(Pastor Ock Soo Park’s Sermon for Children)
The harlot, Rahab, had forsaken the heart of the people of Jericho and became an Israelite. This was why she was saved, when all the people of Jericho fell. Just like Rahab, we have to forsake our hearts and accept the heart of Jesus; then we can enjoy the happiness and peace we’ve never had before.
Harlot Rahab from the City of Jericho In the book of Joshua, there was a harlot named Rahab in the city of Jericho. A harlot is a lowly occupation, who earns money by selling alcohol. Because of this, Rahab was not treated well by her family and relatives. At times when she would go home, her family may have said, “Please, don’t come home. We feel so ashamed to have a sister like you!” Even her friends would whisper, “Gosh, I heard she became a harlot.” Rahab could not be befriended by anyone. The only people who came to meet her were customers who came to drink. Rahab always had to serve drunken customers and smile even if she did not want to and act as if she was happy. We don’t know how she became a harlot, but we know she was tired of such a life. “How did I end up becoming a harlot? Why do I have to be despised and be treated with contempt? I want to meet a good husband, have children and live a happy life. Why do I have to live in this pain? I really want to be finished with this life. It would be better if I die!” Rahab was in pain because of her life as a harlot, but she had no one to blame because it was the life she chose. Day by day, Rahab became weary and she wished for her life to come to an end.
The Israelites Are Approaching Jericho Right about that time, she heard people whispering. “I heard that the Israelites will soon come and attack Jericho. They won against the Egyptians and freed themselves from them. Their God had split the Red Sea and they crossed through it. They killed Sihon, the King of the Amorites and Og, the King of Bashan. If they come and attack us, we will all die.” “Oh, no.” After hearing the stories of the Israelites the people of Jericho became worried. And so, because they did not know what to do, they remained trapped in their worries and fear. After Rahab heard this, she thought to herself, “I hope a war breaks out and everyone gets killed. I wish for my life come to an end, too. I truly want to be finished with this life.” Nevertheless, in one part of her heart, she was sad that she had to finish her life that way. She did not want to die living her whole life in difficulty. She wished to taste happiness.
Changing the Heart from a person of Jericho to an Israelite One day, someone knocked on the door of Rahab’s house. When Rahab opened the door, two strangers came in. The instant Rahab saw them, she knew they were spies from Israel. At that moment Rahab had a thought. “Right, I should not end my life like this. I should change my heart. I would die because I am a person of Jericho. But if I become an Israelite, I can live. I should change my heart to an Israelite. And then I can end my life as a harlot and live a blessed life.” Rahab served the Israeli spies gracefully. Suddenly, there was a pounding at the door. “Open up! We are soldiers!” Because Rahab had changed her heart from Jericho to Israel, she made the right choice to hide the Israeli spies. “Follow me. Come up here quickly.” Rahab brought the spies up to the roof of the house and hid them within the stalks of flax. Then she calmly went to the door and spoke. “We are closed.” “Didn’t two strangers come here?” “Oh, yes. There were two people. When it grew dark and became the time for the gates to shut, the men went out. Go after them. You might be able to catch them.” The soldiers rushed out of the city without looking back.
“You and I Are on the Same Side.” Rahab went up to the roof, met with the spies and said, “The hearts of the people melted after hearing that the Israelites were coming to attack us. They are in extreme fear of you. Because I saved your lives, you should also save my family. You and I are on the same side.” The two spies were moved hearing the words of Harlot Rahab. They thought, “How could she be so wise and decisive? How could she act that boldly!”
Let the Mind of Jesus Be in You Being born as sinners and belonging to Satan, we committed sin and lived in difficulty. Just like the lives of the ones who lived in the city of Jericho, this life has nothing but worry, fear and shame. People don’t realize this and try to do good and live a happy life. But as our hearts are originally evil and filthy, we can never do good. Thus, we have to forsake our hearts and accept the new heart of Jesus Christ. There was no way for the harlot Rahab to become happy in Jericho, which is why she wished to break free. Therefore she changed her heart and was saved when all the other people of Jericho were destroyed. Likewise, when God sees us, He does not see “how much good we did,” but rather, “whose heart we live with.” We have to forsake and throw away the heart that we had until now and accept the heart of Jesus. When the heart of Jesus comes into us, we can enjoy the happiness and peace we never had before. No matter what difficulty and hardship we are in we are able to live in peace because of the hope, happiness, and joy inside of the heart of Jesus.