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A good church should be like a good mother, birthing life, forgiving faults, encouraging, uplifting, directing, admonishing, feeding, and on and on. Strangely, an honored mother in the Bible was once a harlot. Her name was Rahab. God placed her in the lineage of the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ. That's being honored!
MOTHER'S DAY - RAHAB AN HONORABLE MOTHER by Pastor Delbert Young- (sermon notes) (listen sermon audio)
Scriptures: Galatians 4:24, Galatians 4:25-28, Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31, Joshua 2:9-11, James 2:23-26
Today is Mother's Day. How many of you have or have had a mother? Would you raise your hands please? That's nearly all of us. Now, could I please get all our moms to stand so we can honor you and give you a big handclap? Thank you.
I thought I would begin this morning with ten things a mom doesn't want to hear.
1. Mom, I swallowed a goldfish.
2. Mom, your lipstick works better than crayons.
3. Mom, does grape juice leave a stain in the carpet???
4. Mom, the principal wants to talk to you.
5. But Mom, DAD says that word all the time.
6. Mom, does it cost much to fix a window???
7. Mom, have you seen my pet snake???
8. I painted your shoes pretty, huh Mommy?
9. Mom, the dog doesn't like dressing up in your clothes.
10. Mom, I'm moving out. (Well, maybe some days.)
I read a cute little joke I thought you might like. A mom was tucking her small boy into bed one summer night during a thunderstorm. She was just about to turn out the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice, "Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?" The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. "I can't, Dear," she said, "I have to sleep with your daddy." A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice. He said, "That big sissy."
DID YOU KNOW A GOOD MOTHER IS LIKENED TO THE NEW COVENANT?
In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul is figuratively comparing the Old Covenant birthing people into bondage, legalism, and rituals with the New Covenant birthing people into freedom, peace, and joy.
Galatians 4:24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.
For those of you who may not know who Hagar was, she was a young slave girl to Sarah with whom Sarah allowed her husband Abraham to have a child.
Galatians 4:25-28 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Paul said that our spiritual mother is the New Covenant that is brought through the church used to birth us into freedom and liberty. A real church is like a good mother, or a good mother should be like a good church. If you want to know if you have a good church then ask, "Is it like a good mother?" I like this.
How many believe a good church should be like a good mother to us in a spiritual or heavenly way? Sure. The church should constantly be birthing people into the kingdom (John 3). The church should begin and continue godly genealogies seeing the kingdom advance and come until it is on earth as in heaven. The church should feed milk to those who need milk and feed meat to those who need meat (1Co 3:2; Heb 5:12) helping the children grow strong. A good church should heal the "boo boos" of life (Act 4:30) – the broken hearts and skinned knees from the falls of life. It should be encouraging faith in God. A good church should help people find their destinies and the good works they are to do for the kingdom (Eph 2:8-10). A church should be proud of her children. A church should be loving and forgiving just as is a mother with her mother's love.
I can't help but think about my mom. She did all the above for me. My dad told me how proud she was when she was pregnant with me. I was her first child. She taught me. She encouraged me. She loved me no matter what I had done. She directed me the best she could. She was always there. She was so proud of her son the preacher. If I knew anything, I knew mom would do anything for me. I am certain your moms were like this too and it sounds like a good church to me.
I WANT TO TALK TO YOU TODAY ABOUT A MOTHER THE BIBLE SPEAKS ABOUT. Her name was Rahab. I want us to see how God honors mothers by using Rahab's story. It is a wonderful story about a woman who was redeemed from the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God. Her story is in the Old Testament. However, we find Rahab in three-time reference in the New Testament. These references give us a picture of God's love and redemption and why God honors motherhood.
Rahab's story goes like this: Joshua had sent two spies into the land of Canaan and specifically Jericho. Interestingly, those two spies found their way to Rahab's house in Jericho. What is so interesting about this is Rahab was a prostitute.
Even though Rahab had a dark past, God had a powerful plan for her future. I want to bring this into our present time. Though most moms never had the past Rahab had, we all have pasts. Not one of us has lived a perfect sinless life. We all have our glitches and dings, but I want you to think about something. Rahab's past – her glitches and dings – was what made Rahab special. When you think about it, it's often our pasts and glitches and dings making us who we are today. My point is God will take your past and use it to make you special. I talk to so many people and mostly women who have low self-esteem issues. I want to encourage you today. If you will give your life to God and allow his redemptive work to work, he will honor you no matter how dark your past. He will take you from the Old Covenant of bondage to the New Covenant or abundance and peace and liberty just as he did Rahab.
Let me get back to Rahab's story. It was discovered by the enemy how the spies were in Jericho, but Rahab safely hid them. It was because of her assistance she was spared when Jericho was destroyed by the army of God. Rahab, a gentile Canaanite, and her household were redeemed – included into the family of God. Rahab eventually married an Israelite named Salmon and she became the great, great, great grandmother to King David.
It is from this thought Rahab's first New Testament honor was given by God.
Matthew 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
Isn't it interesting how the once Gentile prostitute is in the lineage of Jesus Christ? In the midst of people like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Solomon, we find Rahab. From Rahab's womb came the lineage of Jesus Christ. Rahab was honored because she continued a godly genealogy.
RAHAB DID A WONDERFUL JOB RAISING HER CHILDREN. She raised them to be used of God. She had a son named Boaz who was a great and respected man in his city. We are told much about Boaz. He was a very blessed man and we must contribute much of his success to his mom Rahab. It was Boaz who is referred in the Bible as the kinsman redeemer. I want to tell you mothers when you allow God's redemption to work in your lives and raise your children to continue a godly lineage, God will honor you. I am so proud of our mothers. You are so diligent to raise your children correctly according to the ways of God. Your children will be great. God will redeem them and they will redeem others. They will bring Christ and his kingdom to the earth.
I DON'T WANT US TO MISS THE INCREDIBLE HONOR God paid to Rahab. It was unheard of in Matthew's day and culture when he wrote the book of Matthew to place a woman's name in a genealogy list of an important person like Jesus. However, Rahab the once prostitute was placed there. God honored Rahab highly because she allowed the redemptive work of God to work in her life and she raised her children to follow God's ways.
WE HONOR OUR MOTHERS TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ALLOWING THE REDEMPTIVE WORK OF GOD TO WORK IN YOUR LIVES AND BECAUSE YOU ARE RAISING YOUR CHILDREN FOR GOD.
A SECOND NEW TESTAMENT HONOR OF RAHAB IS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS, but it has a different emphasis. Again Rahab is mentioned among mighty men and women of God such as Noah, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, and Gideon.
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
The purpose of the mention in Hebrews is not because of continuing the genealogy as it was in Matthew. Rather, it's because of Rahab's faith. Hebrews chapter eleven is full of people who had tremendous faith. It wasn't they only believed in God. They believed God for great things.
A mother with faith is honored by God. I am not only talking about faith believing there is a God, but faith believing our God can, will, and desires to do great things. Rahab's faith was our God does marvelous things for his people. The gentile prostitute Rahab had more faith in God than did many of the so-called people of God. Here is what Rahab told the spies.
Joshua 2:9 …"I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.
Joshua 2:10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.
Joshua 2:11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God IN HEAVEN ABOVE AND ON THE EARTH BELOW.
Rahab didn't only see God as the God of a future heaven. She saw him as the God of the earth and now! So many people can believe God to go to heaven, but no believe God for great things now. Rahab believed God could and would do anything for his people. Because of this faith, Rahab was honored.
I am proud of our mothers. Some of you have such great faith. You believe God to do great things on the earth today. God is and will continue to honor you.
THERE IS A THIRD MENTION OF RAHAB in the New Testament again showing us God honoring her. However, here it is not about her raising godly children, or believing God for great things. It's about her works.
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.
James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:25 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?
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.
God honored Rahab in James because she took her faith and did something for the kingdom. In James chapter two, James is teaching faith without works is dead. He used Abraham who is the great patriarch. Then suddenly, he began talking about Rahab the prostitute. ISN'T IT INTERESTING RAHAB WAS AS IMPORTANT TO GOD'S PLAN AS WAS ABRAHAM? Rahab hid the spies, brought forth godly children, and believed God for great things. She worked for the kingdom.
Moms, I want to tell you how important you are to the kingdom. I get to see this more than any other person in our church. There is no way Life Gate could be Life Gate without you mothers. You not only have faith. You display your faith by your works. We have some moms who relentlessly labor for the kingdom here at Life Gate. I want you to know God is honoring and will honor you. You are so important to God and important to Life Gate. I appreciate you so much! I honor you.
Rahab gave the children of Israel a door into the Promised Land. She didn't only say she believed in God. She did the work showing she believed. GOD HONORS MOTHERS WHO LABOR IN HIS KINGDOM.
I KNOW FOR SOME OF US MOTHER'S DAY ISN'T ESPECIALLY HAPPY. Maybe you didn't have the greatest mom, but don't allow it to stop you from being a great mom. If you don't know how to be, then connect with some moms here at Life Gate. We have some great moms who will teach you. Perhaps your relationship is strained with your mom, but don't let this stop you from honoring her. She gave you birth. Look at your children and grandchildren (if applicable) and see what your mom made possible. Maybe your mom died as did my mom and you could easily be sad today. I encourage you to remember happy things making you smile. Maybe your mom is a long way away and you can't see her. Make sure you call her if possible. Honor her. Tell her thanks because she gave you life and made it possible for you to continue a godly lineage. Maybe you haven't yet been able to become a mother, as your heart desires to be. Keep trusting God. Believe God to do some great things for you. He will.
I want to tell all our mothers today God is honoring you. He honored Rahab. You are important. So many people, especially women, fight low self-esteem. In God's eyes, you are as necessary and important as was Abraham. God appreciates your work. Believe God to do great things for you, your family, and your children. God appreciates your raising your children to continue the kingdom.
It's Mother's Day. God honors mothers. So should we. Let's all give God and our mothers a big handclap.