Okay, I know what you’re thinking; “you mean the prostitute?” Yeah, I mean the prostitute. I’m certainly not suggesting we should be like Rahab in that sense (God forbid!) any more than I think we should be like Rebekah in the sense that she deceived her husband. Nevertheless the story of Rahab is a powerful story of faith. It was through faith in the God of the Israelites that Rahab was saved, much like our faith saves us today. It is worth noting that although Rahab had prostitution in her past; the Bible seems to indicate that she did not in fact remain a prostitute. That is a powerful testimony to the goodness and mercy of the Lord and the transformation possible when we come to know Him!
If you aren’t familiar with the story, two Israelites were sent to Jericho to spy out the land. They end up at the house of Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute. When the king of Jericho learns there are spies in the land he sends orders to Rahab to send the men out. She hides the two Israelites and says that the men came to her house earlier, but they have already left. She betrayed her own people. The Israelites were there with the intention of taking the land and she knew that. She could have stopped them, but instead she protected them. Why did she do that? Joshua 2:10-11 gives us the answer; she had heard how the Lord had dried up the Red Sea when they escaped Egypt and she had heard of other things the Lord had done in their midst. And she believed it!
She knew the Lord had given them that land so she acted according to God’s will. The remarkable thing is that the Israelites themselves had heard what God did for them at the Red Sea and many of them were eye witnesses to some of the other miracles performed in their midst and yet so many of them still lacked the faith to act. Rahab was not even one of them. She had never witnessed any of the miracles of God and yet she acted on faith! She made the men swear if they took the land that they would save her and her family (Joshua 2:12-13). She believed God for what He had done in the past and she believed Him for what He would do in the future. She even had faith for her entire family!
A lowly prostitute and her family were saved because she believed God. She is even named among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:31. Amazingly, she was apparently accepted by the Israelites and according to the Talmud even married an Israelite. She is listed in Matthew 1:5 as being part of the genealogy of Jesus! Yes, you read that right, our sinless Savior came into this world through the lineage of a prostitute.
There is no one who is beyond the reach of God. He is able to use and transform any one of us!
I know of someone, who like Rahab, was caught up in prostitution. As a young girl she was forced into it by her own family. Her father allowed a man to rape her as a child while he was present in the home. For money. Her father proceeded to make many such arrangements over the years for his daughter. Teaching her what men like, what they expect; how she should act, what she should wear, what she should say. He used her for profit. Her own father. The man who was supposed to protect and care for her.
I spent a lot of energy disliking her before I learned of her past. To me, she was the one who destroyed my future. I had this picture in my head of how things would go in my life and she came along and tore my little picture to shreds. Now that I understand more about where she comes from my heart is filled with compassion for her. We are called to love everyone. It is so easy to judge people for their wrong doings without understanding the evil influences that befall them.
My heart breaks for what she has been through. How does a person like this learn what it is to feel loved and cherished? But she has someone in her life now that knows the Lord. This person has gone out of their way to show her the love of God. It is my prayer that she would be like Rahab; a person with a questionable past, but an honorable future. I pray that she will have the faith of Rahab to believe God and allow Him to transform her life. Can you believe God with me? Will you pray for this young woman with me?
Dear Readers, Let us have faith like Rahab. Let us believe the report of the Lord and like Rahab act according to God’s will. Let us pray for all the Rahabs out there who carry pain or walk in sin and let us believe God to lift them out of darkness into His marvelous light!
In His Love,
This is not the end! God is amazing- read the follow up at: Revisiting Rahab and The Faith of Rahab.