Rahab was a prostitute. She worshipped false gods and was a liar. Her nation was also doomed to destruction. Yet, her name is known to this day. To say that she was an unlikely hero is an incredible understatement. But the faith of Rahab changed the course of her life forever, and God used her in a mighty way.
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As a kid, I remember learning a Sunday school song about the walls of Jericho that came “tumbling down.” One of the most important characters in this story was a woman by the name of Rahab. When two Jewish spies entered the city, she hid them on her roof and helped them escape. And in the end, she put her trust in Israel’s God and her life was spared.
Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.“ – Joshua 2:8-11 (emphasis added)
- God is not limited by your past. In fact, He can use it.
Rahab is the perfect example of how God can use any life that is willing. So often we look back at our own lives and wonder how on earth God could possibly use us. But the truth is that this is one of the enemy’s favorite lies to tell. God is NOT limited by your past. In fact, the Bible describes your new life in Him as a clean slate. Your past sins were literally “blotted out.” They are no more. And more often than not, God will use whatever you have been through in life to bring about His glory and purpose. Rahab was the perfect person because of her past to carry out God’s plan.
- Allow the fear of the Lord to be greater than the fear of man.
Rahab had every reason to fear. She was risking her life to help the spies escape. But she feared the God of Isreal more than she feared the men in her city. She had heard numerous stories of the God who won battles for the Israelites. She knew that God would give them the win against her own city.
By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace. – Hebrews 11:31
- Trust that God always keeps His word and He always has a plan.
Rahab trusted God. She knew very little about Him other than the fact that He helped the Israelites accomplish the impossible in every obstacle they encountered. But that was enough for her to believe that He was the one true God. The Bible tells us that she had a faith that was backed up by her actions. In her faith, she risked her life to help the Jewish spies leave the city unharmed. And also because of her faith, she and her family were spared when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
But that’s not all… She ended up being a part of Jesus’ bloodline. Yes, a prostitute from Jericho became the great, great-grandmother of King David.
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. – James 2:24-26
The faith of Rahab saved her from destruction and gave her a place in the family of God.
This post is part of a larger series called “Let There Be Light.” Join me as we journey through the Old Testament leading up to the arrival of Jesus, the Light of the World!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.