Sunday School - January 11, 2009

Sunday School - January 11, 2009

Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold are two names which leaves little debate as to the subject matter. Judas and Benedict are arguably the least taken as given names, for to receive such would invite much repudiation or at minimum, would provoke the undesirable associated stigma that is attached. Turncoat, traitor, defector, collaborator and deserter are the associated labels attached to those who have committed the detestable act of treason. The penalty for the selfish act of treason is sure to be severe, only to be exceeded by the damage which lies in its aftermath.

To desert that which is evil and collaborate with that which is good, is to commit an act of treason; such would be traitor and defector severing ungodly alliances and association, choosing to accept light, than live in darkness. As with all who commit treason, sinners and would-be saints alike, there is a cost. However, a person who commits treason (deserts sin) to follow after God will obtain an abundance of benefits. The cost is the lost of bondage to sin and hatred from many who continue in sin.

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Matthew 10:34-35
34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

To receive salvation by grace, we all must commit an act of treason. To seek God, we must defect from that which is evil and give up secrets made in darkness; by freely confessing to Him, who has defeated sin (1 John 1:9) .

This week's lesson is from the book of Joshua. For those who follow the International Sunday School Lesson Plan (aka: The Standard Sunday School Lesson), this Sunday's lesson (January 11, 2009) comes from Joshua 2:1-4a, 11b-14; 6:22-25.

The events in this lesson is proceeded by the Death of Moses, 40 years of wandering in the desert, and many maraculus events performed by God during the Israelites journey to the promise land. All of which had been made known to the people in Jericho and to others in the land of Canaan. However, knowledge of fact without the acts of obedience, produces fear and imminent judgment. Such happened to the people of Jericho and such can happen to many today:

Hebrews 10:26-27
26:For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

This lesson begins with Joshua sending two spies to Jericho for reconnaissance. One would assume that the spies were not to determine the military might of Jericho, for such was the error made by ten spies in the past (Numbers 13 & 14). Their inquiry may have been to determine the resources within, for the battle of Jericho was already won; only requiring faith and obedience from those to whom the victory is given. The two un-named spies lodge at a harlot's house, named Rahab. Such may not be considered a respectable place of occupancy; however, this may have provided the most prudent means of security and escape, given its location on the city wall (Joshua 2:15).

It was soon known to the king that spies were lodging at Rahab's home. It is not known the source of this information, but one would assume in a communal environment, individuals would seek to protect their community against any known foreign enemies. However, Rahab hid the spies in defiance to her King and community and entered into collaboration with those who had come to destroy. Rahab informed those sent by the king that the spies had come and gone; a misleading statement at best but a mean to achieve her desired end. To judge if such a lie was necessary or not, is better left to Him who will judge all. To think in many acts, a man is only judged by one, such would be to doom the fate of many.

Matthew 12:36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Rahab heard the stories of the one and only God (God of Israel) and believed that He could be her savoir (Joshua 2:10-11). She as others had fear and faith in the God's powers; however, Rahab put her faith into action by pursuing God as her savoir. She knew that faith without works would bring imminent death. Rahab may have been tempted to continue in allegiance with her sinful community, yet she chose a way of escape given by God; by becoming a traitor to a sinful life of death for a life of hope and everlasting life. Limited words in scripture may not have conveyed the intense struggle encountered by Rahab in her decision to commit treason; however, the lack of words about her decision process may reflect the small sacrifice of worldly costs in comparison to heavenly rewards. God has promised:

Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Rahab was faithful in helping the spies avoid capture and successful in brokering a deal to save all of her household (Joshua 2:12-14). Such should be our strategy when seeking that, which is of great value, not perishable things but that which is everlasting. Like Rahab, we should never pursue that which is Holy with an attitude of indifference, but one of necessity and determination. Such did the woman of Canaan to have a vex removed from her daughter (Matthew 15:22-28), such should be our efforts in our pursuit to enter the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 11:12. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

During battle of Jericho, Rahab and her father's household, and all that she had, were saved (Joshua 6:22-25) . The promise made by the spies, was a promise paid in full. Such was not the fate of others in Jericho, for they fail to seek an alliance with the one and only God; even though they heard the same message that Rahab the harlot heard, during the past forty-years.

If you are not a typical Sunday School attendee, Go and surprise the teacher. If your Church does not follow the Standard Sunday School Lesson and you are not aware of the topic of discussion, take on the attitude of "positive anticipation". I am sure you will like it; there is nothing like reading and discussing God's Word.

FYI: Sunday School is not just for Kids, it is also for the Humble (those who wish to defect from Sin) at heart.

Good Day and God Bless