“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
*note: please read all of Joshua chapter 2 for the context of our study
In Joshua chapter 2, we meet our muse for the week: Rahab. She is the perfect example of an imperfect woman touched by God’s grace. I want us to sit with this truth as we read and discuss Rahab’s story: we are all Rahab. It’s so easy to look at other women with hauty eyes; however, we must resist this urge. Your sin may not be (or have been) sexual sin, but you do sin. Lying is just as wrong as being a prostitute. Being a wife who doesn’t submit or love her husband is a sin. Being a teenager who lusts, but never actually has sex is still a sin. Swearing when you stub your toe is a sin. See, when we look at sin from God’s eyes it’s all dirty, filthy and in need of the blood of Jesus.
When we meet Rahab in chapter 2, she is in “the harlot house”. The Bible doesn’t say why the spies, sent by Joshua (the leader of the congregation of Israel) stayed with Rahab. It would seem almost inappropriate, wouldn’t it? Men, presumably married, were staying in the “house of a harlot”. I believe God must have led them there. Rahab knew what her profession was and so did God. But, more than being a prostitute, Rahab was a woman who had a heart for God.
How do we know?
After Rahab hides the spies and protects them from being caught, she goes back to the rooftop where they are staying and says:
“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. 1When 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.
Rahab had heard about God and believed. The pivotal shift in Rahab’s story is that she heard about the work of the Lord and believed in Him and feared Him. Are we women who define ourselves or other women by sin, past or present, or are we women who define ourselves and other women by our fear of the Lord?
Despite her sin, Rahab had confidence in God’s power and it led her to ask the spies for an escape only He could provide.
“Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”
(2:12 & 13)
My hope, and prayer, for women all over the world, is that we develop the type of spirit that is confident in God. Confident that the God who parts the seas and heals diseases will save you from your current situation when you need to be saved. As the stories tells us, Rahab and her household was saved from death because she kept her word to the spies. She experienced grace upon grace from the fulness of God. When she deserved death, she was given life because she believed in the One who gives life to us all.
“However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”
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.
Not only was Rahab’s request answered, God have her more than she asked for. She lived among the chosen people of Israel, married and had a son who fathered Boaz who redeem another woman, who bore a son to man who bore a son who would serve as king and live as a “man after God’s own heart”. It is from the lineage of Rahab and the wombs of broken, sinful women that God chose to send His Son!
Praise God for grace sisters!! When we are found in messed up situations, may we always cling to the Lord and fear Him. May we live confidently knowing He is able to save us and give us grace upon grace.
The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Please share this study with a woman who may need to be reminded of God’s love for our gender. We all sin, we all make mistake, we all have lived lifestyles contrary to God’s will but there is an abundance of grace pouring from heaven into our lives. Like Rahab, may you be the type of woman who is known for fearing the Lord, not the mistakes you’ve committed.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is
to be praised.”