I have been intrigued with Rahab ever since I wrote my Faith and Works blogs, never knowing exactly how to do her justice but I am ready to try. I find it truly fascinating that “Rahab the prostitute” is the only female found in Hebrews and James, and the only named female to get a place in the Faith Hall of Fame. I mean, how could a prostitute be considered equals with Abraham, Joseph, and Moses?
We first meet Rahab in the second chapter of Joshua. Again, she is introduced as a prostitute, the title that is carried with her as part of her identity throughout the Bible. Some believe that because of all of the travelers she met through her “profession”, she was able to learn stories about the one true God of Israel and how her land was destined to one day belong to the Israelites’. Rahab knew these stories were more than just folklore; as described in verses 8-11. At the time when Joshua’s spies appeared it was still uncertain if she trusted God as Lord or just had enough common sense to help the winning team. Later, in Joshua 6, her conversion is more certain as the spies kept their end of the bargain and she (and her family) became one with the tribe of Israel. Commentators say that her story proved that allegiance to the Lord was more important than ethnic background – which of course foreshadows to Christ, who saw no boundaries when it came to His ministry. Rahab clearly demonstrated faith in ACTION. She was more than just a hearer of the word. She was a doer, and a key part of the battle of Jericho.
You may be wondering why Rahab can never shake the title: The Prostitute. I think this was done so that there was NO mistaking which Rahab is being referred to each time she appears. Some Christians, from way back in Biblical times to today, want to pretend that people with lifestyles, such as prostitutes, are not worthy of mentioning or learning from. This is what I love most about Rahab. Even someone with a background known to be synonymous with “shame” or “outcast” has proven it is possible to have one of the hugest impacts in the entire Bible. This book was written for us to read Today! We are all sinners and it is clear that one sin does not hold more weight than another sin. The same God of Rahab the prostitute is the God of you and me. God looks beyond our past, teaching us how to repent and turn from our bad habits and shameful history, and He transforms our stories into triumphant displays of Faith! We do not have to live each day holding on to the life we once lived. God washed all of that away on the cross.
Singer and songwriter Matthew West is one of the most talents artists around today. He has countless lyrics that cut straight to the heart. My favorite one to date is his song titled “Broken Things.” It is completely in tune with the point of this blog. Take a look at some of the lyrics:
You and I all have things we are not proud of in our past but we are also given the gift of grace and forgiveness. In Rahab’s time, rituals and physical sacrifices were offered to cleanse their sins and signify their commitment to following God. You and I no longer have to sacrifice burnt offerings (thankfully!). We simply have to offer our lives to following after the One True God. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all of our sins and mistakes of our past. God can look upon us as clean, white as snow, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and trust Him with our future; Our fresh start! Let God use who you were in the past to proclaim His greatness in your future! There is no story that He cannot re-write and make whole again. He wants to be your redemption story. Let Him be the author.
Here I am Lord, I’m ALL Yours.
~ Lindsey Alaine
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