By Faith They Overcame

The great missionary, Robert Moffatt, worked for years in Bechuanaland, South Africa without seeing a single convert. When some friends in England wrote asking what they might send him as a present, he requested a communion set. Since there were no other believers there, they wer … More

Faith

Someone has said there are four types of faith.

  1. There is faith that receives, as when we come empty handed to Christ for salvation.
  2. There is faith that reckons, that counts on God to undertake for us.
  3. There is faith that risks, that moves out in God’s power, daring to do the impossible.
  4. There is faith that rests, that in the middle of a crises sits in confidence that God will deliver.

In the fall of Jericho we see the faith that risks (v. 30). The people were willing to risk everything because they believed God. The walls of Jericho crumbled because of the faith of the Israelites; not the faith of just one person. God gave Joshua a direct command. The Israelites demonstrated a faith that reckons as they heard, believed, obeyed, and by faith the walls of Jericho fell (Josh. 6:12-20).

In Rahab we can see a faith that rests as her life was spared (v. 31) (See Joshua chapters 2-6). She was certainly a very unlikely candidate for the faithfuls’ hall of fame with at least three strikes against her. She was a prostitute, a Gentile and a Canaanite. In God’s eyes sin is sin, and God hates all sin, but He loves the sinner. We can see a faith that receives when Rahab believed God she ceased to be a harlot and became God’s child. She was not only spared, but honored. She became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth, the great-grandmother of David, and thereby became an ancestor of Jesus (Matt. 1:5). The other six men listed here (vv. 32-34) are not praised for their office, but for what they accomplished by faith. God spoke, they heard, and through faith they believed.

Application

Just like these Old Testament saints, I, too, can experience victory in Christ. Faith will help me do what is right regardless of my past or the disapproval of others.

Hebrews 11:30-35 (English Standard Version)

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies. And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life.

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