What does it mean to live by faith? The essence of faith is to take God at His word and trust in Him. In both Testaments, believers were called to rely upon God for forgiveness and salvation. Those who live in faith depend upon God to do what only He can do.
Faith played a big part in Rahab’s story. Joshua 3–6 describes the military advancement of Israel upon the city of Jericho. It was an unusual battle plan that required great faith to execute. Rather than attacking outright or sneaking up on the fortified city, God’s people were told to march around Jericho once a day for six days, carrying the Ark of the Covenant. Seven priests carried trumpets of rams’ horns (vv. 6–7).
On the seventh day, they were to circle seven times, culminating in a loud shout and a trumpet blast. By faith, they did what God commanded. On cue, the walls collapsed—clearly an act of God. In Joshua 6:22–25, Joshua and the spies fulfilled the promise they made to Rahab. The same two men who were the beneficiaries of her kindness escorted her family safely out of the crumbling ruins.
When the book of Joshua was written, Rahab was still living among the Israelites. She had become one of God’s own. To top it off, Rahab’s brave and faith-filled actions are affirmed twice in the New Testament, in Hebrews and James. Rahab’s faith is commended in the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11) alongside Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, as well as Joseph and Moses. In contrast to everyone around her, she placed her faith in the God of Israel. She was willing to risk her very life to live by faith.
>> Try to write your own definition of faith. Consider people in your life who have shown you what it means to live by faith and consider how God might be calling you to step out in obedience to Him today.
Even as we strive to be faithful, we understand that You are the giver of faith. Give us faith like Rahab’s to stand for the truth in a world that celebrates lies. May our counter-cultural testimony win new believers.