2019 Advent Devotional – Day 3


Matthew 1:4-5a – The ancestors of Jesus from the tribe of Judah

And Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab.

Resilience- Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

So the names continue, and so do the surprises, as we come across another woman appearing in Jesus’ family tree—Rahab. Now while Tamar disguised herself as a prostitute, Rahab actually was one. She lived in the city of Jericho and her story appears in the Old Testament as Joshua (the successor to Moses) was preparing to lead the Israelites in an attack on that city.

Joshua sent two spies into Jericho on a reconnaissance trip, and while on this mission the spies visited Rahab. The king of Jericho heard about the spies and ordered Rahab to turn them over. The expected course of action was for Rahab to obey, out of deference to her king and loyalty to her city—but she didn’t. Instead, Rahab hid the spies and sent the king’s messengers on a wild goose chase across the country. 

Then once the king’s men had left, Rahab helped the spies escape from Jericho and evade capture, ensuring their safe return to Joshua. Her courage, in defying her people and advancing the cause of the invading Israelites, was based on the unexpected awe and emerging faith she held for the God of Israel. 

Like Rahab, we also face demands from our society—on how we live, what we value, and even what we are expected to sacrifice to meet social expectations. In these circumstances, Rahab’s story encourages us to draw on our faith in God—to reject what is easy and choose what is right. Yes, faith can take courage, but we can take heart because God promises to be with us and keep us close.

* See Joshua 2, 6 for the full account of Rahab

Empowering God,
Be by my side
and enable me to resist the overt demands and insidious traps of this world, that would have me diminish my faith in you. Give me the courage to live a life true to your teaching, standing up for what I know to be right. Kindle within me renewed awe at your presence in the world, and inspire me to glorify and honour you with my life. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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