Pr. Dennis Gallaher
“Now therefore, I beg you... show kindness to my father’s house... spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” Joshua 2:12-13
The most unlikely hero of the Promise Land saga was a woman named Rahab. Her well known story hinges on a choice to trust the God she didn’t know instead of the enemy of God’s people. As the story goes, because of her change of allegiance from the culture that had enslaved her to the ones who promised to deliver her, the course of her history changed forever.
The bible calls her “a harlot.” There is no other way to put it, Rahab would not find her way into most churches today! She was an outcast. Much like the Samaritan woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery, Rahab would be the least likely to succeed in her home town of Jericho. Even her name tells us something of her nature. Rahab means insolent, proud and is applied to none other than Egypt in the book of Psalms. Rahab means “the proud one,” a name that no one wants to be known by.
But look at the metaphor the story presents.
A battle was about to begin at the gateway of the Promised Land. Today, there is a groundswell of revival standing ready at the door of the devil’s world.
Spies had gone into the land to bring back a report. Today, missionaries, church planters, godly business men, and simple church members are going throughout the world and planting the seed of the Kingdom in places where Jesus has never been heard.
The news of God’s power traveled throughout the city before Joshua reached the gate. Today, social media is alive with the voice of the gospel. The internet, twitter and facebook reach those who were unreachable only a decade ago. And the reports are coming back... the land can still be taken with the good gospel of Jesus Christ.
The terror of God had gripped the heathen people, even so they refused to turn. Today, the signs of the times are all around. Worldwide immorality, the destruction of the family, abortion and sexual slavery has all increased at an alarming rate yet “repentance” is hardly the response. Instead, the world is hellbent and blind to the destruction that stands at the door.
But one soul, the most unlikely of all, turned the day from tragedy to victory. One voice who gave allegiance to a God she had heard of but never knew led the way for the greatest revival of all. She was a person of influence, an independent voice in a sea of confusion, and Rahab, the proud one, would be the “first fruits” of the Promised Land victory.
Right now, throughout the church whether east or west, there is a sense that we are poised for revival. I don’t say that prophetically but practically. There is a growing dissatisfaction with “business as usual.” Churches and church people are less enamored by the bright lights of religiosity and are hungering for the reality of holiness with a passion for souls.
Like Israel, we have crossed our Jordan but not yet fought our battles. Most of our weapons remain untested in the heat of real battle. But the day is coming when we will once again gather at the gate of the Promised Land.
But here is the most important part. It is often the most unlikely, the Rahab’s and their kin, who will be the first fruits of revival. The church needs to stretch out the tent robes of restoration, open our hands to the stranger, and realize that the “fields white with harvest” are going to look vastly different than the Sunday morning congregation of today. Our God is a God of redemption...
He saves from slavery.
He slices through bondage and hellish addiction for those who turn to Him.
He turns sinful indulgence into new destiny’s for the generations to follow.
Here are where the Rahab’s of the coming revival will be found:
Urban ministry and church planting in the large metropolitan centers of India must become a focus. The great influx of young, single adults should not be ignored.
Youth ministry needs to be prioritized in churches. The next generation can only be won by the “next generation.” Every generation is commissioned to reach their own generation.
The internet and social media should be exploited and not ignored. Remember Israel who “plundered Egypt” of its wealth when they left. The church should not turn a blind eye to the number one communication tool of the younger generation.
Marriage and family ministry needs a 21st century facelift. The churches methods need to meet the needs of the changing family of this new generation.
A plan of raising, training and releasing the younger generation into both responsibility and authority in the church should be developed.
It is not difficult to trace Rahab’s story beyond the shattered wall of Jericho. She married a Jewish prince and was divinely positioned in the genealogy of the King of Kings. No one would have ever chosen her to help usher in history’s great plan of redemption. No one except God, that is.
Look into the distance, friend. If all you see is the same landscape as before, you are looking in the wrong direction. If all you see is the history from the generation past, you are looking behind and not ahead. The plan of God is not for sin and Satan to be the norm. The plan is, like Jericho, for it to be crushed. For the Rahab’s of this world...the broken, despised and disenchanted... the word of deliverance can only come from the church of Jesus Christ.
It is time to do more than talk about revival. It is time to plan. The fallow ground is being plowed. The seed is in the hand of the sower. Now is the time to plan for the harvest that is to come. Rahab is awaiting her deliverance. Will you be ready to take her in?