posted – Living by Faith: Studies in Hebrews 11

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I just posted a new small group series called Living by Faith: Studies in Hebrews 11. The study works through the stories of those mentioned in Hebrews 11 and ties us in with them and the ministry of Jesus as well as the early Christian and contemporary martyrs. Have a look…

Living By Faith

That makes the free curriculum posted on this blog: 900 lessons, 3000 pages, and 48,000 pdf downloads! Thanks to everyone who has downloaded and used this material.

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  1. From page 15 of the study guide:

    The others in the city had also undoubtedly heard about these things as well. What was the difference between Rahab and the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho?

    The biggest difference is that Rahab was able to figure out who the spies and had a chance to do something for them. Since the spies were not preaching openly (like Jonah at Nineveh) the inhabitants of Jericho were not given that chance.

    What would have happened to Rahab (and her family) if the two men that Joshua sent had stayed at a different house? In Joshua 2:11 Rahab tells the spies that she wasn’t the only one whose heart melted because of the LORD of Israel, but she was the only one who had an opportunity to exercise faith.

    1. Do you think the providence of God shows up in the Rahab story? She ends up in the genealogy of Jesus so I am pretty sure God had that one figured out already. If they all heard about the Lord, seems like they all had some opportunity to exercise faith at some point, beyond just being afraid. Rahab was confronted with the choice more than the rest though.

    2. Regardless of Christ’s lineage through Rahab, it wouldn’t indicate whether God had Rahab “figured out” or not. At the time or the battle of Jericho, the only specifics given concerning the line of Christ was that he would descend from Eve, and even that prophecy was somewhat vague and more easily read after the fact (Genesis 3:15).

      If Rahab had not shown faith she would have perished along with the rest of Jericho. I think that it is likely that God chose Rahab’s line when selecting David for the reason of making a statement, even for the purpose of the eventual lineage of Christ, but this would by necessity be with hindsight, because you cannot know whether someone is going to be faithful before they ever exist. Even if God decided that he would like to use Rahab for the lineage of Christ at that time, he would not have been “in a bind” if she had strayed from her house and been killed (he would have used someone else).

      I would not be surprised if God specifically directed the two spies to Rahab to give her an opportunity to see what she would do, but my particular emphasis is on the possible others that may also have acted like Rahab if they had the opportunity… consider this possibility in the light of Christ’s comparison of Chorazin and Bethsaida with Tyre and Sidon…

      Mat 11:21 KJV
      (21) Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

      I think there is some similarity between these two scenarios, because according to Christ, Tyre and Sidon was lacking witness (opportunity).

      Another aspect that may not be necessarily related here is to consider that even though Rahab was the one who demonstrated the faith, others were saved through her faith.

      Jos 6:25 KJV
      (25) And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father’s household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

      Her father’s household was saved by virtue of being related to Rahab, and by having the faith to trust Rahab to stay within the boundries that she had been given… analogous to staying within the house during the Passover night in Egypt. I am not suggesting that this is saying that ultimate salvation can be inherited, but I thought that it was worth some notice.

  2. How does Hebrews11 affect us today as Christians, or do we just read about faith and that’s it end of story. Everything we read in the bible should be our day to day living. I recommend a book that will be a blessing to anyone in the ministry, especially women ministry. The title is “I am a Rahab Saved by Grace (A True Illustration of Mercy)” by Ujay Neme.

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