Strong and Courageous | Day Three
By: Kate Downing
Click here to type in the answers to today's study.
Has your courage ever outweighed your strength? It happens to me all the time. I tend to charge into situations--thinking I can fix things and suddenly realize I’m not physically or emotionally strong enough to handle it on my own.
I think this is true for a lot of us girls. We want to be the fixers, the healers, the heroines. But, one of our greatest downfalls is trying to handle everything on our own.
Today, we are going to look at the story of a woman who we can all identify with. She had great courage but her strength faltered when she tried to handle things on her own.
Before we open today’s Scripture, take a minute to pray over these things:
· Thank the Lord for the opportunity to spend time with Him today.
· Ask Him to help you be focused and open to hear from Him.
· Ask Him to reveal to you any area of your life that you are trying to handle in your own strength.
Read Joshua 2:1.
Joshua’s first act as leader of the people of Israel was to send out two spies into the city of Jericho. This was the first city the people of Israel would have to conquer on their journey to taking possession of the land God promised to give them.
Who’s house did the spies come to in verse one?
Of all the homes, of all the people in the city of Jericho, God led the two spies to the house of Rahab, the harlot. (Another word for harlot is prostitute.)
We aren’t told how she came into this profession. Rahab could have willingly chose to become a prostitute, sold into the trade by her family, or forced into it after a death of her husband. But, no matter the reason, Rahab had a tough past. She had to figure things out on her own. She had to provide for herself, and those tendencies are seen in the following verses.
Skip ahead and read Joshua 2:9-11.
What had Rahab and the people of Jericho heard about God (vs. 10-11)? How did the people of Jericho respond to hearing these incredible works of God?
The people of Jericho were scared out of their minds by the power of the Israelite’s God. They heard about the parting of the Red Sea, defeating kings, and as a result they lost all courage. But, don’t miss the most incredible part of these verses.
Rahab refers to the God of Israel as “Lord.” The word she used here in Hebrew is God’s personal name “Yahweh.” Her use of this name for God indicates that she had come to faith in the God of Israel. She believed Him to be the one, true God. But, her faith in God did not mean she suddenly was perfect. No, just like you and I, she struggled to actively trust God.
Read Joshua 9:2-7.
How did Rahab display great courage in these verses?
How did Rahab display a lack of trust in God in these verses?
Rahab courageously hid the spies. But, she failed to trust God fully and as a result she turned to her own strength to keep the spies safe. She lied to the king’s men. There is no excusing it. She lied and lying is a sin.
Lying is an attempt to take things into our own control. It is a result of pride, of believing we can handle things on our own. This is where Rahab’s courage outweighed her strength. Relying on her own strength led her to sin. Rahab was brought to faith in God by hearing about His incredible power, so why did she fail to believe He was powerful enough to protect the spies without her sin?
Each of us could ask ourselves the same thing.
When have you failed to trust God and taken things into your own hands?
Trying to handle things in our own strength leads us to sin, the sin of lying, the sin of pride, and many other sins. When God calls us to be strong and courageous, He calls us to do it in His strength.
Read Joshua 6:17.
The spies were not discovered, and Rahab and her family were spared from God’s judgment because of her faith and courage. However, don’t miss that her faith was what God honored, not her lying. We don’t know how God could have worked if Rahab had turned to His strength instead of her own. We aren’t told of the incredible things God could have done if she had trusted His strength in that moment. But, we are told of a gracious God who used this girl despite her sin and spared she and her family because of her great faith.
Write down the areas in your life that you are turning to your own strength to handle.
Let’s commit together today to be like Rahab in her courage, but not like her in her strength. Let’s be courageously obedient to God today while relying on His strength and not our own.
Confess these areas of sin to the Lord and ask Him to help you speak, act, and live in His strength today and not your own.
Complete this sentence: Today, God taught me ___________________________.