A Second Chance, a Forgiven Past, a Recovered Life

“Who will take serious with a gay like me?”

I heard these words from a man who owned one of the beach resorts I have stayed in Palawan. This man happened to be a gay. I can’t forget, or maybe I cannot forgive my self for not sharing the truth in love to him. But here is where I am faced with the ugly part of sin – shame. If I share with him the bible will he listen to a mistress like me? Who stayed in one of his beach houses, spent private moments with a man I am not married to but never came back for me?

Rahab completed her chosen task of helping the spies by providing them with a rope, a window hidden from sight, and a plan (hide three days in the hills) for their safe return to their people. The spies, in turn, established the ground rules of responsibility for Rahab and her family. They outlined the specific requirements for the safety of Rahab’s family and the consequences of betrayal. Rahab is an excellent example of how God can use each of us, no matter what terrible things we may have done in the past.

– Joshua 2:15-21 commentary, The Life Recovery Bible NLT

Today I read the story of Rahab, maybe she too have sleepless nights of asking what is her purpose here on earth. I too may have experienced what she did in the shower room to scrub as hard as we could every after immoral and illicit casual sex we had with a man whom we are not married to. Rahab did it for money or for fame or fortune or maybe also for love and affection. I did it for my own self will to love and be loved. Yet God had a plan, all Rahab and I have to do is cooperate with this God’s plan. It is easy to expect that the coming King and Messiah should come from the lineage of kings and queens, of monarchs and blue bloods, royalties or from great warriors and rulers. But no, Jesus came from lineage of a prostitute named Rahab to the generation Boaz.

Following the rescue, God gave Rahab what she probably never dreamed possible in Jericho; the opportunity to break with the past and build a new life. Rahab and her relatives found a home among the Israelites, but there was more. She married Salmon and was blessed with a son, Boaz. Boaz would become the great-grandfather of King David, from whose line Jesus descended. Rahab’s transformation proves once again that God is in the business of turning lives around. Rahab shines as a stellar example of a second chance, a forgiven past, and a recovered life. Though our recovery story may not be as dramatic, God is able to pick up broken pieces and facilitate fresh beginnings.

– Rahab & Family, Profile, The Life Recovery Bible NLT

Circumcision, until now is practiced even here in the Philippines. I remember my brother have gone through this painful process when we were still in our grade school. My mother and father was still living at that time, it was my mother who took care of my brother (as she always does to us her children), boiling guava leaves and assisting my brother to soak his wounds. They did this together until my brother was all well and recovered. Today this is a medical procedure, even done to infants even before they are discharged from the hospital after being born, mainly for hygiene and sanitary purposes. But in the days of the Israelites, this was an act of maintaining their relationship with the God who delivered them out of slavery from Egypt. From bondage of slavery and crossing the parted red sea, this time in the book of Joshua, the parted (was then flooded) Jordan River. On to the newness of life in Canaan, the Promised Land. It breaks my heart to hear my new found acquaintance in Palawan to say those words that no one will take him seriously for a relationship. It was like hearing me and Rahab say who would take us for a serious relationship? What is there for us, used, damaged, broken, beyond repair… God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, God’s plan is higher than our plans, God sees us beyond our doubts, our fears, our self inflicted harm, beyond our wounds, beyond our pain and struggles. Rahab stepped in to the unknown, yet she believed the God of the Israelites whom she knew so little about. I am as well stepping into the unknown, leaving my immoral and wrong relationships behind, not just with men, married men, men half my age. But with my romance with position, power and possessions. That insatiable hunger and longing for more and more. I too, like Rahab, will trust the God of the Bible I knew so little… but knowing in my heart the God of Israel who delivered them out of bondage, out of slavery. I too will no longer be a slave to my own appetite for food, money and things what money can buy. I am no longer a slave to fear, fear of being alone, fear of not being wanted, liked or taken cared for. I too like Rahab, can take it from here, in to the newness of life, a recovered life.

“At that time the Lord told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise this second generation of Israelites. ” So Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the entire male population of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth. Joshua had to circumcise them because all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died in the wilderness. Those who left Egypt had all been circumcised, but none of those born after the Exodus, during the years in the wilderness, had been circumcised. The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey. So Joshua circumcised their sons—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places—for they had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land. After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭5:2-9‬ ‭NLT. https://www.bible.com/116/jos.5.2-9.nlt‬‬

The Amorite kings were terrified of the power of the God of Israel, but they did not turn to him for help. The people of Israel, however, took steps to ensure that their relationship with God was as it should be. Because God commanded it, they circumcised all the males among them. As a result, God took away their shame when they submitted to the painful act of circumcision. Fortunately, we do not have to go through a physical cutting to be rid of our shame. But we do have to go through the painful process of acknowledging our failures and allowing God to remove the shame from us. This process can sometimes be so painful that we are tempted to deny our shame than allow God to remove it.

– Joshua 5:1-9, commentary, The Life Recovery Bible NLT

Rainbows are the covenant of God after the Great Flood in the days of Noah, God said, never again will I destroy earth and all life with water.