Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Mt Sinai (Law) and  Mt Zion (Grace)
Mt Sinai (Law) and Mt Zion (Grace)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Women of Faith in the Bible - Sarah - Miriam - Rahab

I want to talk about women who impacted their world with positive faith and made an everlasting mark in history in the Word of God.

Sarah – Wife of Abraham and his half-sister through their father. At first she was Sarai, which means, lord or captain,  from where we get the word “sir”. She was rather domineering in the Abram household.

Sarai had stayed with Abram when he left his family and sojourned in the land of Canaan (modern day Israel). Abram's nephew Lot also went with them.
 
When the Lord told Abram that he would have a son from his own body and made blood covenant with him (Genesis 15), Sarai did not believe it would be her because she was about 76years old and past child bearing age. So, she convinced Abram to have a child with their Egyptian maid, Hagar. 

This was not God’s Word to Abram, and delayed the birth of the promised child by 14yrs. Then God appeared to Abram again and told him that the child of promise would come from Sarai and his descendants that would be like the stars in number, as the Lord had promised before.

God changed their names by adding the His breath and Grace to them. This was by adding the 5th Hebrew letter to their name, which is Hey. Hey is in the Holy Name of God twice.
Abram became Abraham…father of nations.
Sarai became Sarah…princess. In Hebrew, the last letter of Sarai is Yud which is also the number 10=law. God replaced this with Hey, which is the number 5=Grace.

Sarah’s perspective changed and she became the Grace bearer in Abraham’s household. Her faith had kept her youthful. She was taken twice by kings to add to their harem because of her beauty when she was in her late 60’s and in her 70’s. Abram had told her to say she was his sister which was a half truth.

Each time she was taken and released, the couple was blessed with wealth, livestock, and servants. She was never forced to have relations with the kings. She was released because of God's pressure on the kings. She was blessed because of the goodness of God and her faith in Him. The Bible speaks of  Abraham having the faith of God who calls things as not as though they were.
Romans 4:16 Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17 ¶  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Sarah could not have lived with her husband, who she called lord, and not have learned of faith and strength in the Lord God.
 
Psalms 103 tells us that God can renew our youth like the eagle. But now with her new name she had developed a strong faith and was believing God’s promise. The Lord, in a man's form,  visited Abraham  with two angels just before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). During that visit, God told Abraham that when the time of life came next year, Sarah would have a son. Sarah heard it and laughed within herself. But God heard her and said, why did Sarah laugh? She denied it, but God heard.


When Sarah had the time of her life and her faith became sure, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son and named him, Isaac (laughter). In Hebrews 11 we read of the faith of Sarah:
11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

Sarah was 90 years old when Issac was born. She lived another 37 years.


Miriam – daughter of Amram and Jochebed and the sister of Aaron and Moses. 
We see the faith of Jochebed in her actions to save baby Moses by putting the infant in the river according to the Pharaoh’s command, however in an ark made of bulrushes. 
Moses was quite safe in the little ark that his mother had made for him.

Miriam we see in Exodus 2 follows the little boat and watches to see her brother is alright. 

Miriam sees that the Pharaoh's daughter retrieves the ark and her brother from the Nile.

She is a child but has faith also like her mother, and walks up to the Princess and tells her that she could find one of the Hebrew women to come and nurse the child. So, she gets her mother to go and nurse the child in the palace and get paid for it. She watches Moses grow up as a Prince.

Miriam is also a prophetess and witnessed all of the plagues brought upon Egypt by God through her brother, Moses. After the Lord drowned the Egyptians in the Red Sea, she led the women in dance and song in praise to the Lord. Numbers 15:20  And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.


21  And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Miriam, Aaron, and Moses were Levites and were sent to deliver the Children of Israel by God.  Micah 6:4.
  
                                                                                                                   
                 
Miriam had one instance where she spoke against Moses and angered God in Numbers 12. Her and Aaron were upset with Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman, (Zipphora). They said, “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath he not spoken also by us?” God heard it and called them out. God spoke to them from the pillar of cloud and said He would make Himself known to a prophet by a vision, but speak directly to Moses. Why do you speak against my servant, Moses?? When the cloud left, Miriam was leprous. 

Aaron cried to Moses for forgiveness and Moses entreated God for her healing. She still had to be outside the camp for 7 days until she was healed.
Numbers 12:14  And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
15  And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
So the Lord was merciful and healed her.

From the time that her brother, Moses was taken by the Princess,

to her adult life in the wilderness, Miriam served the Lord by serving her people.

Miriam stayed as a part of the Levite religious order of her family to serve the people of Israel until they approached the promised land. She died and was buried in the desert of Zin at Kadesh, Nu 20:1.




Rahab was from the city of Jericho in Joshua 2. When Joshua was preparing to go into the promised land as directed by the Lord, he sent two spies to look over the city of Jericho, a walled fortified city.
Ruins of Jericho as can be seen today. 

 
The spies were able to enter the city while the gates were open and there Rahab saw them and invited them in.
 
So they went into the house of Rahab, who was a harlot.
 
The king of Jericho sent soldiers to get them for they had been seen going into her house.
 
But, Rahab hid the spies on the roof and told the soldiers that they had escaped through the city gates before they were closed, so they went pursuing after them.
 

Joshua 2: 8 ¶  And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof;

9  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

10  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.
11  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
12  Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:
13  And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

 
The men told her as long as her family were with her in her house which was on the wall, they would be safe. They said to mark the window with a scarlet cord.

This was the same scarlet cord that she lowered them down from the wall after the gates had been shut behind the soldiers who went out looking for the Israelite men.

They went back and reported to Joshua who at the direction of an angel of the Lord made plans to take Jericho.


 Miraculously, God took the walls down at Jericho by a shout from the people after marching around the city 7 times with the Ark of the Covenant. The signal was a horn blast from the priests.
 
Then Joshua and the army of Israel wiped out the city…except for Rahab and her household.
 
 
They then joined up with Israel. She knew that the God of Israel was the God of heaven and earth. Her faith in God and believing God, put her in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 1. 
 
More ruins from Jericho.

                                                                                                                                               

The Holy Spirit in the Word testifies of her faith:

Hebrews 11:31  By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

James 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

The scarlet cord represented a type of the blood of Jesus Christ. This was similar to the blood of the Passover lamb that was put on the doorposts of the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt. Faith in the God of the Hebrews covered Rahab and her family and protected her from harm just as faith in the blood of Jesus protects us today.


Art found on the Internet, authors in html if known. Quotes from KJV Bible.
 

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