Somebody said I should tell you guys the truth, so here’s part of it because you don’t have the time to listen to all of it. When the choir is singing their special, I know you all think I’m having deep thoughts, but when Dwayne lays that hymnal up here and it’s open, I spend most of the time sitting here wondering what page that is and I’m guessing by looking at that. I haven’t hit it yet but that’s because I’m sitting here going hmm, hmm. Folks, if you can’t laugh at what you do you’re going to have a very bad life. By the way, Abraham named his promised child Isaac and Isaac means laughter, and if the promised child is laughter and we are the promised children that God promised to Jesus, then we should be a people of joy. As a matter of fact, the Bible says Jesus has anointed with the oil of gladness above all his brethren, and there are some very famous funny Jewish comedians if you didn’t know that.
He expects us to enjoy our life, and frankly I make so many mistakes and stuff like that I’ve learned to laugh at myself. You should learn to laugh at yourself, but if you don’t have the time, call me and I’ll laugh at you. How’s that? I’m just trying to be cooperative while we’re talking up here. Go to Joshua chapter 2. We’re going back to where we started, Joshua 2, except this time I’m going to be reading through Joshua 2:8-14. We’re back talking about the two spies, “Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, ‘I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the LORD 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 Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.’ So the men said to her, ‘Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.'”
Deal kindly with you. That word, and I’ll probably not say it right but we’ve covered it before, that word in Hebrew is chesed. Chesed. So, when she said in kindness, deal with me in kindness and she provokes that the root word there, or the idea and always, always, always remember that, always when this word kindness or chesed is used it has three basic elements and they all come into play every time in the Old Testament when it’s used. Strength, steadfastness, love or reverence. It’s always the mix so whenever you see the word kindness in your Bible in the Old Testament understand that it means strength, steadfastness and revere or reverence and somehow it’s mixed together. Now, this was something that was pointed out to me, that while this lady was telling all this story she gives some really pertinent information. The children of Israel had came out of the land of Egypt 40 years before and they went on to conquer the Amorites, both the kings of the Amorites, so they had known what was going on and she said people were melting away in front of them, meaning when you attack people they were melting away and when we heard what you did the hearts of even our warriors, our men, melted within them.
For 40 years we have been dreading you people. We have been dreading you because we have heard that you were coming to take this land, that it had been prophesized that this was your land, and we believe that you have that capability because the Lord your God is the God of heaven and He is the God on earth, and the people’s hearts had been quaking for 40 years. They had known what was going on. For 40 years they had known about the Red Sea drying up. For 40 years they had known about the Amorite kings, say 3 years on that one. They had known for 40 years the prophecy about conquering the land. They had lived in fear for 40 years and then they heard oh my goodness, they’ve come and they’re walking toward us now. What are we going to do? For 40 years they had prep time. They could have done something. It had been 40 years. What did they do? Not much. They basically said oh my, my. Let’s hide behind this wall. Let’s lock the gates and let’s hope they go away.
Duh! He split the Red Sea, He overthrew the superpower of the day which is the Egyptian army, He overthrew them, He had overthrown two kings as they were marching towards the city of Jericho, and their best plan was let’s lock the doors and hope this God of theirs doesn’t do something to us. Let’s hide behind some stones. 40 years of prep time and they did nothing. Jericho did not have chesed. They didn’t have strength, they didn’t have steadfastness, and neither did they have respect for God. They thought a wall, something manmade, was big enough and good enough to protect them. Basically what they were doing is the old deer in the headlight look. They’re coming and they froze like little rabbits. Their strength had left them, their hearts had melted, their resolve had gone and even with all that they still did not reverence this God and say He is big enough to do that and here we are. What should we do? Jericho was inert. Jericho was static. It just sat there like a lump.
The word inert by the way, and I looked this up to make sure that my high school education had kicked in, something that is inert means that it will stay at rest and not move unless something outside of it acts upon it or forces it into movement. Now, if something is moving along it will tend to move along unless something comes along and stops it. That’s inert. If you’re moving you’re moving, if you’re stopped you’re stopped and it takes something to get you going or something to bring you to a halt. These people were not moving. These people were doing nothing. They were inert. They had 40 years of preparation. Look what Rahab did. She had the brilliance of mind to say that’s a big God. He whipped a superpower. He overthrew them. He caused them to give these children of Israel lots and lots of gold and silver and everything they needed. They had been traveling for 40 years and their clothes had not worn out, their shoes had not worn out, and every person or every tribe that’s ever come against them has ben beaten and they’re coming towards us.
She had the presence of mind, the reverence of God, to say I’ve got to do something about this so when they came in she welcomed them, she treated them right, she had the strength to start moving, she had the resolve that once she made this decision she was sticking to it. She said you guys come in here. I’m going to hide you because the police are coming. No offense to the police out there. The police of this city are coming to look for you and I’m going to cover for you. Then she goes down and she says oh no, they’re not here. They left. They took off. I don’t know but boy if you chase them, if you go right after them you’ll catch them so they all jumped up and ran off and they locked the doors and she said chesed. I have shown you kindness, I have shown you strength, I have shown you reverence, and I have even hidden you from the people of this city that could have me executed. I am on the side of you and your God.
Now I have done you a good turn, and that’s what the root of the word actually means is I have done something for you at a personal cost, and it could be money, it could be time, it could be inconvenience, but she’s saying I have done this for you and I’m taking this strong stand and I didn’t lose my resolve when those people came and knocked at my door. I reverence your God because I know what He can do. I’m on your side and because I have inconvenienced myself now I ask for something back. I helped spare your life. When you and your people and your God come against this city spare my father’s household, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, and they said yes, we will do that. She had a plan on what to do. She hadn’t sat there for 40 years like a little rabbit hiding in a tiny hole. She was thinking I’ve got to make preparations, I’m willing to do something, and because of what she did whenever the children of Israel came and marched around the walls fell, she and her house and her father’s house and her brothers and her sisters, they were all saved.
What am I saying? This is it right here folks. Those people had 40 years to prepare and they did nothing. How often are we put in that same kind of position? We see something coming our way and yet we’re inert. Sometimes we’re just fearful and we don’t know what to do, but we’re inert. We don’t make preparations. There are churches that I know of, one is not too far from here who didn’t know what to do when their church had started growing. They didn’t want to change because they were inert so they got up one Sunday morning and said we thank you for coming but don’t invite anybody else, we’ve got enough people. That’s inert folks! They weren’t wanting to change. They were just wanting to be left alone and they had to confront all these people that were coming and they did not prepare for this, but Rahab had made these decisions and she had shown kindness to the people. She had gone out of her way. She had inconvenienced herself for these people and she was committed to them. She was committed to God, she was committed to the people, and she had resolve and she made this move, and because she did this, God blessed her and spared her family.
Now, you can say that’s Old Testament and it is, but let me flip now over into the New Testament. If you’ll go over to Acts chapter 16, you’ll find a mirror of this in the New Testament. Acts 16:30-31. This is the jailer and there’s the earthquake and the guy gets panicked because of the earthquake and they came and appealed to them. They brought him in verse 30, “and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” This idea of that household, some people refer to it as household salvation. Now let’s just start it this way. This guy was willing to, to quit being inert on this subject and he was asking what must I do? You tell me. I’m willing to make the change. Your God caused an earthquake. If He can do that what must I do, and they said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and this is how generous God is, not only will you be saved but your household will also.
Now, every person is responsible for themselves to make that commitment to believe in Jesus Christ. Back to Rahab, when the attack came her, father’s household had to stay within that house. They made a commitment to stay and honor the God that she had honored and they stayed within the house. That was the choice they made. Had they went out into the city the buildings would have fallen upon them and they would have been destroyed, but they made a commitment. So, these people, also in the Book of Acts, have to make a commitment, but what I’m saying here is this idea. If you are willing to make that kind of commitmen,t to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, He will also save your household. He will also save your household, but to make this work you’ve got to do this. You have got to stand strong. You’ve got to make a strong commitment and say I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
When we did the baptismal service I was asking that question, do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God? Yes. Do you believe that He died and He rose again from the dead? Yes. Do you believe that He forgave you of all your sins when you trusted Him? Yes. You’ve got to make that kind of a strong statement and then you’ve got to stand fast on that belief and say this is the truth. It doesn’t matter what goes on in the rest of this world. I’m standing on this truth that Jesus is God and that I can trust Him. And then He says you do that and I will bring your household to salvation also. You’ve got to make that commitment though. You’ve got to stand fast and you’ve got to reverence God from that point on. I didn’t say you were going to be perfect. I’m just saying you’ve got to stand, you need to. I shouldn’t use the word got. You need to take this stand. You need to make a strong profession. Then you need to stay at it day in and day out year after year.
Even if your family does not accept what happens in your life, you keep standing. You keep going on with it and reverence your God and you say I’m trusting You, and it might be that after you pass away your children or your family will start making the profession of faith and come around and say I remember this person in my family took this stand and I saw how God blessed him. He was a good God to them and He did great and marvelous things in their life and changed them so much there had to be a God. If you guys don’t know the story of the night I got saved and made my profession of faith, I stayed out after 12 o’clock and my mom was waiting for me and she asked ”Where were you?” I answered “I got saved tonight.” Then she said “You needed it” and went to bed. Yeah, I think they wondered about me after that profession of faith though, but I tried to do my part of standing firm and steadfast in reverencing God. Through all these decades not only has my immediate family made professions of faith but every last one of my cousins have made professions of faith and we’re right down to the last one or two in the family, and I think they have made professions of faith also, but are seeking to confirm it.
But here we are. God is honoring His word and as other people in the family came to faith they stood on this promise also, God we’re trusting you to bring our aunts, our uncles, our cousins into this relationship with You because You are a strong and mighty God. Rahab had this chesed. She had made this commitment and her family was saved. They made their choice to stay in the building and they were saved. As we make this commitment we too can trust in God. It might take awhile, but we can trust in God that our family and our children and our grandchildren if you happen to have that, grandchildren will come around but you keep staying by your God and your commitment like Rahab did. The whole city could have made this same kind of deal. They could have went out and marched out, threw open the gates and said we know that you have a great God. We know that there is nothing going to hold you back. We reverence Him because He is the God of heaven and He is the God on earth. We’re opening up our gates. We are throwing ourselves on your kindness, on His kindness. What will you do to us or with us we do not know, but we trust your God, we trust your kindness. We will help you out, whatever.
We will convert. We will become believers in your God and we will forsake our false gods and our false ways. That is one of the things that we have got to make the commitment to, is forsaking the false gods and the false ways. A lot of people don’t want to do that. Jericho did not want to change. But as the epilogue, that’s the other part of the story that goes on, Rahab and her family were saved. They were in a 2-story building and there they were looking out the window. What did they see? The walls fell down. The horde came through. They slaughtered and killed everybody else in the town except for them that were in there, and then they burnt that town and they looted it, and they took everything out of it and they gave it to their God who was great and wonderful. They were there and they were saved in spite of all the ruin that was going on around them. They trusted in their God.
Application to us. If we are committed to Christ, truly committed to him, and we’re doing our best to stand firm and we’re reverencing him even if the United States right now collapses all around us, Christianity will survive. If we are standing there being strong, being steadfast and reverencing our God He will take care of us, even though everything else around us is falling. We’ve just got to stay in the house. They stayed in a literal house. We have to stay in the house of God which is the church of Jesus Christ. It’s not the building. You are the church. You are the righteousness. That’s why it says in the last days do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is and so much more as they see that day approaching. As you see the time coming when Jesus Christ will probably show back up in the clouds and the end of times will be here, as you see that approach that’s when you’ve got to stand steadfast. That’s when you’ve got to keep assembling yourselves together. Stay at it. Stay at it. Stay at it and then He will honor you and even though everything is going to wrack and ruin around you, you will be delivered, your family will be delivered, and you will walk away because you have reverenced the God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is with you.
But when you are reverencing God that means you reverence His Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” That’s Jesus Christ. You reverence Him, but you also reverence this written word that has been handed down to us. We don’t have time to get into the details. Is it trustworthy? Absolutely it’s trustworthy. You ask the question on Sunday night and we can come over and start going over why it’s trustworthy. Do not try to reinterpret this scripture. It is what it is. God says what He means and He means what He says and you’ve got to honor it over even the things that you would prefer. There are sayings in here honestly I wish it did not say, but it says it. Therefore, I am supposed to stand beside it even though I on a personal level might not like it. We need to make that commitment that this is the Word of God and we will stand beside it.
In the honoring of the word and in the honoring of Jesus Christ we’re going to have the Lord’s Supper. Here we go. A lot of people haven’t ever seen this, but this is actual massah. This is the bread that would have been used by Jesus Christ on the last supper during that time. If you look at it real close you can see that it has stripes in it. “By His stripes we are healed.” It shows forth the fact that He was beaten and that’s what the stripes are. When you look also really close at it, you can’t see it, but there’s little holes all up and down every one of those stripes and that’s because He was pierced for our transgressions. You’ll also notice that it was burnt. That’s because it is the judgment of God fell upon Him, the wrath of God fell up on Jesus Christ and that’s why it has these burn and singe marks reflecting the wrath of God. You’ll also notice that it’s flat. There is no yeast in this. See, yeast causes things to puff up and that’s what self-righteousness is, a person puffs up and says I did this on my own. I pulled myself up by the bootstraps. I stand in the very presence of God. I’m puffed up. And He said no, you don’t stand in My presence puffed up in self-righteousness. You trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus said this is my body which is broken for you.
When they properly do a Passover supper, when they do it right to show, and they don’t even realize (they’re doing it), to show once again how great God is, it says they took the bread and broke it, but this is how it’s actually done. I mean it’s broken, which shows the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But that is what is actually going on at the time of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. When it says He took the bread and broke it that’s what it is, and the hitting of the bread shows that He was violently killed, violently beaten and struck and all that stuff. So, now I would like for us to have communion. Would the elders come forward.
“While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you.'”
Shall we pray. Father, in the name of Jesus we do thank You because we know what Jesus went through for us. We can see it in the very representation when He said this is My body which is broken for you and we know that by that He carried the curse of our sin to the cross and He paid the price for us. All glory and honor to You. In Jesus’ name I pray bless this bread. Amen.
By the way, when He prayed what He actually said was to bring glory to the God of the universe because you are able to make with this bread to spring up out of the ground and that’s a reference of this is My body which is broken for you, He is the bread of life, this is My body and He died, was buried and then He sprung up out of the ground and that’s why that prayer is always prayed. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.'”
Often I talk about this is the blood of contract but really it’s a covenant and a covenant always has blood shed. So, covenant is to be honored more than just a contract. Contracts aren’t worth the paper they’re written on, but a blood covenant is something that is in God’s view binding. Jesus shed His blood and so this is a representation that we are to partake, we are to participate in a covenant with Him so we honor Him. Shall we pray. Father, bless this cup because it’s a representation of what Christ did for us. By His shedding of blood, by His shedding of His blood our sins are now washed away and we have forgiveness of all, A L L, all of our sins and You call us Your dear children. We honor You through Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.