When Rahab first appears in the Bible, she is one of the most unsavory characters you could ever meet. She is introduced as a harlot (Josh 2:1) Rahab was an immoral women living in a pagan culture that was on the brink of judgement. Rahab was making money from her civilization’s sin. She made a living catering to the lustful appetite of society. Yet in Hebrews 11:31, she is specifically identified for greatness of faith…and she even appears in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew.
Her house set on a hill, she was successful at what she did! She lived in Jericho, Jericho was deemed totally depraved, a pagan culture that pursued everything evil that God had condemned. God ordered the Israelites to wipe out Jericho, which was part of the Amorite Kingdom, from the face of the earth. Their wickedness was at its peak and God was fed up!!!
Moses was now gone and Joshua was leading the Israelites at that time, they were hanging out right across the river from Jericho. The Lord once again had reinforced promises and Joshua was preparing the people to enter the land of promise. Just as Moses had done years before, Joshua sent two spies to check out the land and report back to him.
They went and came to Rahab’s house, a perfect place for them to be…it afforded them a close up look at the wall and a quick escape if needed. After arriving, their presence at Rahab’s house was known immediately ! Messengers are sent to Rahab’s home and she reacts quickly….She misdirects the messengers and does not give up the spies she has hidden on the roof of her home. She saved their lives….but obviously putting her own at great risk!
Rahab is a positive example of faith. Scripture mentions that her knowledge of God was small, but she did know something about him. Rahab along with many others had heard the many stories about God.
After the messengers left, she went up to the roof where she had hid the men and gave them an explicit testimony of faith! Read Joshua 2:8-14…” I know that the Lord has given you the land that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are melting in fear because of you”
She then goes on to say, …”for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath…Now therefore I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my family……by sparing my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters and all they have and deliver our lives from death”
Rahab was full of fear, but her fear motivated her FAITH! Imagine that, imagine if we let our fear motivate OUR faith?! Rahab had heard powerful evidence of the Lords supremacy, and the miracles performed. She acknowledged it was the Lords doing…not luck, not military skill! She believed in God so much that she defied her own king to protect God’s messengers!
Psalm 111:10 says something powerful about fear….take a moment to read it.
Rahab knew Jericho was no match for God, she put her trust in God, despite her sinful nature and she asked for mercy! Lets not forget the lie she told, yet she told it to save the spies. This was a not “sanctioned” or permissible act. But it just shows that like all believers, new and old, Christians still sin. No Christian is perfect. Her action in lying was not excused but did not change the fact that she had genuine faith in God.
We all know the story of the fall of Jericho, and how the spies kept their oath and Rahab and her family were spared.
Rahab is a example of the transforming power of faith. Although she was disadvantaged spiritually and had little knowledge of truth…her heart was drawn to God. She risked her life, turning her back on a way of life that did not honor God and walked away from everything. Could you have done that?…at that time?
After the destruction of Jericho, Rahab is not mentioned in the Old Testament. Her name is mentioned 3 times in the New Testament….two honor her for her remarkable faith (Heb 11:31, James 2:25) Yet the most interesting time is when she is mentioned in Matthew in the lineage of Jesus, Matthew 1:5 It is highly unusual for women to be named in genealogy. If you followed our Genesis challenge, you will notice Adam’s daughters are not mentioned in Genesis 5. Yet Matthew includes Rahab’s name among 4 other women.
I believe she lived a life of contentment day to day, in full knowledge and gratefulness of how God had spared her and her loved ones from destruction!
Rahab is a reminder that even the worst of sinners can be redeemed by divine grace through faith! She didn’t have to reinvent her past to make herself less of a sinner. God can take a horrible past and move it towards a beautiful future!
See if you remove the stigma of sin, you remove the need for grace! My God!! See what I ONCE WAS, MAGNIFIES THE GLORY OF GOD and HIS DIVINE GRACE that has moved me to what I am now!!! You should be shouting right now! Because you’re not what you use to be!
Everything you once was makes your testimony valid….I’m grateful for grace and mercy!
So what’s got you locked in fear and why has it not pushed you to faith yet? Why have you not put your whole trust in God?
Is your past still dictating your future?
It just takes Rahab faith and the courage to live life like a believer! Rahab was justified by faith….no one else had permission to approve her life, what she did and who she was! Here’s another place to shout! (smile)
Post your thoughts and comments here or on the Facebook page. We will continue our Bible Challenge on Monday…until then check your Faith Walk!
Love you! Have a beautiful weekend!
Scriptures to SOAK in….
Joshua 2: 8-14