Let’s Talk About the Prostitute Who Became a Princess

Do you worry about how people see you? What people think of you? I can categorically tell you that what matters is not whether people consider you worthy. What matters is God’s opinion of you. Nobody knows this better than Rahab.

Like the other three “unbelieving” women mentioned in Matthew 1, Rahab’s place in Jesus’ lineage is in itself is a testament to the very grace that drew salvation’s plan. They were raised by God to become part of His Son’s ancestry, in order that He who came to save sinners, Himself being born of sinners, might destroy the sins of all.

Jericho was the worst of the cities of the Amorites, and as a result God commanded Joshua to destroy both the city and its residents. Joshua sent out two spies to check out Jericho in preparation for war and when they got there, they hid in the home of a prostitute, Rahab, leading to her life and the lives of her family members being spared. Here are a few noteworthy things about “Rahab the Harlot”.

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Let’s Talk About the Wife Who Wasn’t Loved

Do you know what it feels like to be married to a man who doesn’t love you? Maybe you do. Maybe your marriage is the result of parental matchmaking gone wrong. Or maybe you were just dating and getting to know each other and you fell pregnant. Now you’ve “trapped” him with pregnancy and he believes he would not have gone to the altar with you otherwise. Or maybe he did marry you willingly, but only because he couldn’t get the woman he really wanted. Whatever may have happened, you’re in a marriage with a man who doesn’t love you, and probably loves someone else.

Or maybe, you’re not yet married and are considering marrying a man who doesn’t love you — for money, security, babies, or whatever reason. Let’s look at a few things Leah came to know only too well.

Does Your Besetting Sin Make You a Hypocrite?

The Bible makes it clear to us that the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit will not end as long as we are in these bodies. What the flesh wants is in direct opposition to what the Spirit wants (Galatians 5:17). Every true believer has a personal weakness, character flaw or habit that they want to change. So the fact that you’re still struggling with a weight, or a sin that easily trips you up, does not make you a hypocrite. You are not alone.

Revisiting the Christ in Christmas

It is the season of nativity plays all across the world. In the run up to Christmas, children, and their unfortunate parents, are pulled to a stage to portray a well-known albeit poorly understood story. This writer went one step further this year, from attending such a play to starring in one. As the Angel Gabriel, I had the enviable job of announcing the incredulous — a Virgin is to conceive and birth a son — credibly enough to be believed by cast and audience. Fiction for some, an interesting tale for others, and a source of wondrous joy for others still.

The story of Jesus has baffled many and it is hard to understand, why seeing as he is one of the most researched characters in history. If the accounts of the gospel writers are accurate, and there is research to show that they are, then Jesus was either crazy, a fraud or omniscient. His words distressed some of his audience so significantly they sought to seize and kill him multiple times. If he was simply mad, then I don’t suspect anyone would have paid much attention. Who, after all, chases after a harmless lunatic? If he was a fraud, then he should have been caught out sooner rather than later. The Gospel accounts state that twelve men, and some, left their day jobs to follow him night and day for three and a half years. Then, they put their lives in danger afterwards to tell his story. Many died telling that story. No one sacrifices their life for a lie. If, however, he was omniscient, then we should have been listening since yesterday.

I have always considered myself something of a truth seeker. Those who profess to speak the truth have always been worth listening to. Truth is one word that featured quite prominently in Jesus’ more famous descriptions of himself. It is one thing for someone to profess to speak the truth, it is quite another for that person to declare himself the truth. Yet, the Carpenter’s Son, as some called him, would make many a bold assertion about his identity. As a teenager exploring the boundaries of the faith of the family I was born into, I did ask many questions of Jesus. On one such evening, while at University and walking back from my lectures, I looked up into the night sky and asked, “Lord, where are you? Why don’t you make yourself more apparent?” I wish I could say I heard a voice from the sky saying, “Thou shalt do your homework”. What I got however was something less dramatic. It was a simple thought which basically said, “Are you seeking without that which is within?” It is a profound thought which explains the wondrous joy for those others at this time of the year.

The story of man has been a search for God. Over millennia, we have gone from discovering what we thought was God to creating him. Man’s idea of god has ranged from the morning sun to statues of bronze to the modern day concepts of science or ideology. What the statues and science have in common is their limitation in the fixing of the human soul. A god worth its name would inspire faith in men to do more good, give hope to those who had none, and love those who were unworthy.

It is these ideas that Jesus spoke of with jarring conviction. Jesus spoke of a God who couldn’t wait to be reconciled with his creation. The God he presented was and is unlike anything or anyone ever described. He would forgive the repentant regardless of what crimes had been committed and give them a fresh start; He would see beyond the actions of men to their hearts, testing their motives and proving their authenticity; He would chase after the one lost sheep and bring it home. And in keeping with the message he preached, Jesus would turn no one away. He would strengthen weak arms, restore lost lives, and love those who would murder him. His story is tragic, yet joyful; hopeless yet full of hope. If ever there was a God man needed, this was it. And what’s more, Jesus would declare that man no longer needed to seek God. God had found man. And He would come into the accepting heart and be to Him what nothing else on earth ever could — a friend for now and all time.

Ordinarily, the story of a baby born in a manger 2000 years ago should not merit a mention in the family tree, not to speak of the Bible. Yet, this was no ordinary baby. Love was the name of his game and he would play it until his final breath. Love your neighbour as yourself, he would preach. One of his disciples would later write, “God is Love”. As we celebrate the season with friends and family, and consider what we feel towards those dearest and closest to us, let us remember the One who thinks more of us than mere masses of carbon and consider his gift of love to us. The Carpenter’s Son is still worth considering.

 

 Osita Egbubine is a believer in the capacity of every human being to lead a fulfilling, purpose-driven life. He tweets via @ositane.

 

Also by Osita Egbubine: Beware the “Little” Vices and How a Son Stands

Two Babies in the Womb – An Allegory

I just had to share this lovely little piece by Útmutató a Léleknek. Enjoy.

 

In a mother’s womb were two babies.

One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

 

– Útmutató a Léleknek

 

 

12 Verses from the Message That Just Give Life

The King James Version of the Holy Bible is incomparable. It has its shortcomings, chief of which is the older English that is sometimes hard to understand, but it also retains what my cousin calls “the power in the Word.”

However, if KJV is on one end of the extreme, The Message is definitely on the other end. Its language goes beyond simple English (simple English is Good News Translation and New Living Translation) to contemporary, conversational grammar that sometimes leaves you confused and reaching for an older translation to confirm (where does the Bible say this?!) and at other times, leave you exhilarated and in awe of God’s love, grace, mercy and glory displayed in the holy scriptures.

In fact, technically The Message is not a translation but a paraphrase, meaning that it’s not designed to be relied on as one’s main or only Bible. However, it’s certainly a plus for every believer to have. Not convinced? Check out these verses.