If the city of JERICHO had a yearbook, Rahab probably would have been voted “least likely to be saved”… well, that or “most popular!”
Rahab was young, a Canaanite, and a woman, which meant she was someone’s property. She was also perceptive, intelligent and well informed, AND she was a prostitute…not a hostess or tavern keeper as some theologians have tried to argue…NO…she sold her body to men for money. In fact, this designation stuck with her even after she was saved from destruction. The writer of Hebrews referred her as “the prostitute Rahab” (11:31) and James refers to her as “Rahab the prostitute” (2:25).
But, Rahab was Rehabbed!
She was redeemed! She went from HARLOT to HERO! She believed in God AND acted on what she believed. She followed the instructions the spies gave to her, immediately. She hung a scarlet rope out of her window. Simple, yet powerful. But it changed everything for her and her family.
- Rahab became the FIRST recorded Gentile convert.
- Rahab married Salmon, one of the two spies whose life she saved. Rahab and Salmon had a son named Boaz…and Boaz married Ruth.
- Rahab is listed in the genealogy of Jesus as one of the great-great-great-great (you get the picture) grandmothers of Jesus. She is one of only four women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus’ family; three of them were adulterers. Women were typically NOT included in genealogies. (Matthew 1:5)
- Rahab’s name is included in among the great company of magnificent examples of faith — Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Noah, and Joseph. (Hebrews 11:31)
- Rahab is a supreme example of the power of putting faith into practice. (James 2:25)
God is in the business of redeeming people
In my experience I’ve noticed that God doesn’t redeem someone to impress others; he redeems us because he loves us and wants us to be useful for the purpose for which he created us in the first place. It’s easy to discount someone, isn’t it? Had you met Rahab you might have said, (under your breath) “I think she still needs a little work!” “Clearly, God isn’t done with her yet.”
If you want divine results then follow her example by putting your faith to work. Put your actions where your faith is. Like it or not, the truth of our words is proven by the work of our life! We can say anything we like, but what we really are is proven by what we do! A life that belongs to Jesus will be a life that wants to be involved in the things of God! The fruit of your life proves the root of your life!
Scriptures: Joshua 2:1-24, 6:17, 22-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25
(Photo Cred: Beth Holland, on a rooftop in Abilene, Texas, 2016)