Early in our Bible reading we are introduced to Abram (Abraham). He was called by God to leave the land of his fathers. He went. He was promised he would have a son in his old age. He did. He was told to sacrifice that son. He got up and set himself to that dreaded task, that was brought to a good conclusion. Isaac lived and from him the promised nation came into existence (Gen. 12-22).
Much later in Bible history we meet Rahab. Whatever we find detestable about her past, when she heard what was about to happen in Jericho, she hid the messengers and Joshua spared her and her father’s household (Josh. 6).
Very different people! A rich landowner, chosen by God to father the nation that would deliver the Messiah to the earth. A poor harlot of Jericho. What did they have in common? Their faith was not passive!
As James said: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirits is dead, so faith without works is dead also,” (Jas. 2:21-26).