Some way somehow we have reduced the role of Rahab to just a harlot who hid the Hebrew spies in the roof of her house. To even make matters worse no one would dare name their daughter Rahab, well for obvious reasons (she was a harlot hellooo?).
Let me take you on a journey of what we can learn from the brief but oh so well-orchestrated plan of God. Rahab’s part in the story God was writing was short but very impactful and deep!
Joshua Chapter 2 begins with Joshua sending out two men to spy the land of Jericho. Upon getting to Jericho, their first encounter was with a harlot named Rahab. It looked like Rahab lived on the outskirts of town, she lived on the wall. She was not part because no one would want to be openly associated with the town harlot, she was cast away because of her trade.
Rahab was a good woman.
Despite her harlotry, she was kind to the spies she knew nothing of. Rahab showed that her circumstances did not define her or who she was within. The fact that she was a harlot did not detract from the goodness and kindness in her heart. She hid them and directed the king’s guards in the opposite direction. She was more than willing to save the lives of people she did not know.
Joshua 2:8 “……….I know that the Lord has given you the land…..” The people of Jericho did not worship God. They had their own lesser gods they worshiped, but here was Rahab saying “I know that the Lord”.
In Joshua 2:10 she speaks about how she had heard that the Lord dried up the Red Sea. Rahab was testifying of the wondrous things she had HEARD the Lord do for the Israelites. She was only waiting for an opportunity to worship this God she had HEARD of. She did not harden her heart. So many of us hear powerful testimonies and just harden our hearts. We do not strive to know Him and experience Him for ourselves.
Rahab had reverence for a God she did not know yet. She had only HEARD of Him. It was her reverence and fear for God that caused her to acknowledge God “…….for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath”.
Rahab’s time was up. A classic case of “if you can’t beat them just join them”. She had heard of God, she had reverence for Him and she feared Him. She knew what happens when you go against the Lord and His people. She chose God. She chose to join the Israelites and be part of them. She did not hesitate to lose her comfort and let go of her perhaps, thriving business and embrace the God she had heard so much about.
So she did what most of us fail to do. Rahab cried out for her family. She said save my family and everyone that concerns me.
Joshua 2: 13 “….and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters and all that they have….”
As a symbol of agreement that the Israelites will not harm Rahab and her family when they attack the city of Jericho, the spies gave Rahab a scarlet cord. The scarlet cord represented the Blood of Jesus. Rahab accepted God, and was marked with the Blood. No harm could befall her and her entire family. Rahab had become a covering for her family because she engaged the Israelites and called on the name of the Lord. Are you interceding for your family?
Exodus 12:13 “Now the Blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you……”
A new Rahab
After her encounter with the Israelites, Rahab had “accepted the Lord as her Saviour”, and something had happened! There was a change.
Joshua 6: 22 “Go into the harlot’s house and bring out the woman” wait a minute, not too long ago Rahab was referred to as a harlot, but her description had changed.
From HARLOT to WOMAN! God had changed her name and effectively changed her destiny. Rahab is part of the bloodline of David. The same bloodline of our savior Jesus!
Rahab allowed herself to be used by God, led her family to salvation, and God rewrote her story.
No matter your story or your past life, are you doing or have you done what Rahab? Have you taken a decision to follow God? I invite you to learn something little from the story of Rahab. The names of the spies were not mentioned because there were of no consequence to the beautiful story of salvation God was writing for Rahab. It was all about the harlot who became a woman for God.