I saw something really beautiful happen today. An old, hurt place in my heart was brought back to life and I heard God whisper, “I can redeem all things.” I sit down most Wednesdays to write, and I knew he wanted me to write about redemption, to be redeemed.
To Redeem: to gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment, to fulfill or carry out a promise, to compensate for the bad aspects of something, to buy back or recover, to obtain the release of or restoration of
Redemption is not just a saving from sin. It’s Christ going back to those places that were destroyed or wounded and regaining possession of them, recovering and restoring them.
I have these college buddies who have an amazing house flipping business. The wife sent me before pictures of a home they renovated. It had trash in every room that was four feet deep. They went in with masks and bags and began their redemptive work. Several dumpsters were parked out front to collect all the garbage. I was able to physically see the finished home one afternoon. It was such a peaceful home, with a beautiful front window that shown light through the whole house. My friend told me the window was original to the home. Most everything else had to be reconstructed but the window stayed. I sent her a message stating that their business was like the business of Christ, restoring things, redeeming things so the light can shine through.
When thinking on redemption today, I remembered Rahab. We find her story in Joshua 2. It is a fascinating story, one worth your time to read. Rahab is a prostitute living in the city walls of Jerico. Jerico is on the route of the Israelites path to the Promised Land. The Israelites are wanting to know about the enemy in the land ahead of them, so they send 2 spies to check things out. These 2 spies gather information from Rahab. She puts her life in danger by hiding them, giving them information, and lying to the authorities about their whereabouts. We later see that because of her courage, she and her family are spared in battle. The great story of redemption here is in Rahab’s legacy. We find in Matthew 1:5 that Rahab’s courage spared God’s people and she married and became the great grandmother of King David. We know our Redeemer, Jesus, came from the lineage of King David.
So we see that out of a woman, who entertained many dark things, came redemption.
In reading Rahab’s story, I realized that her home and the Jordan River were both on the path to the Israelite’s Promised Land.
Commentaries state that the Jordan River has very swampy conditions, 27 rapids, intense heat, and wild animals causing it to have no traffic. The Jordan was up to ½ mile wide in some areas and from 5-10 feet deep during flood stage, when the Israelites needed to cross. Joshua 3 tells the story of God parting the waters so the Israelites can pass through.
So we see that out of a river, full of dark things, came redemption.
As I think on the Jordan River, I imagine it was a wild, overlooked, and mostly avoided place. Maybe a little like Rahab’s home?
Can I compare Rahab to the Jordan River for a minute? I know that she was probably avoided (except by broken men), lonely, and overlooked because of her occupation. The Jordan had no visiters and was avoided because of it’s muddy conditions, heat and wild animals. Do you see it? What irony? God used a broken, worn out woman to rescue his chosen people and prepare the way for his son. God used a swampy, uninhabitable river as passage for his children and to baptize his precious son in before he sent him into ministry. God redeems things, people and places that no one else wants to use.
No one would place a perfect, royal baby in a dirty barn, but God did.
No one would choose a murderer to spread his precious gospel across the world, but God did.
No one would birth his chosen people through a barren woman and her old husband, but God did.
No one would sit and have dinner with the dirty, shame-filled sinners but God did.
No one would get baptized in dirty, muddy, insect and gator filled water, but God did.
No one would use a prostitute to bring forth a king, but God did.
No one…But God.
God is in the business of redeeming things. He redeemed this wild river to save his people. He redeemed this broken woman to save his people. He will redeem anything to save his people.
Rahab and the Jordan River were both on the path to the Israelites freedom, the Promised Land. They were both on the path that led to the Messiah, the Redeemer.
What wild, broken, lonely place is on the path to your Promised Land? Your freedom? Your Redemption?
What does God want to redeem in you? He can redeem anything. I can see it in my own life. Places I thought were too far gone, that would never change. Places that were too dark, too overlooked. He looked right into them and breathed life. He rescued them, redeemed them.
Psalm 107 is a hymn of redemption.
Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story- those he redeemed from the hands of the foe.”
Here is what I saw today in Psalms 107:
The actions/response of God’s children The actions/response of God
|They were wandering in the wastelands||He gathered them from distant lands|
|They could not settle down||He settled them|
|They were hungry and thirsty, losing their life||He satisfied their hunger and thirst|
|They cried out to God||He delivered them from their distress|
|They sat in darkness, prisoners in chains||He brought them out of darkness
and broke their chains
|They were tossed by the sea||He stilled the storm to a whisper|
|They cried out||He answered them in their distress|
|They were broken||He turned parched ground into flowing springs|
Psalm 107:43 “Ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.”
He is whispering, “I can redeem all things.”