At the opening ceremony for Rahab’s House, a 1Saved aftercare shelter in the Philippines for girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking, we decided to tie scarlet cords in the windows of each room and pray over the girls who would reside in the room. For Rahab, this cord was an outward symbol of an inward change where she had decided that her and all in her household would put their faith in the God of Israel. In the same way, our hope is that this symbol of our faith would guide all of those who would reside in Rahab’s House into salvation and freedom.
Who knows what Rahab thought when she decided to house the spies from Israel? My guess is she only had her immediate survival in mind. But God had a much larger plan.
The New Testament begins with Matthew’s recording of the genealogy of Jesus. Rather than a typical accounting of only the best and brightest ancestors, God chooses the “kingly” line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Aside from the fact that this line consists of thieves, liars, murderers, adulterers, and flat-out selfish men, God also includes women. Speaking to a patriarchal society, God goes radically counter-culture by naming four women in the royal line of his Son, Jesus. This shows us the high (and equal) value God places on women, created in His image. Included among these women mentioned is Rahab, a prostitute from Jericho.
“and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.” -Matthew 1:5
Little did Rahab know, but she would have the high honor of being known forever as the great-great grandmother of David and direct ancestor to Jesus, the promised Messiah and the Son of God who would save the people from their sins.
After that scarlet cord, Rahab was no longer defined by the fact that she was a foreigner, a woman, and a prostitute but through faith, an adopted child of the King. In the same way, our girls in Rahab’s House come to the understanding that their identity is not tied up in the abuse that’s been done to them or the shame over what they’ve done. We welcome them in with loving arms as our Heavenly Father welcomes them.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation…By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” (Hebrews 11)
This is the second part of a 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. To read the first part, click here.