Who Is Worthy?
There is hardly a day goes by that someone does not come to the door of the church building with a story a mile long of why they should be helped. More often than not, these people are shabbily dressed, and by the smell, haven’t bathed in quite a while. Many are toothless or have so few that the singular term “tooth brush” fits the occasion well. If they are hungry, it is most often heard, “I haven’t eaten in three days.” The scene is so repetitive that when someone comes dressed nice and clean, you think it is a hoax.
It is sometimes frustrating when people come to the door like that needing money or gas. I had one recently who rang the bell and when I opened the door he told me that he was a master electrician on his way to a job and needs some money for gas. I asked him, “If you are a master electrician, who by the way makes mega bucks per hour, why do you need gas money?” Then came the long story which, by the way, did not have much merit. (Just so you know, I gave the guy ten bucks for gas).
Mark Twain made a statement once when he said, “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
It is easy to look at others and make judgments. It is a difficult thing to know who is on the bubble and who is just out for a grab. I’m sure there are some who get, who should not have, and some who should have, and don’t.
Now I think about the prostitute Rahab. She is lifted up in Hebrews 11:31 for her faith. “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” This woman would not have been the most reputable of people to add into the flock of God, but God saw something we might not.
Rahab was listed with the ancient worthies like Abraham, Sara, Gideon and the list goes on. But she was a harlot. How can that be?
I wonder if a Rahab came to the door what I might do. What would you do? Do you think the spies knew what would become of this lady? Do you know and do you think they knew that she would end up in the linage of the Messiah?
Wait a minute! She ended up in the linage of the Messiah? How could that be? She was a harlot. Would you welcome a known harlot with open arms? We would probably worry about her corrupting our children or our friends, or even ourselves. But her place in the bringing of the Messiah was not merit on her part. It was God’s favor for her awesome display of faith.
Now, if the harlot, Rahab, could have that kind of favor with God, that gives me some kind of real hope. Let’s see. She appealed by faith, and so do I. She was not worthy, nor am I. But she was a harlot. Then I must ask myself, why might I think I am better than her? I sell myself for one thing and she sold herself for another. Don’t look like much difference to me. What about you?
None of us are worthy to stand in the presence of the Almighty. We all deserve death and harsh judgment. But thanks be to God for the blood of Jesus Christ who redeemed us from our sin and counted us worthy. By grace, the unmerited favor of God, we shall live with Him. God is so good!