Encouragement for Today - June 10, 2005


June 10

Encouragement for Today


“The Difference a Faith-full Woman Can Make”

Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member



Key Verse:


Joshua 2:24, “They said to Joshua, ‘The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.’” (NIV)





Perhaps you have heard the story of Rahab, the prostitute in Jericho who housed the two spies and asked to be spared when Israel overtook Jericho (Joshua 2).  While you might be familiar with the story of her bravery and the scarlet cord hung as a sign to spare her household, have you ever stopped to consider what could have happened to Israel if there had been no Rahab?  When I considered this, I realized that the first time that Israel sent spies into the land, there was no Rahab.  And things turned out very differently indeed.


The first time around, 12 spies went into the land and they did not find any “Rahabs” to give them information about the inhabitants as she did.  There was no one willing to help them, to give them shelter, or, most importantly, to tell them that their enemies were afraid of their God.  So those original 12 spies came home in defeat – forgetting that the God of the universe had already guaranteed their victory.  The first set of spies failed to meet with that one faith-full woman, and therefore their perspective differed drastically from the second set of spies.  It seems that Rahab’s unique offer of both hospitality and hope gave the second set of spies just the dose of encouragement they needed to be able to go home and say, “Let’s go for it guys!  We’ve got God on our side!” (paraphrase of Joshua 2:24).


As I pondered these two separate, but linked, episodes in Israel’s history, I realized that Rahab was a woman who impacted an entire nation for generations to come.  Her faith in God was bigger than her fear of man and she was not afraid to act.  Because of her willingness, this highly unlikely heroine found her way into Jesus’ lineage as the mother of Boaz (Matthew 1:5) and the Faith Hall of Fame (Hebrews 11:31). 


God used Rahab to bolster His beloved people as they prepared to finally take possession of the land that He had given them.  Rahab responded to God’s call and became an active, courageous participant in His plan.  As I thought about this faith-full woman, I began to think about myself.  I asked myself some tough questions about my own faith and my own obedience.  I wondered, “If there was no me, would it make a difference in the world?”  “Can I name a specific time when God has invited me to join Him, and I have done it willingly and boldly, without first counting the cost?”  As I realized how differently Israel’s two missions turned out, I thanked God for using a woman who was probably a lot like me – unqualified, unprepared and unworthy.  Her example encouraged me that my active involvement in God’s plans can make a difference far beyond what I can see from this side of eternity. 



My Prayer for Today:


Lord, thank You for the example of Rahab.  Thank You for using unlikely people to make a difference for Your Kingdom.  Help me to be a faith-full woman as she was, and to step out boldly for You each day.  I pray that some day my actions will be remembered by others because they saw You at work in me. 



Application Steps: 


Journal your reactions to this devotion.  Has God brought anything to mind in which you could make a difference by answering His call on your life?  Write these things down, pray about them and commit to becoming a faith-full woman for Him.



Reflection Points: 


If there was no me, would it make a difference?


Am I a woman who takes action, or a woman who hangs out in the background, hoping no one notices?


Where in my life is God opening doors for me to make an impact for Him?



Power Verses: 


Joshua 6:25, “But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho – and she lives among the Israelites to this day.” (NIV)


James 2:25-26, “In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (NIV)


Hebrews 11:31, “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” (NIV)




Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst



Message of the Month Club



Leading Women to the Heart of God, by Lysa TerKeurst



P31 Woman Magazine


Originally published Friday, 10 June 2005.