Kingdom Women: Tamar, Rahab & Reasons to Stay Current-Guest Post by Julie Holly
Today I am glad to welcome another Redbud Writer to Kindling. She is adding to the Kingdom Women series with Tamar and Rahab, both of whom are listed in the lineage of Jesus.
Our culture is shifting at rapid rates and it freaks me out. Most of the time, I want to create my own bubble world shielding my family from the whirlpool of degradation usually referred to as “progress”. Reading the news is depressing, so I put it aside. My daily life is challenging enough without adding more burdens to it, right? Perhaps I have it wrong; maybe you too?
As thoughts about Tamar and Rahab turned to words spilling across my computer screen, the core of their character, the reasons I admire them most, led me back to God in an entirely new way. My anxious heart was jarred or reset in the best of ways. Dare to read and be challenged!
Insult to injury, Tamar finds herself married and widowed twice. Her first husband died. After being told by Judah, her father-in-law, to marry his next son, Shelah, when he was grown, she patiently waited.
Shelah is grown, able to marry, but Tamar finds herself betrayed when not given to him as a wife. Meanwhile, her mother-in-law also dies and Judah seeks comfort in the arms of a perceived harlot; actually a veiled Tamar who finds herself pregnant from the encounter. (Please remember their customs were sharply different from ours regarding family and marriage.)
Judah proclaims to “let her be burned” when he learns his currently unmarried daughter-in-law is pregnant. Tamar then produces the signet, cord and staff belonging to Judah, revealing his indiscretion and saving her life.
Tamar was acutely aware when she had been slighted, intentionally overlooked, and she took measures to protect her dignity and future. Similar to our call as the bride of Christ to watch for Jesus’ return, Tamar was waiting, watching and anticipating becoming Shelah’s wife. Oh how our hearts should watch with zealous anticipation for our Savior’s return!
Observing Joshua’s winning streak in conquering territories surrounding Jericho, the king of Jericho was wise to track down Israelite spies who found lodging in the house of a harlot named Rahab. Line in the sand drawn, Rahab made definite choices that put her life on the line. She understood what was in the balance and boldly hid the Israelite spies.
When the king of Jericho sent for the spies, she pleaded ignorance and sent the king’s men on a wild goose chase after proclaiming they had left Jericho through the gate when the sun set.
Before sneaking the spies out of the city, Rahab proclaims her belief in God and entreats the spies for returned kindness. “…deliver our lives from death,” she begs the spies. Ultimately, Rahab and her family are saved because of the actions she took based on her convictions.
Like Tamar, Rahab clearly didn’t put her head in the sand regarding current events. She was keenly aware of the Israelites’ actions, down to play-by-play details from the moment they left Egypt and God parted the Red Sea to the neighboring lands they had been capturing. Clearly she spent time pondering what was taking place and took decisive bold actions to align herself with “the God of heaven above and on earth beneath” and to care for the future of her family.
What about you and me? Seeking after God is often counter-intuitive. As Rahab boldly proclaims, we serve the God of heaven and earthAre we caring for our future by remaining informed or are we busy shielding and depriving ourselves of opportunity to act in measured ways? Both these women knew who God was; they believed and took actions of faith based on God’s character. They relied on God to be their shield while taking action. More so, they were more concerned with God’s plan and being part of that plan than with the temporary. They were aware that hope is found in God alone. I’m not saying I’m going to jump and subscribe to all the news feeds available, but these women have been a surprising encouragement to remain engaged and current to my heavy heart.
When our hearts are heavy and the struggle is as thick as molasses, let’s encourage each other to put feet to our faith by acting on who we know God to be! Let’s be witty, bold and courageous like Tamar and Rahab! It’s more than a probability; the reality that those who believe in God will arise with Him in victory is true!
Want more juicy details (because there’s plenty more)? Meet up with Tamar in Genesis 38 and Rahab in Joshua 2. And if you have a tendency to be anxious like me, check out how many times God commands Joshua to “be strong and courageous” in Joshua chapter 1.
What about you? What do you learn from these Kingdom women?
Julie knows what it means to be anxious and to find rest in God’s strength. Join her every Monday and Thursday at Peacequility.com where she nurtures the wellspring of life while writing about gritty realities and the hope God provides. Connect with Julie at www.Peacequility.com, Twitter @peacequility, www.facebook.com/peacequility just don’t ask what’s for dinner!