HISTORIC LIBERTY HILL A.M.E. CHURCH

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Joshua 2:1-13 KJV (Supplemented by Hosea 1-3)

1 And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. 2 And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out of the country. 3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were. 5 And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. 6 But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. 7 And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. 8 And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof. 9 And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: 13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.


Sermon Notes

Normally, we think of a mother as one who gives birth, nurtures, or raises a child. And traditionally we think of women as the only ones who can be mothers, but there are fathers who have also been mothers. It’s not a gender role, but a role of responsibility and caring.

Rahab was a part of Jesus’s lineage. Rahab and Gomer were known as women of the night whom God used to do something miraculous. Gomer had to give up the night life to take care of her family. Rahab used the job of the night life to provide for her family.

When you are providing for whomever is in your care, you do whatever it takes for you to provide. Many of us don’t understand sacrifice.

Don’t criticize Rahab. She was looked down upon and despised, but she had faith in what she heard. She knew there was only one Lord. You, especially young people, need to be able to make sacrifices because

it’s not grandmama’s job to take care of your babies.

For a lot of us, our big brothers and sisters were our mothers. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for us.

This is a beautiful story of faith and perseverance.

Many theologians said Rahab was an innkeeper, but that was not really true. She was a woman of the night and a liar. She was a Gentile who had faith in a God who had parted the Red Sea and she heard that He was getting ready to give her the land that she was on. She hid spies from Israel on the rooftop of her house and lied when she was asked where they were. She did all this because she knew that there was only one God and He would remain faithful to her and her people. Just like Rahab, if it wasn’t for your mama giving up what she had, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

We don’t know if she was kicked out of her family because of her profession, but she still did everything she thought she needed to do to take care of her family. Because she lied and schemed to hide the spies, they told her to tie a ribbon to the window so they would know which house belong to the woman who saved them and they would fulfil their promise to her and her family. (See note.)

Be careful how you treat one another because that may be the same person who may have to save you one day. Some of you are embarrassed of your mothers or other family members because they are not educated, or don’t have much money, or don’t have a large, fancy house and you don’t want to be seen with them. Some of you behave this way but still expect a blessing from God. How can you love God whom you have never seen and despise your brother who you see every day? Bottom Line: Be careful how you criticize your own blood.

Joshua 2:12 is the heart of this message.

Every now and then a mother has to be bigger than the situation or the problem.

Gomer and Hosea are illustrations of love and faithfulnesss. You cannot forsake your own children for someone who claims to love you. Despite how we sometimes act and though we may not give our mothers due diligence, there is still nothing that mama would’nt do for her child/family.

Be careful how you treat your loved ones or judge people by what they do. God uses whomever He chooses to do His will. He can change anyone at any given time. He chose Rahab to do something great. Young mothers, I pray that you learn the sacrifices you need to make to take care of your families.

Whether you are a mother who gave birth, or a man or woman who has nurtured or raised a child, may God always bless you in your role as mother. And may the role of motherhood always be blessed.


Note: Some say the ribbon was red; some say it was purple. Nevertheless, this is where the term “red light district” was coined because Rahab was a woman of the night and the ribbon was attached to a building where activities of the night occurred.

SERMON NOTES

Sunday, May 12, 2013

MOTHER’S DAY

“There is Nothing A Mother Wouldn’t Do For the Family”

The Reverend Dr. Leslie J. Lovett