December 14, 2019

Three Strikes But Not Out

Joshua 2:1-16

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed. . . .

—  Hebrews 11:31

Rahab was a prostitute, a traitor to her own people, and an outsider. Even with those three strikes against her, God did not say, “You’re out!” Rather, she received a place among God’s people and is held up as an example of faith (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).

Rahab had grown to recognize that the God of Israel was the Lord of heaven and earth. She trusted God and was willing to take risks to help his people. So her life was spared, and she became incorporated into God’s people (Joshua 6:25).

This story serves as a lesson to God’s people that his love for them is not because they are so great or good; rather, God loves us all because he is gracious and good. Rahab became an ancestor of David (Matthew 1:5). So she too is in the family line of Jesus.

Today you might think you have too many strikes against you to belong to Jesus’ family. But the Bible has good news: all who receive Jesus and believe in his name have the right to become children of God (John 1:12).

Christmas invites us to believe in Jesus and to look forward with hope to the day when he will come again to reign as the Lord of lords and King of kings forever.

We worship you, Lord of heaven and earth, and we pray that during this Christmastime many more people may come into your family, for Christ Jesus alone gives us the right to become children of God. In his name we pray. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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