“Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
The story of Rahab is a story of redemption. It is nothing short of a miracle. The Spirit opened Rahab’s eyes to understand that YHWH is the true and living God. This happened as a result of the Word of God reaching her ears long before the spies ever set foot in Jericho. For decades, her people had been hearing stories of a people whose God had parted the Red Sea and given them victory over Egyptian bondage. Now those same people were at her doorstep, and Rahab wanted to join the people and the God of Israel. She had come to realize, salvation would be found in God alone, but she did not want to follow Him alone. In what is a beautiful example of intercessory prayer, Rahab pleads not only for herself but for her loved ones.
“. . . spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, . . .”
This seems to be a relatively common phenomenon; when a person truly meets God, they are burdened with a desire for others to meet him as well. It was true of Paul, who wrote ,
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”
Perhaps Jesus was referring to this when he promised that we could exchange our burdens with His. He said we should take our heavy load and give it to Him, in exchange for his burden, which was much lighter (Matthew 11:28-30). That burden certainly includes a desire for others to come to know Him. One of the missing elements in the church today is people who are burdened with a desire for others to come to Christ and grow in Him. We seem to be consumed instead with a desire for personal prosperity and to maintain a political status quo.
Perhaps it is time we look at the great judgment the world is under and begin to pray for those within our sphere of influence to come to Christ. Perhaps, it is even time to pray that our sphere of influence would widen, and that we might actively seek to meet people with the purpose of sharing the love of Christ with them.
Keep in mind, that although time is running out, there remains plenty of space in heaven for all who will trust in Christ.