DISCIPLES OF JESUS MINISTRY

Where He leads us we will follow

Miriam

                                                                     


MIRIAM

Exo 15:20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
Exo 15:21
And Miriam answered them:
"Sing to the LORD,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!"

Following Moses lead in praise to God we see here how Miriam led the women in praise to God in songs of praise and in dance. Imagine how those men and women must have felt at this time, God had just taken them through the Red Sea, He had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians. Miriam though was not only a worship leader, she was a prophetess.
We first come across Miriam as a young girl about ten years old in Exodus chapter 2, she watched as here baby brother Moses was discovered in the bulrushes by Pharoh’s daughter who decided to adopt him, then she boldly spoke to her and told her she knew a woman who could nurse the baby, that being her own mother and the mother of the baby Moses. That must have taken some courage on the part of this child. The qualities of leadership were seen in her even then.

Mic 6:4 For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
,
I redeemed you from the house of bondage;
And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

You can see how Miriam was considered a leader of Israel along with Moses and Aaron.

Num 12:1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
Num 12:2 So they said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" And the LORD heard it.
Num 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
Num 12:4 Suddenly the LORD said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "Come out, you three, to the tabernacle of meeting!" So the three came out.
Num 12:5 Then the LORD came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward.
Num 12:6 Then He said,
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.
Num 12:7 Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
Num 12:8 I speak with him face to face,
Even plainly, and not in dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
To speak against My servant Moses?"
Num 12:9 So the anger of the LORD was aroused against them, and He departed.
Num 12:10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper.
Num 12:11 So Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned.
Num 12:12 Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb!"
Num 12:13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, "Please heal her, O God, I pray!"
Num 12:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, would she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and afterward she may be received again."
Num 12:15 So Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days, and the people did not journey till Miriam was brought in again.
Num 12:16 And afterward the people moved from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.

We find in this passage that Miriam was not always happy playing second fiddle to her younger brother Moses. She is unhappy about Moses marriage to the foreigner, the Cushite women and she discussed this was Aaron who was also unhappy about it.
We also see that Miriam is unhappy with the place the Lord has given her. Doesn’t she also have talents? She also can prophesy – Moses is not the only one whom God speaks to, he is not the only one who has knowledge. Aaron too questioned his brother’s leadership.
The Lord summoned the three of them to the tent of meeting and He told Miriam and Aaron that Moses is more than a prophet – for he spoke face to face with God- not just through dreams and visions. Moses was the mediator between him and the people. To reject Moses was to reject God’s man. Miriam and Aaron thought to highly of themselves. They questioned the position God had given them. We too need to accept the position which the Lord has given us. Miriam’s example shows us that that it is not always easy to accept when others are placed in authority over us.
Miriam is punished for her sin, she is struck with leprosy and put outside the camp for 7 days. Moses cried out to God and after 7 days she was healed and restored. I suspect Miriam learned many lessons during that week when she was outside the camp. We may wonder why this happened to Miriam and not Aaron also, but maybe God’s word to them and seeing what was happening to his sister was enough to bring him to repentance and give him a contrite spirit.
Do you see in this passage that Moses was described as humble before God, this was something his brother and sister had to learn a lesson of humility. I am sure this experience must have made a profound change in both their lives.
Let’s learn to accept our God given position’s, to be humble but firstly we need to know our position and start fulfilling it. God has a place for each of us, surely there is nowhere better to be than in the center of God’s will for us, serving Him.

 

 

 

Virtuous woman

                      

Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.


Virtuous Godly women are hard to find, so when you find one her worth is worth more than all earthly treasures.

Pro 31:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.


Her husband can trust her implicitly in all things and for her to manage her household well.

Pro 31:12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.

In all that she does she works for good, she will be loyal and trustworthy and speak well of her husband, she will always be faithful

Pro 31:13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.


She is not afraid to work hard and does not complain about what she has to do, she quietly goes about her business, for she is devoted to her husband and family and this is reflected in her demeanor.

Pro 31:14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.


She is always prepared to go the extra mile, to do more than could reasonably be asked of her.

Pro 31:15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.

She never neglects her household, she rises early because she has concerns for her family and friends, she spends time praying for each one for her concern goes beyond their physical appetites, she cares also about their spiritual welfare, so aside from being busy about household chores this woman rises early to talk to the Lord, to spend time with Him in intercession but also in praise and a two way conversation with Her Lord, She will feed on spiritual Manna from the Word.

Pro 31:16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.


She sensibly handles household finances, she appreciates that all that she has comes ultimately from the Lord and she must handle it appropriately.

Pro 31:17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.


She knows where her strength comes fom, she does not rely on her own strength but on that of the Lord who helps her to be strong in each and every situation, even during a family crisis.She is diligent and hard working always.

Pro 31:18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.


She knows where her treasure comes from, her treasures are not of this world, she is sensible and shrewd in what she buys, she does not go by earthly values though and is prepared to be led by the Spirit

Pro 31:19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.


She looks to the Lord for her Wisdom, she is wise with a wisdom that can only come from spending time in fellowship with Him. She will not raise her hands to another.

Pro 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.


She has her Heavenly Father's heart and will do her utmost to help the poor and needy. She will be ready to encourage others, she will be there to help when someone is struggling, depressed, grieving, always there for them, she knows how to lend a listening ear too. She has learned about counsellng others from the Holy Spirit too, so she will help practically and emotionally.

Pro 31:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.


She is unafraid of going through life's little difficulties or purifying refiners fire for her household is clothed in the blood of the lamb.

Pro 31:22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.


In Biblical days the color purple represented Imperial authority or the royal authority of a King or Queen. She is a daughter of a King- the King of Kings and she knows it and will live in a fashion that demonstrates to all that she knows who she belongs to. and she wants the world to know her allegiance to the Lord

Pro 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.

She constantly upholds her husband in prayer and he has become a mature Godly man, an example to others, one to whom others go for advice, now considered fit to be an elder, but this does not come immediately, it comes from both of them seeking God's face

Pro 31:24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.


She is industrious, she works hard in all that she does, doing all things not only as pleasing to her husband but to the Lord. Her character speaks to those she comes in contact with of a godly demeanor, she attracts others to the Lord whom she loves.

Pro 31:25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.


Her strength comes from the Lord and she will give Him all the glory honor and praise. The Lord honors those who honor Him and although she may be rejoicing in part now she will great rejoicing in times to come for her faithfulness to Him.

Pro 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.


She has that wisdom that only comes from above and her wisdom shows through as she advises the younger women and children and others who come her way. She never has harsh words to say about anyone, even if she has to counsel someone about doing wrong she will not come with a critical spirit, instead she will encourage them to do good.

Pro 31:27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.


She manages her household well, is a good example to them all and she is never lazy. Constantly they will find that she has a steadfast and sure hope in her God, unwavering and wjhen they see her example they see one to follow.

Pro 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:


Her children and her husband love and respect her, and they see her as a blessing and praises her for her faithfulness and example to them. In the same way the Lord looks at us His bride and when we seek after Him, spend time with Him and show the qualities and faithfulness of the virtuous woman He rejoices in us and says "Well done my bride."

Pro 31:29 "Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all."


This is my hearts cry to excel in what I do for the King of Kings. The Shulamite woman was one among many wives of Solomon but she excelled in her love and faithfulness and in all that she done. Was she perfect no? My study of Song Of Solomon clearly demonstrates this but she knew what it was to love and out of that love came a desire that could not be requited by anything else. She just had to be with her beloved, Her King and nothing else would satisfy her.


Pro 31:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Earthly beauty can be deceitful, it is fleeting, we all grow older but if we are rooted and grounded in Christ, knowing Him and loving Him, desiring to draw closer and closer to Him we will take on a new beauty, for we will know Godly reverence , yet intimacy with our Lord for it is important to us to spend time in the secret place with the Lord and to learn of Him and become like Him.
If we get a real picture of who our God is , who Jesus is , who the Holy Spirit is- our Triune God we will be so in awe of Him , have a holy reverence for Him, not fear as in being afraid, but rather we will seek to serve Him because it's the only way left for us in all we do and in all we say.

Pro 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.


The virtuous woman or the faithful bride will bear much fruit, she will see what she has planted as seed come to fruition, and even the seed she doesn't personally see will bear fruit. The faithful bride are going to see much fruit of their labors for they are obedient, faithful and know what it is to answer the Lord's call to go away with Him into the secret place and to come up a little higher, come up a little closer, to really know Him, not just know Him from a distance but they have to seek Him , they come hungry and thirsty to be with Him. This faithful bride are prepared to take up their cross and follow Him


Gentlemen this passage applies to you too for you are part of the bride of Christ.

Hannah


 

                                                          

Hannah, A Godly woman gives birth to Samuel

 

1Sa 1:1 There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah [in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham and grandson of Elihu, from the family of Tohu and the clan of Zuph.
1Sa 1:2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, while Hannah did not.
1Sa 1:3 Each year Elkanah and his family would travel to
Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli – Hophni and Phinehas.
1Sa 1:4 On the day Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the sacrifice to Peninnah and each of her children.
1Sa 1:5 But he gave Hannah a special portion [because he loved her very much, even though the LORD had given her no children.
1Sa 1:6 But Peninnah made fun of Hannah because the LORD had closed her womb.
1Sa 1:7 Year after year it was the same – Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Hannah would finally be reduced to tears and would not even eat.
1Sa 1:8 "What's the matter, Hannah?" Elkanah would ask. "Why aren't you eating? Why be so sad just because you have no children? You have me – isn't that better than having ten sons?"
1Sa 1:9 Once when they were at
Shiloh, Hannah went over to the Tabernacle [after supper to pray to the LORD. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance.
1Sa 1:10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.
1Sa 1:11 And she made this vow: "O LORD Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut."
1Sa 1:12 As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her.
1Sa 1:13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.
1Sa 1:14 "Must you come here drunk?" he demanded. "Throw away your wine!"
1Sa 1:15 "Oh no, sir!" she replied, "I'm not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD.
1Sa 1:16 Please don't think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow."
1Sa 1:17 "In that case," Eli said, "cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him."
1Sa 1:18 "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
1Sa 1:19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the LORD once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the LORD remembered her request,
1Sa 1:20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I asked the LORD for him."
1Sa 1:21 The next year Elkanah, Peninnah, and their children went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.
1Sa 1:22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, "Wait until the baby is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the LORD permanently."
1Sa 1:23 "Whatever you think is best," Elkanah agreed. "Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise." So she stayed home and nursed the baby.
1Sa 1:24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and half a bushel of flour and some wine.
1Sa 1:25 After sacrificing the bull, they took the child to Eli.
1Sa 1:26 "Sir, do you remember me?" Hannah asked. "I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD.
1Sa 1:27 I asked the LORD to give me this child, and he has given me my request.
1Sa 1:28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.



Elkanah had two wives, Hannah (grace) and Peninnah (pearl). The practice of polygamy is seen again here, not that God approved the practice, just as in the case of Leah and Rachel, one wife was fruitful while the other was barren. This caused rivalry in the the home because, although Hannah was childless, she was more loved by her husband.. When the family traveled to Shiloh ... yearly to celebrate one of the feasts, Hannah would receive a double portion of the peace offering. The family traveled to Shiloh for worship and sacrifice every year and at this time Perimnah would taunt Hannah because she was childless, while she had children.. Those taunts hurt Hannah and she cried out to the Lord in prayer. 1:11–18 Hannah vowed that if God would give her a male child, she would give him back to the LORD.

The old priest, Eli, saw Hannah’s lips moving and thought she was drunk. But as soon as she explained her actions, he realized how serious she was, so he blessed her, and sent her on her way in peace. Hannah was concerned about her physical barrenness. In the same way we should mourn our spiritual barrenness.

Nine months later the baby Samuel was born, he had been dedicated to the Lord even before he was born.. Hannah gave praise to the Lord and not only that in 1Sa 1:22-28 she states that Samuel’s whole life will be dedicated to the Lord and she was giving him up to be trained in the tabernacle.
After Samuel was weaned (probably in his third year) she brought him to Shiloh into the house of the Lord, and said to Eli the aged priest, “Oh my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord heard my prayer and that which I asked of him, so I am giving him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is the Lord’s .”

2:1 “My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.
2 There is no Holy One like the LORD;
there in no Rock like our God.
3 † “Speak boastfully no longer,
nor let arrogance issue from your mouths.
For an all-knowing God is the LORD,
a God who judges deeds.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
5 he well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.
6 “The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world; he raises up again.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich,
he humbles, he also exalts.
8 He raises the needy from the dust;
from the ash heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.
He gives to the vower his vow,
and blesses the sleep of the just.
“For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
and he has set the world upon them.
9 He will guard the footsteps of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall perish in the darkness. For not by strength does man prevail;
10 the LORD’S foes shall be shattered.
The Most High in heaven thunders;
The LORD judges the ends of the earth,
Now may he give strength to his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed!”
11 When Elkanah returned home to Ramah, the child remained in the service of the LORD under the priest Eli.
She praised the Lord in this remarkable prophetic song. Hannah poured out her heart in thanksgiving. She shows an in-depth knowledge of God in those words, His character, and His deeds. The prayer seems to rebuke Peninnah for all the spiteful things she had said to Hannah, but it prophetically goes beyond the domestic squabble to the triumph of Israel over her foes and to the eventual reign of Christ v 10.(The anointed).
“And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.” Hannah had three sons and two daughters after Samuel.


The Lord is spoken of as a “rock” in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the Lord Jesus Christ is called the “chief corner stone” (1 Pet. 2:6). In Matthew 16:18 Christ spoke of Himself when He said, “… upon this rock I will build my church.” That Rock upon which Hannah rested is the same Rock upon which we rest today. ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK WE STAND, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND.

Predominant in this passage is the thought that God has given life. Job said, “… the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21) The Lord is in control.

1Sa 2:7 - The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich,.... Which is true in a natural sense of the same persons, as might be exemplified in the case of Job; and of different persons, as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus; for both poverty and riches are of God, see Pro_22:2. Poverty is of God; for though it is sometimes owing to a man's own conduct, yet that there is such a difference among men in general, that some should be poor, and others rich, is owing to the wise providence of God, that men may be dependent on one another. Riches are of God, and are the gifts of his bountiful providence; for though they are oftentimes the fruits of industry and diligence, as means, yet not always; and whenever they are, they are to be ascribed to the blessing of God attending the diligent hand. This is also true in a spiritual sense; for though spiritual poverty is owing to the fall of Adam, and to the actual sins and transgressions of men, whereby they become poor and miserable, yet all this is not without the knowledge and will of God: and it is he that makes men sensible of their poverty, and then makes them rich in spiritual things, with his own grace, and the blessings of it, with the riches of grace here, and of glory hereafter; all which flow from the good will of God, who has laid up much for his people, bestowed much on them, and entitles them to more; and which come to them through the poverty of Christ, who, though he was rich, became poor, that they through his poverty might be made rich, 2Co_8:9 he bringeth low, and lifteth up; which has been verified in the same persons, as in Job, Nebuchadnezzar, &c. and in different persons, for he puts down one, and raises up another; so he rejected Saul from being king, and took David from the sheepfold, debased Haman, and raised Mordecai to great dignity: and, in a spiritual sense, the Lord shows men the low estate and condition they are brought into by sin, humbles them under a sense of it, brings down their proud spirits to sit at the feet of Jesus, and to submit to him, and to his righteousness; and he lifts them up by his son out of their fallen, captive, and miserable estate, and by his Spirit and grace brings them out of the horrible pit of nature into the state of grace; sets them upon the rock Christ, and makes their mountain to stand strong by the discoveries of his love, and will at last lift them up to glory, and place them on the same throne with Christ. (Gill’s Commentary).


Man is powerless, by his own efforts, our own power, and strength, can never accomplish anything for God. We as Christians today need to recognize that fact. It is only what you and I do by the power of the Holy Spirit that will count. We need to learn to be dependent upon Him and rest in Him.


The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed [1 Sam. 2:10].
This is one of the great verses of Scripture and the first one to use the name Messiah—the word anointed is the Hebrew word Messiah. It is translated Christos in the Greek New Testament and comes to us as “Christ” in English. It is the title of the Lord Jesus. God is getting ready to set up a kingdom in Israel. Since Israel has rejected the theocracy, God is going to appoint them a king.( thru the Bible with Vernon McGhee)

The woman at the well

                                                                                                    


Exo 17:1 -7 read in your own time.

 

The Lord has always been the provider of water for those who thirst.

 

Joh 4:5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

Joh 4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

Joh 4:7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink."

Joh 4:8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Joh 4:9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."

Joh 4:11 The woman said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?

Joh 4:12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?"

Joh 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,

Joh 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

Joh 4:15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw."

Joh 4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."

Joh 4:17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."

Jesus said to her, "You have well said, "I have no husband,'

Joh 4:18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly."

Joh 4:19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

Joh 4:20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship."

Joh 4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

Joh 4:22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Joh 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

Joh 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Joh 4:25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."

Joh 4:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

Joh 4:27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?"

Joh 4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men,

Joh 4:29 "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

Joh 4:30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

 

Joh 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did."

Joh 4:40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.

Joh 4:41 And many more believed because of His own word.

Joh 4:42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

 

Jews and Samaritans didn’t like each other. That’s putting it mildly. They did everything they could to avoid each other Jews considered Samaritans to be infidels. No doubt the Samaritans felt the same towards Jews. Though both claimed Abraham as their father in the faith, each believed the other to have corrupted the faith. Then, as now, no passion exceeds that of ones who believe they have the right theology. In a nutshell, that was the rub between Jews and Samaritans. So custom, tradition and the law decreed that the two be separate and distinct.

Jewish men didn’t speak in public to women, even their own wives. For a rabbi this would have been an even greater restriction. Women were not publicly taught the Law. A woman's place in that society was nothing like our own. But Jesus never treated women in the expected ways of his culture. He talked with them. He taught them. He expected and trusted them to be able to proclaim the Good News. He told stories using women as his characters. He even gave an illustration of what God was like using the image of the woman searching for the Lost Coin. Jesus acted and spoke as if women and men were equal before God and his eyes.

Jesus was passing through Samaria and he met a woman. The well known even to this day as “Jacob’s Well” is more than 100 feet deep. It is not a spring at the surface. To get water, one has to have a bucket and from the steps that circle the interior, let down the bucket to collect water from the deep pool. So Jesus wouldn’t have had a bucket and a rope. He would have to wait for someone who did.

The woman Jesus spoke to knew her life was in a mess. She seems to have made some rather bad decisions about her love life - to get through five husbands takes some doing - whilst divorce was allowed for Jews and Samaritans, that number of divorces, would, then as now, give rise to some comments. She is also living with someone who she is not married to- again very unusual in that age.

The fact her life is in a mess is shown by the fact that she goes to the well in the middle of the day by herself. Water is heavy to carry and the women of a village would probably go together, at the start or the end of the day. They would go together to catch up on the gossip and they would go in the cool of the morning or the evening to make the job easier. Also, if you look at Bible commentaries it would seem that the well was about a mile out of the nearest village.

This woman's life is so messy that the other women don't want to be seen with her. She has to go out when everyone else will be resting in the heat of the day, and she has to go to a well further away.

No doubt the local religious people and the local religious leaders would have shunned her. Yet Jesus doesn't. Jesus asks her for a drink and starts talking to her. Jewish men in that era didn't talk to women by themselves. Jews of that era did not talk to Samaritans who didn't worship God in the proper way and whose racial ancestry made them beyond the pale for good Jewish people.

So we have Jesus talking to a woman whose lifestyle mean she was an outsider, whom the "so called good" people of her village wouldn't associate with and who the religious people would have condemned.

What does Jesus do? Does he pile on the condemnation? Does he tell her to get her life sorted? No, he starts conversing with her and takes a look at her deepest needs.

Yearning Within

Jesus manages to see past the mess of the woman's life and to see her inner yearning for spirituality and meaning.

We all know people whose lives are a mess. We all know people whom we need to get along side and follow the example of Jesus with the woman at the well. What did Jesus do? Look at the passage, Jesus did three things with the woman once he got into the conversation with her. He called her, he taught her, and he sent her.

Calling

His initial conversation about wanting water gave him a chance to talk about a living water which comes from God which would give lasting satisfaction. Imagine the woman’s amazement that Jesus understands her yearning for things that last. He tells her about the mess of her life confirming to her the insight he has. We have also been called by Jesus into a living relationship with Jesus. We are all continually called by Jesus to continue following him. Sometimes we think our response to this call is a once and for all event. We were called to start the journey but, it seems to me, that Jesus continues to call us to follow him, especially when we get tired, or when we get too comfortable along the way.

We can get distracted by things around us, by the good things in our lives, by the pain in our lives, by niggles with others, by problems, which we don't address.  

Teaching

After Jesus had gained the woman's attention he started to teach her. He taught her about true worship which is not dependant upon a certain place, or upon sacrifices of animals. True worship is a matter of the heart, where we worship the God who is spirit, with our own spirits.

Thorough teaching in the faith helps us to understand difference and diversity. Being taught our faith, through sermons, through other forms of teaching like the daily devotionals, help us know our Bibles better and able to cope with questions and queries thrown at us. It equips us for service and is one of the main tasks of the church.

Sending

Jesus then sent the woman to go about spreading the good news. This is not explicit in his encounter with her but she goes and spreads the message of Jesus among the people in her village. This was risky - going to speak to people who had shunned her took a lot of courage. We too are sent - the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations applies to us too. We do this in many ways, some of them more risky than others.

To go and spread the gospel in our/ your community can be about taking risks. Sometimes, to go to our community is as risky as that woman at the well going to her community.

In verse 18 Jesus comments on the state of marriage. Jesus clearly says the man whom this woman was living with (and having sexual relations with) was not her husband. So, God does not recognize or allow "common law" marriage. A marriage ceremony and exchanging of vows is required by God to have a husband and wife relationship.

 

 

    The woman tried to divert the attention Jesus had given her personal life by bringing up this theological question. Her lifestyle would suggest that worshipping God was not a high priority of hers, so the place and method of worship would certainly not be of that much importance to her. This woman like millions of people today was deceived by Satan into being more occupied with theological questions about God than about her personal relationship with God. Jesus brought her right back to her personal need by saying that the place and method of worship was not what God was after. God seeks to be worshipped in the hearts of men.

 

     John’s Gospel introduces us to  the Holy Spirit as the key to truly dynamic devotion to God. It anticipates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who will become the very energy of the believer’s devotional life. The Holy Spirit will maximize prayer and worship. In this chapter Jesus talks of living water.  

 

     Verses 21–24 Worship God frequently, praise Him with your whole heart, praise Him in  spoken words and in song, if you have a spiritual language use it to praise him as well as with your understanding. Jesus is the giver of those living waters.

                                                                                                                                              Isa 55:1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Isa 55:2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you--
The sure mercies of David.
 

                                                                                                                                               Jesus alluded to this passage in Isaiah on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." John 7: 37-38

What Jesus offers is free Some of us since we have been Christians have never learned how we can be free from things in life that have us in bondage. However, sometimes we classify and justify our sins to the point that we become unaware of the stronghold that they have on our lives.

Good names for these sins are “hang ups.” These are the sins in your life that you ask God to forgive you for, yet you continually go right back to those sins. Sin separates us from God and distances our relationship with God at the same time. Sin separates us from God, we cannot walk in the spirit and walk in sin
  We should be so concerned about becoming strong disciples of Jesus Christ and growing up to be like him so we desire complete freedom from every sin that has us bound.” We simply cannot grow to the place where we need to be in Jesus Christ if we are in bondage to things that distance our relationship with Him.  

     

   What did Jesus mean by “living water?”


 In the Old Testament, many verses speak of thirsting after God as one who thirsts for water.


Psalm 42:1, 2 (NASB) 1As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?


 Isaiah 55:1 (NASB) 1"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.


 Jeremiah 2:13 (NASB) 13"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.


 Zechariah 13:1 (NASB) 1"In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.


God is called the Fountain of Life.


 Psalm 36:7-9 (AMP) 7How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge and put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. 8They relish and feast on the abundance of Your house; and You cause them to drink of the stream of Your pleasures. 9For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light.


 By Jesus saying He would bring living water that could forever quench a person’s thirst for God, Jesus was in fact claiming to be the Messiah that He was.


 Only the Messiah could give a gift that satisfies the soul’s aspiration.

 


The Samaritan woman only had to drink of this pure living water, that Jesus was ready to give her, and her thirst would be quenched.

 

The first step of getting deliverance from any particular sin is simply replacing that sin with the things of God.


1. Whatever that habitual sin is that you have quit a million times and kept going back to must be laid to rest at the altar of Jesus and left there.


2. Most of the time, it is not about whether or not we can let go of those sins, but instead, it has to do with our own willingness to let go of these sins.


3. Ezekiel 20:7 (AMP) 7Then said I to them, Let every man cast away the abominable things on which he feasts his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.


4. Isaiah 55:7 (AMP) 7Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon.


 How to drink living water


. Isaiah 55:1-3 (AMP) 1WAIT and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. 3Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David.

 

Food costs money, lasts only a short time, and meets only physical needs.


 However, God offers us free nourishment that feeds our soul.


All of us come who are thirsty.

We come to the living water.
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 Isaiah 55:2-3 (AMP) 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. 3Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David.



: Jeremiah 2:13 (NASB) 13"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

                                                                                                                                                      The Holy Spirit is the living water of our souls.

Isa 44:3
'For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;

He will pour out His Spirit to those who thirst after Him.

Psa 42:1
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
Psa 42:2
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
Psa 42:3
My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
Psa 42:4
These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

He will give you back all the joy, pour out your soul to the Lord.

Psa 42:5
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him
For the help of His presence.
Psa 42:6
O my God, my soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Do you remember all the good things you have experienced in your past, thank the Lord. Give thanks.

Psa 42:7
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.
Out of the hard times , out of the dryness He wants to restore you and take you to that deeper place.

Psa 42:8
The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
Psa 42:9
I will say to God my rock, "Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
Psa 42:10
As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me,
While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
Psa 42:11
Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

So cast away all despair, God wants to restore you fully, come all who are thirsty, all who are weak and come to the fountain , where there is such precious living waters that are overflowing for you. Rejoice in the Lord always. He has given His life for us and poured out His Spirit.

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--
Joh 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.


He has given us His Spirit. Are you hungry and thirsty, here is food and water for your soul. Food is there for you from God's word and water from the fountains of living water, the Holy Spirit.

LET THE LIVING WATERS FLOW THROUGH YOU AND ME.

John 4:28-30 (NASB) 28So the woman left her water pot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" 30They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

After the Samaritan woman drank of the living water that Jesus gave her, she went back in to town. However, she left her water pot with Jesus Christ. Have you left the sewer water of your life with Jesus or do you keep trying to take it back? We can learn to leave the sewer water behind and drink from the living water that Jesus offers us that will always quench our thirst.

I think that this story was told to others by the woman herself in later years and so this was included in the Gospel. This woman was a disciple of Christ. No doubt about it. One has to wonder what influence this woman had on later events in Samaria. See Acts 8:5-25. First she saw Jesus (through many assumptions about herself and the world), then she really sees Jesus - as Messiah (and for himself), then she goes and tells others about him (and invites response). This is "witnessing" to Jesus.

 

 

The Ten virgins

                                                                       



THE TEN VIRGINS


Mat 25:1 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 "And at midnight a cry was heard: "Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, "No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us!'
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Mat 25:13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

So we can ask ourselves who are the foolish virgins and who are the wise?

Let’s look at wisdom in the Bible

Pro 2:1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
Pro 2:2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
Pro 2:3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
Pro 2:4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
Pro 2:5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
Pro 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Pro 2:7 He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
Pro 2:8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Pro 2:9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair-every good path.

Pro 3:1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
Pro 3:2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.
Pro 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Pro 3:4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
Pro 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Col 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Col 1:28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

2Ti 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The wise do not look to their own understanding. They boldly proclaim who Jesus is, and trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation. They desire to learn of Him and seek His presence.

And the Foolish

Pro 9:6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of understanding.

Pro 9:13 The woman Folly is loud;
she is undisciplined and without knowledge.

Pro 14:7 Stay away from a foolish man,
for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

Pro 15:7 The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.

Pro 19:3 A man's own folly ruins his life,
yet his heart rages against the LORD .

Jer 5:4 I thought, "These are only the poor;
they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the LORD ,
the requirements of their God.

Jer 5:21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes but do not see,
who have ears but do not hear:

Mat 7:26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

Luk 24:25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Men and women steeped in nothing but religiosity are foolish for they lean to their own understanding and a works based Gospel.


Oil signifies the Holy Spirit in the Bible. 1Sa 16:13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness more than Your companions."

The Bridegroom , the Lord Jesus Christ closes the parable with a warning for all who are not part of His bride.

We must understand that there will be 3 Groups of People on the Earth when the “Rapture” takes place!


The 1st Group - people who are completely unaware that the “Rapture” is about to take place.
Mat 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Mat 24:38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
Mat 24:39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Luk 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:
Luk 17:27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built;
Luk 17:29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
Luk 17:30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

They will be just as ignorant as the people who were alive on the Earth when:

1. The flood that Noah warned of took place.

2. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God.

This is what people were doing, when the flood took place, in Noah’s day and when the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and what people will be doing when
the “Rapture” takes place:

1. Eating 2. Drinking 3. Buying 4. Selling 5. Planting 6. Building 7. Marrying 8.Divorcing 9. Remarrying

The 2nd Group will consist of people who think that they are ready to meet the Bridegroom.
These people, who profess to be Christians, are referred to as Foolish Virgins. They are people who think they are born-again believers (Christians) but they are not born again. They are relying on what they have done rather than on the finished work of Christ.

After the “Rapture” some of the people who thought that they were Christians will plead with the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in
Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

   So it is so very important to be sure of our salvation, if you are not 100% sure of your salvation, I implore you this is the time to make sure.

 

Rahab

RAHAB


Jos 2:1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. "Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho." So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
Jos 2:2 The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land."
Jos 2:3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land."
Jos 2:4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from.
Jos 2:5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them."
Jos 2:6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
Jos 2:7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
Jos 2:8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof
Jos 2:9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.
Jos 2:10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.
Jos 2:11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
Jos 2:12 Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign
Jos 2:13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death."
Jos 2:14 "Our lives for your lives!" the men assured her. "If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the LORD gives us the land."
Jos 2:15 So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall.
Jos 2:16 Now she had said to them, "Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way."
Jos 2:17 The men said to her, "This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us
Jos 2:18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you have brought your father and mother, your brothers and all your family into your house.
Jos 2:19 If anyone goes outside your house into the street, his blood will be on his own head; we will not be responsible. As for anyone who is in the house with you, his blood will be on our head if a hand is laid on him.
Jos 2:20 But if you tell what we are doing, we will be released from the oath you made us swear."
Jos 2:21 "Agreed," she replied. "Let it be as you say." So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.
Jos 2:22 When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them.
Jos 2:23 Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them.
Jos 2:24 They said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us."



Rahab and her family lived within the outer city wall. Her house was apparently built into the wall. It is possible that the house doubled as an inn since the spies were sought there. It is possible Rahab also worked with linen for as we see the flax was laid out on the roof of her house We do not know exactly when Rahab first encountered God or even how she did and we do not know if up until this moment in time Rahab was still working as a prostitute. Those things are not so important but we know that when she did have an encounter with God it changed her radically so that she could never be the same again. She believed and had faith and did not allow fear of man to hold her back. It is interesting to note how probably all the people in the city of Jericho had heard of how God had done so much for the Israelites and she had faith that a God who could rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and helped them to destroy the Amorites would watch over her and her family. She believed this God to be real and was ready to devote her life to Him and even sacrifice her life to protect His people.
The spies Joshua sent assured her that if she did what was asked of her she and her household would be treated favourably when they entered the land. She was instructed to hang a scarlet ribbon on her window on the city wall and she followed those instructions, so Rahab and all her household were saved.

The scarlet thread is blood red signifying the covering of blood, she was under the blood and saved. Scarlet signifies redemption throughout the Bible.not only that though for her blood line would be a very significant one- for David then Jesus was a descendant of Rahab.




Jos 6:17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD . Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.


The only way the city would be spared was if all the people within it were devoted to the Lord, but unfortunately we are reminded of the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah here, only a few are faithful to the Lord, the people of the city of Jericho aside from Rahab and her household rejected God.


Jos 6:22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her."
Jos 6:23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
Jos 6:24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD's house.
Jos 6:25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho-and she lives among the Israelites to this day.


Rahab was possibly new to the faith, she had possibly only started to enter into a relationship with God, but she stood strong believing that God who had proved Himself to be a God of miracles, and had proved Himself faithful to His promises would take care of her and her family as indeed He had promised. She deserves a place in the annuls of history.


Heb 11:31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

By faith Rahab was saved, and not just her all of her household. She alone in this chapter on the heroes of faith we are told was saved from death because of her faith in the God of the Israelites when she had heard of some of the miracles He had worked for the Israelites and how he had delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians.
Jas 2:24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
Jas 2:25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
It’s not her background that established Rahab’s standing before God, she was considered righteous because she was a woman of faith, because she was obedient to what the Lord asked of her. Her history as a prostitute was washed away (and yes she was looking forward to the cross) for she was considered righteous before God.



Mat 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,


She became an ancestor of David and Jesus. Rahab gave birth to Boaz who married another Gentile woman Ruth. Ruth and Boaz were the great grandparents of David. God doesn’t always use the people we would expect him to use, He looks at our hearts, not our race, not our experience, not our qualifications.
He wants to know do we have faith, are we going to be obedient to Him? Have we servant hearts, do we love His people? Are we prepared to go the extra mile?

Lydia

Act 16:11 From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.
Act 16:12 From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
Act 16:13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
Act 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.
Act 16:15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.......
Act 16:40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.



Lydia was one woman who was in the right place, at the right time, with the right heart, and with the right attitude. God can do amazing things through men and women who are prepared to seek him, to follow him, and to be obedient to his vision. We are only limited by the smallness of our own vision - if we get a vision from God, then it's limitless because he's limitless. The Holy Spirit led Paul to Philippi and right into the path of this one woman Lydia. God had a plan and purpose for Lydia.


Facts we know about Lydia.


She was a dealer in purple cloth, and was probably wealthy.

She and the members of her household were baptized

It's possible that Lydia was not actually her real name - she was from Thyatira, which was formerly in the ancient kingdom of Lydia before it was incorporated into the Roman Province of Asia. As Thyatira was still considered to be Lydia, she was perhaps called Lydia, or the 'Lydian lady'. She responded to the gospel and through her the door was opened for ministry in that region. She was a key person in the establishment and development of the church in Philippi.

A few points from v13-15 in the passage show us:
• she was a woman of prayer
• she listened and was eager to learn
• she was a worshipper
• she opened her heart
• she was obedient to baptism
• she confessed that she was a believer
• she wanted to serve
• she opened her home
• she was hospitable

The place of prayer where Lydia and the others met to worship and pray in the open air because there was no synagogue in this town, too few men who were worshippers of God in this town. In Jewish law a synagogue could be formed wherever there were ten male heads of households who could be in regular attendance. Failing this, a place of prayer under the open sky and near a river or the sea was to be arranged and this was what had been arranged in Philippi.
So the church in Philippi started with a girl who had been set free from demon possession and a jailer along with his family and Lydia and her family and probably the others who had been present at the place of prayer by the river. Amazing how God works!

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