Rahab: How faith saved her

This story has always been one that has kind of confused me, but I understand it a whole lot better now. It is a wonderful story of faith from someone deep in sin.

This story begins in Joshua 2:1 ” Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.”

Wait….back up a minute. The stayed where?? These men came into Jericho to spy on the city and stayed at the home of a prostitute?? The second half of this verse always makes me think of James Bond…I mean, spy work is hard work and he always got the girl, right? Well, when I was a baby Christian and I read this chapter in the Bible, I was like, whoa…surely she wasn’t a real prostitute. I wonder if she was just a single mom who owned a small little inn or cottage. Nope, she was a prostitute. See, Rahab’s house was built into the outside wall. This means, she and her family owned no land or property. The only way she might have been able to earn money for the well being of her family may have been to prostitute herself. Think about girls and women these days that prostitute themselves. Why do they get into prostitution? Well, I looked through several different translations of this verse on Biblegateway, and she is either referred to as a prostitute or a harlot, so we must take the Bible at it’s word. She was living a life of sin. Why did those men hide out in the home of a prostitute? We don’t know that either, but somehow, they were found out and the King of Jericho sent his men out to look for them, and they came looking at Rahab’s house.

What does Rahab do though? I mean, she is a Gentile. The Israelites had plans to take her city. She just handed them over, right? The Bible tell us “But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.” (Joshua 2:4-7) She hid the spies on her roof and she lied to the authorities who were searching for them. Why? She was a believer. At the end of v. 11, she tells the spies “for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below”. When Rahab had heard of the Red Sea being parted, and what happened to the two kings of the Amorites, and the other things the Lord had done, she became a believer in God. She knew that God had a plan to take this land. She and the spies made a pact that if she told no one of them, they would spare her life when they returned to take the city. She let them down a rope from her house to the outside of the wall and told them to hide in the hills for 3 days. She was told to keep the scarlet cord of the rope they came down on out her window there and to have all her family in the house when they came and they would all be saved. They could not save anyone outside of the house.

When Joshua and his people came to Jericho to over take the city, after the walls fell, Joshua told these two spies to go find Rahab and bring her and her family outside of the city. ” (Joshua 6:23-24)

Now why in the world would these spies save a prostitute and her family? That was always my question. Surely they weren’t in need of her services, but one day the Lord showed me something … take a look in Matthew 1
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of King David.”

The prositiute Rahab is in the genealogy of Christ!! Can you see that no matter what your past is, no matter what your sin is, God can still use you? Do you see Tamar’s name in that genealogy? She tricked her father in law into getting her pregnant when he did not give her his youngest son to fulfill his familial duties to provide his brother (her deceased husband) an offspring? God’s precious only son had very sinful ancestors in his lineage. God uses whom he chooses.

Okay, how does this fit in now with this blog. It’s quite obvious that Rahab did live a life of sin. But her faith is commended in Hebrews 11:31 “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” Sure she lied, but she is commended for her faith, and it is her faith that saved her not only from the fall of Jericho, but also from the pit of hell. Salmon must have forgiven her as well, since she was the mother of Boaz, and we all know and love the faithfulness of Rahab’s daughter in law, Ruth. God uses whom He chooses. He had a bigger plan for her, just like he has bigger plans for us. The bible does not give us any insight into her life with Salmon after the fall of Jericho. Rahab shows us though that our sin shouldn’t cloud our future. You have a future with your husband and God has a plan for your life. How has God used you? Who knows what plans He has for you, but God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Don’t let your past cloud your faith or your outlook for the future. Did you read Cinnamonstick’s blog on Shelley Lubben? There is someone who truly has been set free of her past and is totally a tool in God’s hand. Will you let God use you as a tool, too?

I think our next story will be about Leah and Rachel…and why God only intends marriage to be of one man and one woman…..

1 Comment

  1. Wow, I learned some things in this article that I didn’t know. Thanks girl!


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