World English Bible translation
11:30By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down, after they had been encircled for seven days. 11:31 By faith, Rahab the prostitute, didn't perish with those who were disobedient, having received the spies in peace. 11:32 What more shall I say? For the time would fail me if I told of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets; 11:33 who, through faith subdued kingdoms, worked out righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, grew mighty in war, and turned to flight armies of aliens.
Just as the life of faith did not begin with Abraham it did not end with Moses. There were men and women of faith that entered the Land with Joshua and took possession of the promises that God had given first to Abraham and then to Moses. In this section of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the faith of those Israelites who entered and subdued the Land is extolled.
"By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down…" For forty years the people had wandered in the wilderness because they had been afraid to enter the Land. They had turned back because the spies had reported that there were huge cities that were highly fortified. All but two of the spies refused to return. Because of this God swore that that generation would not be able to enter into His rest. They all died in the wilderness except for the two spies that had expressed faith, Joshua and Caleb.
When the people finally entered the Land one the first cities that they encountered was Jericho. Joshua led the people around the walls for seven days. On the seventh day, they circled the walls seven times and the walls of the city fell in among the residents killing many of them. It was the faith of the people in following the command of Joshua that caused God to act in their favor.
On the other hand, there was one woman who lived in Jericho that befriended the Israelites that came to spy out the city. Rahab the harlot of Jericho hid two men that Joshua had sent out to examine the defenses of the city. She had heard of the Lord and believed that God would hand over the Land to the Israelites. Because of her faith, God spared her and her whole family. A foreigner and a prostitute became a part of the people of God because of her faith. Rahab not only was accepted into the nation of Israel, but she became one of the ancestors of Jesus Himself.
After Jericho and Rahab, came the time of the Judges and the Prophets. During this time there were many men and women who did great things in the name of their faith in God and the promises that He had given to the people. This was a time when there appeared to be a continuous cycle of times between which the people would be reconciled to God and then slowly drift away. God would raise up a man or woman of faith that would rally the people for a time and restore the worship of God for a time. But before long, the people would drift away to follow their own desires.
God is always raising up people that will defy their culture and follow Him by faith. Do you know someone who has impressed you with the kind of faith that is praised in the letter of the Hebrews? Who do you know, that like Rahab, has completely changed their lives because of their faith in what God is doing in the world?
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