When this hurricane passes—then I’ll rest in God.
When I’m out of debt—then I’ll trust Him.
When I have more knowledge and experience—then I’ll live my faith.
Of course, we know when/then faith is not faith at all. Putting conditions on trusting God keeps us in turmoil. It deprives us of the peace and joy that come from experiencing God—and it’s disobedient.
Waiting for an Experience?
Does the parting of the Red Sea count as a faith-building experience? Israel stood hemmed in between Pharaoh’s approaching army and the Red Sea. Had God brought these unarmed slaves out of Egypt to destroy them?
The angel of God, who’d been going before them, moved behind them. The pillar of cloud also circled behind them and stood between Israel and Pharaoh’s chariots. A strong east wind whipped through their camp and created a dry path right through the middle of the sea. Israel padded across in between heaped walls of water.
Israel emerged on the other side and turned to look back. Cold fear zipped down their spines. Pharaoh’s chariots feverishly pursued them using the path God had created through the sea!
Israel watched the chariots reach the middle and stall. The dry land seemed to have turned into flypaper. As the chariots struggled to get free, the walls of water clapped together over Israel’s enemy. Israel was free.
Would such an experience boost your faith? Yet, Israel, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, shrank back when God told them to enter the Promised Land. They compared themselves with their enemy and felt like grasshoppers. They should have compared their enemy with God.
In contrast to Israel, Rahab only heard about God parting the Red Sea. Instead of God promising her people a land flowing with milk and honey, God promised to overthrow them.
Who had more reason to trust God? Israel or Rahab? Yet, with little knowledge and no experience, Rahab put everything she knew into action.
“ 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? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:25-26 NIV).
Rahab hid the two Hebrews and asked them to spare her family’s lives. They agreed under the condition she stayed put in her house. The spies didn’t know God planned to crumble the wall Rahab’s house was built into.
Rahab obeyed and stood on God’s promise—
Even when her house shook and dust stung her eyes…
Even when screams pierced her ears and her family wanted to bolt.
God saved Rahab, her relatives, and all she had. Four New Testament books remember her. Two hold her up as an example of faith.
Hundreds of thousands of fighting-aged adults crossed the Red Sea, but only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land. More knowledge and more experience don’t make great faith. Israel focused on the size of their problem and died in the wilderness. Rahab focused on the size of God and became part of God’s people and Christ’s genealogy.
Are hurricanes, illnesses, or human errors bigger than your God? The crashing of Jericho’s walls felt like Rahab’s destruction, but they signaled her deliverance.Will you choose to focus on the size of your God instead of the size of your problem? Click To Tweet
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Debbie W. Wilson
Learn more about Rahab and unshakable faith with Little Women, Big God.