May 20 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 6: 23-25
Joshua 6:23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel. :24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. :25 And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Today we are continuing with the thought of the second coming of Christ. To bring us up to speed because we've skipped a good number of verses. Joshua has given the instruction to pass around the walls of Jericho once a day for 6 days then on the 7th day they were to pass around it seven times sounding a trumpet, on the seventh time they shouted and the walls of Jericho fell to the ground. I think it no small coincidence the similarities we see here and the ones concerning the return of Jesus. Seven days here, Seven churches or church ages in Rev 2 & 3. Seven Trumpets here, seven trumpets in Revelation, a shout here, a shout in 1 Thessalonians, but the one thing I want to focus in on here is our verses today. Our verses today tell us about how they brought out Rahab and all that was in her house and then and only then they burned Jericho with fire. This to me so beautifully illustrates the rapture of the church. After all what is the church? A group of sinners that received the message and made preparation against the day of judgment. Rahab she's a gentile, she later marries a Jewish man and after she received the message she went out and brought in her family and friends. She is a wonderful picture of the church as a whole and a model christian in the church age. Notice the order of our verses. They didn't burn the city until all that were in her house were in the camp of Israel. The next verse says that Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive and that she dwelled in Israel until that day. She wasn't only saved from that battle but she lived in the camp of Israel for the rest of her life.
Let's now look at the rapture through the Illustration of this story. There are those who don't believe in the rapture of the church, I am not of that persuasion. I believe before God judges this earth that all the born again will be caught up together with Him in the air.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: :17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Not only is there new testament scripture to support this idea but it is illustrated in the nature of God throughout the Old Testament. Before the flood came in Genesis Enoch was taken to heaven. Before God sent judgment to Sodom and Gomorrah He brought out Lot and his family, here in our scripture before they burned Jericho to the ground they brought out Rahab, in the Book of Ruth in Chapter 3 ,the chapter of the threshing floor, a picture of judgment,you find Ruth at Boaz feet in the midnight hour. God's nature has been illustrated throughout the Bible that before final judgment came He would pull out his people. Consider the military, at least the USA's, Before they send a missile to a certain part of the world they give time for any of their citizens to evacuate the area. God won't suffer his people to pass through the judgment of this earth. He's is going to rapture us away and then the final judgment will come. If your on the fence about a pretribulation rapture of the church consider these points.
1.The Church isn't mentioned on earth in Revelation after chapter 3. God addresses the 7 churches and then in chapter four after God calls John into heaven(sounds a lot like the rapture) moves directly to the start of Judgment.
2. Preparation for end time tribulation isn't contain in the church epistles, actually the opposite. Paul tells them twice to be comforted concerning the matter of the rapture once in 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and once in 2 Thessalonians 2:2.
There are many more considerations I encourage you to study but for today let's make our point.
We, like Rahab, have received the message of the gospel and therefore the judgment that is coming is going to effect us in a positive way like it did Rahab and all found in her house. But when they found Rahab was it only her? Look at the verse "Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred," She had been sure to share the message with everyone she could so that when that day came she wouldn't see them perish. We need not to fear the judgment coming to this earth but we should be concerned for the ones who have not yet received that message yet. So, christian be comforted that God will deliver us from that great tribulation but be burdened to carry out the great commission of Christ, to preach the gospel unto every creature.
In the harvest fields now ripened, there's a work for all to do. Hark the Masters voice is calling, to the harvest calling you!!
Onward Christians Soldier!!