Heavenly Father - Thank you for another wonderful day. Jesus I pray right now for my friends that are hurting and going through a terrible time. Lord please be their shield, guard their hearts and mind, and show them the way to joy once again. Lord, some have found themselves in a pit that was not dug by their own hands, but by another! Lord, be their redeemer and counselor. Please do something in their life to redeem them from the pit. Oh Lord I hurt for my friends and want things to be different as well. Jesus, most Precious One, be large in their lives right now. They are having trouble seeing you in any of it. Help me to pray for them throughout the day and days! Thank you in advance!
I found myself again in Joshua, but mingled through Ps. 138 after "talking" Holly from Crown Laid Down. She said, "Did you know that when I was looking up God making us strong and stout-hearted (from Psalm 138) that Rahab was the Hebrew word for stout-hearted? Rahab means strengthen, overcome, proud, make sure and behave proudly. Isn't that neat? Love your heart for His Word!" So that comment alone made me really do some digging and investigating a bit more. I want to be strong and stout-hearted!! I will come back to that!
On into chapter 2 of Joshua we get to the part where the deal is made there is an interesting word used. Rahab asks for her family along with her own house to be saved during the invasion and killings. There was going to be some bloodshed. Side note: Many times in the Bible God sends out His people to shed blood, kill, destroy, leave not one single human alive........as much as i hate it too that means everyone! God has ordained war many, many times in our history. The war we are in right now with Iraq is very, very serious - I know everyone knows that. But God wants us to stand up for those that can not stand for themselves - Micah 6:8 - (Iraqi people) and I think God wants us to do any and everything to make sure His Word and Mission is pursued throughout the world - that every man has the chance to hear the gospel! I know it seems more like a economic war and it is, but I know that our Lord and Savior has a greater good in store - there will be good come out of it. I need to have more of a spiritual perspective, see things through my Lord and Savior's eyes. I promise there is going to be good and there already has. It takes war at times, I do believe.
Whoa - that was a tangent! So anyway there is going to blood shed. In verse 12 Rahab says, "please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness to you." That kindness is the "hesed" love in the Old Testament. That is a reciprocating love - meaning that if i show you kindness or love you will show that back to me and I can expect it! It is usually seen in those that have a close relationship, but as in this case and many others that is not always the case. Hesed love is incredible. It is like when you are waiting in a huge line at the fair and someone even a stranger allows you to cut line. I would never do that........ ha ha. Anyway, you cut line and have a merry ride. The only thing is that as you are waiting in a long line and that person walks by wanting to go on that ride too. They have every right according to this kind of love, hesed, to ask you if they can get in front of you, cut line - reciprocating love! This is exactly what Rahab had done! She has kind to them and she wanted and made them swear by oath that they would do the same back for her. After all as we discovered yesterday she KNEW the Lord and wanted to be on that team now!! Plus emanate death had to play a part as well!
Now let's think about this with our Lord! My commentary - this is really getting exciting, praise you Lord - says that Hesed is central to God's character. That means that He can not help but have a reciprocating love. Even though we are unfaithful at times and forget to allow that person in the line at the park with us, God's hesed love can never forget. His hesed can never not be perfect. It also says, "God's hesed, however, is not bound by the covenant itself (Old Testament covenant)" simply because men may prove to be unfaithful - there is no "may" about it. We are unfaithful. God's hesed is everlasting. Oh my - i am jumping!!!
OK - hang in there Leigh - this is coming full circle. Holly lead me to Ps. 138 about Rahab meaning strong and stout-hearted. At the end of that Psalm is verse 8. "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your LOVE (hesed), oh Lord, endures forever - do not abandon the works of your hands." (Did you see how the psalmist, David, used a hyphen there in that verse. He must have been a speaker too. I write like I am speaking and have lots of interjections and hyphen thoughts i like to call them. David did it, so can i!!! yeah baby!!!) OK - here it comes. I need to settle down.............. I am so pumped!!
Rahab was strong and stout-hearted for many reasons. But i can see here one reason she went on to have her name written in the Hall of Faith - a prostitute in the Hall of Faith!! God made her this way simply and then He used her strong and stout-heart personality to continue on His good work. I am assuming, but this encounter with these Israelite guys and her up close and personal encounter with the Lord may have been the first for her. Maybe not, but maybe too! So God not only showed her how His love - hesed - works, but He was able to do it through these men. From that experience she was changed. Her whole family I bet! She had to have been strong because I am sure much ridicule was left to be had. "Oh there is Rahab - wasn't she that prostitute in Jericho?" Can't you just hear it now from other women on the street or shopping mart? Turning up their noses and strutting themselves in pride like they have no sin! But she was strong and stout-hearted. She experienced first hand the hesed love of our Lord, her God that she KNEW (yada) and never turned back. As we just saw in the verse in Ps. 138:8 - God did fulfill his purpose in here and it happened to be with a hesed kind of experience! He is just that way - He can't help it!!
Even in this war with Iraq, God will fulifll His purpose. For those that have lost loved ones He can not forget you nor can He NOT love you back!! Your time is coming, all our time is coming if we know His as Savior. He will have the last word, rest assured! Vengance is His, not ours!
Father, Savior, Redeemer, Lover of my soul, Forgiving One...............thank you thank you thank you! You have bestowed so much hesed love on me i can hardly stand it. And to think you are not even finished. You will fulfill your purpose in me just because that is who you are. You are a reciprocating Hesed God. Even when i fail to love back, be faithful to your promises and commands, when I worship other gods, when i bow to things that have no purpose in my life - you can not help but love back!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Jesus - I love you!!