Rahab Ė the Mother who made a good Choice!
(Josh 2:1) was a prostitute described as the oldest
profession on earth; we know nothing of her ancestry. She
lived in a house situated on the city wall of Jericho, a
city in the land of Canaan, that was going to be attacked
and subsequently conquered by the armies of Israel; it was
really a condemned city. Prior to that attack, the then
earthly leader of Israel (Joshua) sent out two spies to view
the land and the city. The spies finished up at Rahabís
house and they lodged there, but their presence in Jericho
had been noticed, and the king of Jericho ordered soldiers
to Rahabís house. Rahab hid
the spies in the roof space and told the soldiers that two
men had been to her house, but she didnít know where they
were from, and then went on to say that when it was dark
they had left and she didnít know where they had gone.
then had a serious chat with the spies, still up in her roof
space (Josh 2:8). She had strong convictions of the
supremacy of their God and how He was going to give to the
Israelites their land. She admitted everyone in the city was
afraid and felt powerless. She was conscious of what God
had already done for them, enabling them to escape from
Egypt, how He had parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites
could go across on dry land, and how the pursuing Egyptian
army had been drowned. Of how neighbouring kings had been
utterly destroyed. She was a frightened woman alert to the
fact that God acts in judgement.
She recognised that ďthe
Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth
beneathĒ (Josh 2:11), and she made her decision, and
did a deal with the two spies. ďI have saved your lives;
when you come to conquer the city save my family Ė my
parents, brothers, sisters, and their familiesĒ. The men
agreed on the condition that she would not disclose their
business. So she let them down over the city wall through a
window, told them where to go, and where they were to hide
for three days. But the men told her, "In order to keep this
oath you made us swear, this is what you must do.
this red rope out the window through which you let us down
and gather your entire family with you in your
house--father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Anyone who
goes out of the doors of your house into the street and is
killed, it's his own fault--we aren't responsible. But for
everyone within the house we take full responsibilityĒ (Josh
Israel utterly destroyed that
city, men, women, young and old, cattle, sheep, but
Rahab and her family were
rescued and went on to live with the Israelites.
The special thing about Rahab was
that she had simple faith. She is one of only two
ladies mentioned in Hebrews 11, that chapter that explains
what faith is, and illustrates it so forcibly. It says there
the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not,
when she had received the spies with peace
(Heb 11:31). How do
we know she had faith?
She believed the awful news
of coming wrath
She desired greatly that
she might be saved
She cried for mercy and
included her family.
She took the means
appointed by putting the scarlet line in the window.
She trusted in the promise
believed God and God counted her simple faith for
But what made the difference was
that she let down the scarlet cord. If she hadnít done that,
all her good beliefs and desires would have come to nothing.
If she hadnít let down the cord what would have happened?
She would have perished! And itís the same with us. We might
know a lot about God and have great desires that we are
right with Him, but unless we act in faith, it is just good
head knowledge that we have.
Faith knows no boundaries, either
racial, national, social, cultural or anything else.
By faith, Rahab went
from judgment to deliverance, from idols to God, from shame
She was the mother
of a gentleman called Boaz, who married a Moabite girl
called Ruth, who had a son called Obed, who was the father
of Jesse, who was Davidís earthly father. And Jesus Christ
was born of the line of David Ė He was called Davidís
greater son. She was the great-great-grandmother of King
David, Israelís greatest king. Even more amazing she was the
ancestress in the genealogy of Jesus.
So that was the good
choice Rahab made. Being joined to the family of God has
nothing to do with our goodness. It has everything to do
with Godís grace. Through a prostitute, God teaches us that
we are saved by grace, not by being good.
Images from Dorling Kingsley Bible clip art