The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done. Psalm 118:14-17 (NLT)
For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong. And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:5-7
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB)
The Psalm 118 passage above uses the word "victory" and this is a great word to use in association with the story of Rahab as well as Israel's conquering of Jericho. Certainly Israel had victory over Jericho. But what kind of victory did Rahab have? On a purely national level she was a traitor for all she did to help a formidable enemy conquer her own country. We do not generally associate the word "victory" with traitors. It is important to understand that Israel conquering Jericho and all the other cities of the promised land was God's judgment upon them for their living generation after generation in opposition to God and everything godly. Rahab had become convinced that Israel's God was truly God and that what he was doing with Israel in regard to conquering and taking over the promised land was not only unstoppable but justified and right.
Rahab caught the vision that the nation of Israel was under the authority and care of the one true God of the universe and that he was at work establishing Israel in the promised land. We understand that God's ultimate goal in doing this was to demonstrate to all the other nations the difference it makes for a nation to be under his authority and care and the necessity for all nations to be subject to God and his purposes. So, all that Rahab did she did because of faith, a faith that allowed her to overcome fear and to align herself with the God of the universe and his people. Being aligned with the one true God and his people, being spared along with her whole family when Israel conquered Jericho, and going forward into the promised land to share in all that it meant to be a part of a nation that had the opportunity to live fully under the authority and care of the one true God of the universe, this was the "victory" that Rahab experienced.
What does "victory" look like for us today? Israel was meant to be one nation under God who he would use to reach all the other nations. However, with the church God takes individual people from all nations and unites them together in Christ in order to reach the world one person at a time. As a person who has been reached for Christ, it is essential the we realize in our lives the purposes for which we were reached. God's purposes for Israel were centered around his establishing the nation of Israel in the promised land fully as his people under his authority and care. God's purposes for us today are centered around his establishing himself in our hearts and lives as people who are under his authority and care.
Monday's Devotional included a prayer that throughout the week we would be able to glean all that God wanted to bring to us that would help us to be genuine people of faith who live fully for him. Having the kind of faith that leads to this is what "victory" looks like for us today. The words of the Colossians passage above say it this way, "just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord (reached), you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught." The Galatians passage above adds the most central understanding of all about faith with these words, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God."
Lord you are my strength and my song. Truly, you have given me victory. Lord Jesus, I know that "you living in me and through me" is the true "victory." I know that this is the core of my faith. Help me more the than ever before to live by faith in you, Lord Jesus. Amen!
Posted on Sat, June 20, 2015
by Alan Porter