“When we heard this, we lost heart, and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth below. Now please swear to me by the Lord that you will also show kindness to my father’s family because I showed kindness to you. ” – Joshua 2:11-12
Out of all the stories of faith in the Old Testament, the story of Rahab is likely one that everyone remembers and for good reasons. Allow me to refresh your memory.
Rahab was a prostitute (or harlot as some versions of the Bible say). She was known within the gates of Jericho as a woman of low standards and sexual immorality. What were her motives for living such a lifestyle? Was it her only means to provide for her household? We do not know but we know that out of all the people of Jericho, Rahab had heard about the God of Israel. Her response to the Lord would be a life-changing one.
Looking at verses the second chapter of the book of Joshua specifically verses 11 and 12, there are a few conclusions we should not miss from Rahab’s story.
- First, Rahab believed God. She had heard that the God of Israel was going to give Israel the land of Jericho. As soon as she heard it, she believed. Though she did not worship the One True God, she know from all the accounts of what He had done for His people that He was real and reigned over all. Her response to God’s call as He tugged on the strings of her heart was a response of FAITH.
- Second, Rahab began to turn her life around the moment she answered God’s call. When she accepted to hide the spies because she acknowledged that God would grant Israel the victory over Jericho, she also saw the need to live differently. The life she knew before knowing her Maker was no longer the life she would continue to walk in. This meant forsaking her life of sin and sexual immorality.
As a single Christian, have you forsaken your sins including all sexual sin? Have you put on purity and walk in the light?
The Bible tells us that “if we say that we have fellowship with [God] and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6) So how are you walking today? In light or in darkness? Have you taken the path of faith that leads to a sincere repentance?
- Another point of conclusion that we can take from Rahab’s story is that God can and does change the heart that is willing to humble itself before Him and use it in a mighty way.
When God saw Rahab’s response to who He revealed Himself to be, He not only turned her life of mess into a message for humanity showing up how His Son too would rescue us from the hands of the enemy, but He also used her greatly as a result of her humility. Rahab could have heard and believed God would deliver Israel and simply fear as the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho did. Instead, she believed, recognized that God was who He said He was and hid the two men sent to spy out the land. She not only hoped she would gain favor in their sight but mostly in their God’s sight.
When we clothe ourselves with humility rather than pride or arrogance as did Rahab, God sees and takes notice. As a result, Rahab and her household were saved and she will forever be remembered in scripture not just for this passage of scripture but because God made sure this very same woman, with a tinted background, would become part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Oh yes, what a glorious God we serve! Rahab became part of the royal bloodline as she married Salmon with whom she gave life to a handsome godly man known as Boaz (you can read about this man in the book of Ruth).
What a great privilege it must have been to be a part of this lineage! Rahab likely did not know it at the time but when we get to heaven, I cannot wait to ask her how she feels knowing how God glorified Himself by redeeming her story. God is indeed a great God. He takes those least deserving, least likely to be chosen, least qualified, least ‘righteous’ in order to change them and calls them worthy. He truly knows how to use sinners for His glory.
Have you humbled yourself before God yet? Can you only imagine what story He desires to write in your life despite the poor and perhaps obscure beginning you may have had?
Trust me, take it from someone who knows, no one can write your story better than He can. He is a master at writing stories and using the simplest vessel to be overlooked by man for His glory. He exalts those of a meek and gently spirit.
Like Rahab, your beginning may not be the most exemplary one or maybe one for the Guinness book of records (in a negative way) but if you’ve heard about Jesus, God wants you to know that the first step you must take (and this He cannot do for you, He will not force you) is a step of faith by believing in His Son. God can use anyone who truly believes in His Son… especially you.
“These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)
Father God, I thank you that you can use me in spite of my past. Thank you for granting me the privilege to call you Father and believe in your Son. Teach me to walk in faith day and night and use you for your glory.
In Jesus’ name, amen
- 2 Corinthians 5:7
- Galatians 2:20
- Romans 10:17