Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death” (Joshua 2:8-13).
The Bible has a few startling confessions like this one from Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho. There’s Ruth, whose famous vow to Naomi makes use of the name of Yahweh, the name given only to God’s chosen people (Ruth 1:16-17). There’s Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:6-11) who vows not to sleep in his own home while the Ark of Yahweh and all of his soldiers go forth to war, and Ittai the Gittite whose confession of Yahweh mirrors Ruth’s in many ways (2 Samuel 15:13-23). By all rights, none of these people should be speaking the special name of Yahweh (LORD in all capitals in your Bible). This is the name God gives only to His chosen people to use for him. These are “foreign” people. Hittites, Gittites, Moabites. Perhaps they heard of Yahweh here and there. Maybe they came into contact with some of His people. For Rahab, Yahweh has revealed Himself to her through His mighty acts of judgment on the nations and graciousness to the Israelites in the Wilderness and in battle. In other words, it is Yahweh’s activity that has made Him known to her and created faith in her. She confesses that He is the Creator of heaven and earth. She recounts His mighty deeds. She speaks His Holy Name.
We, too, were “foreigners.” By all rights we should not have the special name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, on our lips, on our brows, and on our hearts. We were pagans, separated from God by original sin and the sins we ourselves committed. We were hopeless and lost. But…but…God’s mighty and gracious works were recounted to us. Yahweh revealed Himself to us by means of His own actions and Words. In our baptisms, He placed His triune name upon our lips, our brows, and our hearts so that we, too, might confess with Rahab that the Lord is the Creator of heaven and earth, the one whose mighty acts through Jesus in His death and resurrection have gone before us to save us, the one who “deals kindly” with us.
And there are still those who are “foreigners” in every land. Those who know not the name of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And so we recount His mighty and gracious deeds. We confess Who He is to those who do not know Him. Yahweh continues His mighty and gracious deeds in the activity of the church: the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments. He continues to use us and use His gracious means to bring the confession of His saving Triune name upon their lips, upon their brows, and upon their hearts. And to sustain us in that faith which confesses Yahweh as Lord and Savior.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, You are the Mighty and Gracious God, reveal Yourself to us and to all people through the preaching of your Holy Word, Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper so that all people may confess your holy name and make the good confession; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
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