By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
I love the Old Testament because of its exciting and intriguing stories of ordinary people who did remarkable things for God’s glory. Rahab the prostitute was one such individual. You can find her story in Joshua 2 and 6:22-26.
Rahab the Prostitute’s Story
Rahab, the prostitute, lived in the city of Jericho. The saga began when Joshua sent two spies to scout the city. Upon arrival, they lodged at Rahab’s house for the night. However, someone found out and told the king, who then sent word to Rahab to bring out the spies. But Rahab hid them on the roof under some flax and told the king’s men the spies were there earlier but left. She then sent the men on a wild goose chase. After they left, Rahab went up and spoke to the spies. She told them she knew the Lord had given them the land, and everyone feared them (Joshua 2:9-11).
Rahab then made a deal with the spies, asking them to spare her life and those of her family. The spies agreed. They told her to hang a scarlet rope outside her window so she and her family would not get caught in the crossfire when they returned to seize Jericho. And so, when the Israelites captured Jericho, the spies rescued Rahab and her family, and took them to live among the Israelites..
Rahab committed treason by hiding the spies, a crime punishable by death. But why take such a risk? Because she believed in the sovereign God of the Hebrews. I think Rahab was preparing for their arrival and resolved not to succumb with the other people of her city. She must have heard the stories of the Israelite adventures from other travelers. Everything she heard about their conquests made her a believer, and she decided she wanted to be a part of a people who enjoyed a living, active God, unlike the static gods of her culture.
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”
Rahab Displayed Faith and Trust
You see, Rahab did not know God the way the Israelites did, she just heard about Him and the miracles He performed. But just hearing about Him was enough for her to risk her life to save herself and her family. By believing and trusting in the Jewish God, Rahab displayed a faith that even some Israelites lacked. Her faith and trust saved her and her family, resulting in her becoming a descendant of the Messiah himself.
It’s interesting how in the bible, she is specifically called “Rahab the prostitute.” But I don’t think this handle was meant to defame her but to emphasize that despite her background, she received God’s mercy and grace for her actions.
Rahab’s story for us is that despite whatever our history, or culture we came from, if we believe and trust in God, have faith, and act on that faith, a reward awaits us. That reward can come in many different forms. But the main reward is eternal life with Jesus.
Lord, thank you for guiding and protecting me. I’m not sure what each day will bring, but I know you have a plan and purpose for my life. Please help me to place my faith and trust in you every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Used with permission from Lisa Marcelina Granger.