the perfect day to remind ourselves that anyone can change.
“Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them.” Joshua 2:8 NLT
There are many lessons for us all to learn by examining the changes that took place in Rahab, who was a prostitute in the city of Jericho. She was willing to risk her life to help the spies the Israelites had sent ahead before invading the city. She sensed that this ‘God’ that the Israelites relied on was worth trusting, so she allowed them to hide on her roof and lied to the king’s men who came to look for them, risking her very life.
Going up on the roof before the men went to sleep, Rahab talked with them about the things she had heard about the power of the God of the Israelites. Her faith that the Israelites were correct proved to be well founded.
“By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.” (Hebrews 11:31 NASB).
Rahab’s life after the fall of Jericho became one of significance. She married Salmon and gave birth to Boaz, who grew to be a man of tremendous character. Rahab was the great-great grandmother of King David, and as such, was in the direct lineage of Jesus Christ.
Most of us would tend to shy away from a prostitute.
We would try to maintain distance from anyone we considered to be of low moral character. We would tend to want to keep criminals and other such “undesirables” separate from those who are “decent.”
But what if every one of us were to embrace all of mankind with the same love that the Lord does?
What if we all viewed the worst that society had to offer as having the potential to be the best that the world has ever seen?
God has taken some of the worst people who have walked the earth and transformed them into hardworking, dedicated individuals who have been filled with His spirit.
“The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.” (1 Samuel 10:6 NIV).
We must never allow ourselves to think that people cannot completely change their lives with the help of God. After all, if He can create the world and everything in it, surely He can help change a person’s heart. The Bible tells us “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We must constantly remind ourselves to not judge other people. That is God’s place, not ours.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 NIV
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5 NIV
There are many more examples, but we all know this. The problem enters when we say, “I know I’m not perfect, but I didn’t do that!”
Far too often, there is a feeling that my sin was not as bad as his sin. Perhaps not to us, but to God, sin is sin. It is only when we are in the flesh that we tend to assign different levels of severity to it. This helps us always make ourselves believe that, “I am really a good person.”
And perhaps you are, but if you have a tendency to shy away from those whose sins – in your eyes – make them incapable of change or less worthy of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness than yourself, then you are judging another individual, and that is clearly not something you are supposed to be doing.
As difficult as it may be sometimes, our responsibility to others is clear: When we see a human being attempting to change, it is our obligation to them – and to God – to help them, support them, and encourage them, and today is the perfect day to remind ourselves of that.
Taken from “TODAY IS….A Gift From God”, (C) 2013 Tony Casson
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR (4/8/2022): This post is especially timely as I am in the process of trying to find a new place to live. The man who owns the house in which I have rented a room for 2 1/2 years is selling the house and moving away from DC. I have spent the years since my incarceration rebuilding my credit to the point where I can buy a car, and even a condo, but I cannot rent a ‘normal’ apartment because of who I used to be and the choices I made, horrific and inexcusable as they may be.
I am judged, not for who I am, but for what I did. Understandable when those doing the judging are non-believers, but for those who identify as followers of our Lord and Savior……well…..all I can say is, rather than go to church to show others you are a Christian, read the Bible and BE one.