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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Prayers in the Bible: Rahab's prayer

The most important part of the story of Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho, is told here:
Joshua 2:8 Before they had laid down, she came up to them on the roof; 9 and she said to the men, “I know that Yahweh has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 For we have heard how Yahweh dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and to Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 As soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you: for Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, please swear to me by Yahweh, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a true token; 13 and that you will save alive my father, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, and all that they have, and will deliver our lives from death.” (WEB)

Does that sound like a prayer to you? At first, it didn't sound like it to me. But consider. As I have previously indicated (and the idea is not original with me) there are four kinds of prayer, namely Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. Clearly, Rahab asked for something. But she didn't ask God. She asked the two nameless spies. That was supplication, but of fellow humans. But the heart of Rahab's speech, as recorded here, is that she used Adoration: "Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath."

The spies were on a hard mission. They were to spy out enemy territory. The reason that they were on the roof is that Rahab had hidden them there, protecting them from death. The spies did their part. Rahab did hers. She is mentioned in the Faith chapter, Hebrews 11. She is also mentioned in the works chapter, James 2. She was an ancestress of King David, and, thus, of Christ.

I can't take this example as evidence that I should bring my requests to other people, rather than to God. But I should adore God, and have faith in Him, and work for Him.

This post is part of a series. Here's the previous entry. Thanks for reading.

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