Continuing our series from a few days ago:
Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough? That you are failing in society the way that society has manifested the way you are supposed to be? It seems like in today’s world women are supposed to do it all, and with a smile on their face. We are supposed to work, take care of the children, take care of the house, take care of our spouse, and then take care of ourselves so that we can be up to the beauty standards. Some days it seems like you are just running around in a circle, and at the end of it all, you accomplished nothing.
The impossible standards that we put on ourselves can seem like such a heavy weight to carry. You could work the longest hours, and still be passed up for the promotion. You could wake up every single day to work out and there is still someone more fit then you. You could spend all day cleaning the house and five minutes before your spouse walks in the door, your toddler gets the cheerios box. It’s life. No one ever said that it would be easy, or fair.
I talked a little bit earlier this week about bad ass women in the bible. I feel like a lot of times these stories get passed up by society standards of “Heroes”. I know they definitely get passed up in most sermons, they just aren’t praised or talked about.
I think one of my most favorite thing about God is he does not adhere to societies standards, he actually works very heard to break those standards. What you think a hero would be in your own mind, is not what God thinks a hero should be. He always chooses the least expected individual to do extraordinary things in His name. Today, we are going to crush society standards and raise a glass, or a mug, or whatever you are drinking to get through the day (green tea over here) to one of God’s screw you’s to society:
RAHAB!!!! (If you would like to read the full story it is Joshua 2: 1-21 then again in 6:17-25)
Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities, was the gateway to Canaan. We talked about the Canaan’s, not God’s favorite people. They were not having God’s laws, and they were not having anything to do with following those 10 commandments. Inside the walls of Jericho lived a prostitute (yes, prostitute) name Rahab. Talk about not being societies standards, this lady was at the bottom of the pit. She also literally, lived in the walls of Jericho. She had many “visitors” from all over, and she had heard about the Israelite’s and the stories of God, those stories had given her hope.
So one day Rahab is just doing her thing. She has heard from her “visitors” that the Israelite’s were planning on attacking Jericho. That Joshua (the leader of the Israelite’s during this time) was going to cross the river and pretty much destroy the town, and with God backing him up, and the Canaan’s not being God’s favorite people, she knew this was going to be bad. So as she is looking out her window, which since she lived in the wall, she could see far.
Two spies find her house and stay there. Now, the king of Jericho hears about this. He hears that Israel has sent spies into his town and he is not happy. He also hears that Rahab that pesky prostitute had them in her house. So he sends a messenger to her. He’s like listen lady, I know they are here, give them to me. Rahab, hearing about the stories of God, and his promises is like “Oh, THOSE men, no, they came here, but they left. Ya’ll better hurry, maybe you can catch them!” I am not sure if it was a Canaan thing, or just a whatever thing, but the guards were like “Oh okay, hurry lets catch them” and left. Meanwhile, she had hidden the men on her roof. The men thank her, and she tells them where to go to escape. But, Rahab is no fool, she says “Listen guys, I helped you, you are alive because of me” In her actual words in the bible she states “I know that the Lord has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us…The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family because I have shown kindness to you”
The men were like whoah, is this a Canaan prostitute professing her faith in OUR God? Sweeet! Well they actually reply with “Our lives for you lives”. Now what they do next is give her a red sash to tie it in the window of her house. Red is very significant throughout the bible, especially in this case.When they invaded the city, the solders would see it and know that they are not to touch that house, and they don’t. The entire city of Jericho is slain, it is described that the walls of Jericho crumbled. Rahab sat in the house for days listening to the carnage going on outside her door. Her neighbors, I’m sure her friends, all of them gone. It must of been terrifying.
Now why does this make her a bad ass you may ask? She put her faith in God, and in return it saved her entire family. She knew that God was the answer to her salvation, and she also was a woman who loved her family dearly and would do anything to keep them safe. She is the only woman singled out by name and commended for her faith as part of the great “cloud of witnesses” mentioned in the book of Hebrew. I MEAN C’MON! A prostitute living in the midst of the most sinful town known to man at the time and she left everything behind, her home destroyed, the people she knew gone, left it all behind because she had faith in God. Saving her entire family in the process. Why is it important that she saved her family? Well, here is what takes her from bad ass to extremely remarkable. She became an ancestor of King David, therefor, an ancestor to Jesus. BOOM! Mic Drop!
The story in itself reveals God’s willingness to use the less then “perfect”. The outcasts, the unsuitable you may say, to accomplish his purpose. I mean throughout scripture it is quite comical, we all know God has a sense of humor so it is only suitbale for the people he picks:
- Moses: A man with a stutter to speak God’s direct words
- Sarah: Infertile woman to become the mother of a nation
- Gideon: A weakling as some would say to defend him
- David: the forgettable youngest son to be the most powerful King of their time
- Mary: an unknown teenager to carry His son, our savior
- Paul: A persecutor to take the gospel to the nations
There are so many more to add to that. The point is God doesn’t wait for us to be perfect to use us. He does not wait for us to be up to what society thinks we should be before he starts working through us. No, he takes ordinary (well kind of ordinary) willing people and accomplishes the most extraordinary things with them, in their lives, and the lives around them, you just have to put your faith in Him.
So on the days that you are feeling less then extrodinary. On the days that you are feeling you are not living up to societies standards. On the days that you are scrolling through that pesky feed and you are comparing yourself to “perfection”. Remember this, God does not want perfect, he wants faithful. He does not care about societies standards, he cares about your faithfulness in Him, your willingness to move mountains for Him. He created you in his eyes, you are a reflection of God’s greatness, and no one, can take that away from you. So, in a world where we are striving for perfection, be a Rahab, and just put your faith in his word, and you will see the extraordinary things he does for you.