Rahab: Harlot from The Streets of Jericho To Woman Remembered in The Hall of Faith
Today we are introduced to one of the most unlikely heroines of the Old Testament. Her name is Rahab, a prostitute of the Canaanite city of Jericho. A deeper consideration into the life of this remarkable woman can open the door for a greater understanding of God’s dealing with an individual believer in grace and mercy.
As the story unfolds, we see the Israelites are preparing to capture the walled city of Jericho. To grasp the significance of this conquest, it is important to understand Jericho was the most influential Canaanite walled city in the Jordan Valley. It was a major enemy directly in the path of the advancing Israelites, who had just crossed over the Jordan River.
Before issuing marching orders, Joshua dispatched two spies to scope the situation. The king of Jericho, who feared the Israelites, learned the two Israelite spies had entered his city and gave orders for them to be captured.
Upon entering the city, the spies discovered a prostitute named Rahab. By worldly descriptions, Rahab had nothing going for her. She was a gentile living in a land known for its corruption, immorality, idolatry, and the practice of child sacrifice.
The only influence on her life was the pagan culture in which she lived.
Rahab Fears the God of the Israelites
Despite the odds stacked against her, Rahab had one major thing in her favor. She had heard about the God of the Israelites. She had listening ears and a receptive heart. For this reason, it wasn’t difficult for her to believe what she had heard. She had paid close attention to all God had done for the Israelites, and their testimony of God’s protection, preservation, and favor had a profound effect on her.
Rahab, along with all of Jericho, knew they were no match for the Israelite army; they had seen His power of deliverance when the Israelites had defeated the Egyptians. She understood the God of Israel was the God who ruled over the heavens and earth.
Rahab was a perceptive woman; she recognized the spies for what they were, concealed their presence, and had a believable story ready to tell the king’s agents.
Although she was a member of a depraved culture, Rahab had learned enough about Israel’s God to have a change of heart, which saved her entire household.
Rahab’s Faith: 5 Qualities
“By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” Hebrews 11:31
Rahab’s faith was courageous; her city was about to be attacked. Within its walls lived multitudes of people of all classes and temperaments. Like Rahab, these people understood if Joshua and the armies of Israel came against them, it meant a death sentence. Yet, there was not one single person who believed God and sought after His mercy, except this prostitute named Rahab.
Rahab, and Rahab alone believed God.
If you consider yourself to be a disciple of Christ, you, too, must have a courageous faith. Your faith is always an individual matter. Your faith does not depend on the encouragement of others. Courageous faith continuously swims against the current. It is never the path traveled by the majority; courageous faith stands alone before God.
Rahab’s faith was committed; it stood firm during trouble. Rahab chose to believe God while she watched the walls of her city crumble. She held fast through to the end. When the dust had settled and the storm was over, Rahab was exactly where she was when the walls had begun to crumble; she was safe and secure in the house marked by the scarlet ribbon, kept by a promise, secured by the Word of God.
Like Rahab, we are called upon to have a committed faith, a faith that will stand firm in the middle of trouble, a faith to believe God when everything we hope for seems most unlikely, a faith that will endure until the end.
When Your Jericho is gone, and when the storms of your trial settle, you will be right where you were when your walls had begun to fall. You will have a heart marked by blood, kept by a covenant, and secured by the living Word of God!
Rahab’s faith empowered her to stand apart from her culture, turn away from her pagan practices, and turn her heart toward God.
As a Christian, you have the responsibility to identify how you are being influenced. Are you so well adjusted to your culture that you fit in without giving it a second thought? Do your choices influence others to Christ or do they keep others away from Him? You cannot blindly do what everyone else is doing. Instead, search your heart and purposely think about your choices and actions.
The culture in which you live permeates every aspect of your life, and if you don’t make an intentional effort to practice nonconforming faith, you can easily find yourself far from being like Christ.
Rahab’s faith was contagious. Her change of heart and acts of faith displayed God’s mercy and the power of His grace to those around her. Thus, she and her family were saved from God’s judgement.
Child of God, you are called to live every day by the grace of God. When you received Christ in your heart, you were freely given forgiveness according to the riches of God’s grace. Grace drives your sanctification. Grace gives you the power to abandon ungodliness and worldly desires. Grace enables you to live a self-controlled, godly life. God’s grace transforms your desires, purposes, and behaviors. A life fully connected to the grace of God is a life demonstrating contagious faith.
By the end of the story, Rahab was no longer perceived as an unworthy woman. Instead, she was found to be worthy by grace, to become part of the lineage of Jesus, and she was inducted into the “Hall of Faith” found in the Book of Hebrews. Her past no longer mattered.
Once you become a Christian, your past no longer matters. The slate is wiped clean when you believe and accept the sacrifice Jesus paid on the cross on your behalf. Just as Rahab was grafted into the lineage of Jesus, so you become a
What has God been teaching you about faith? Please leave a comment, ask a question, share a Bible verse that has helped you grow. I’d love to chat with you!