In this next series of blogs, we’re going to explore who Rahab was and why we continure to honor her.
Who was Rahab? Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about her background, but the fact that she was a prostitute tells me that she has been driven to desperation through a series of heart-breaking situations in her life. I’ve never heard of a prostitute who really wants that job. But on the contrary, there’s typically a general history of heart-breaking situation after heart-breaking situation that leads a woman down the path of selling her body to survive.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho. This is the setting where we are introduced to Rahab. Her faith is on display when her city, Jericho, is in fear of the God of Israel and she hides two spies in her house. Her words to them are recorded in Joshua 2:
Before the men 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 fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt 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 devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, hour hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”
Like every other person in Jericho, Rahab is desperate. Impending death is upon the entire city and everyone knows it. The only difference between her and the rest of the people is that in her desperation, she turns to the one true God. The only one who can deliver her from judgment and death is the God of the Bible. We can all relate. Our death sentence has been fixed on us from birth (Ps. 51:5), and, like Rahab, we each have two choices: trust in our own strength to save us or trust in the good news of the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Rahab made a choice. She puts all of her chips in the middle at this moment in her life, and she never would have imagined how God would use her faith to change the world…
This is the first part of a multi-part blog series on Rahab. Our aftercare shelter in the Philippines is called Rahab’s House and girls rescued out of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) are brought to our home to be restored and given freedom and hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ.